Mesut Ozil has told those who would criticise both him and Arsenal to “stop talking and start supporting.”
To mark the fourth anniversary since he arrived at Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013, Ozil took to social media to discuss his time at the Emirates Stadium.
The Germany international has often come in for criticism since joining Arsenal, with his work rate and body language questioned, but he called on pundits to get behind him and the team rather than point the finger.
“Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London,” he wrote. “‘Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight’ — this is what people have said about me.
“Some of these comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players — both successful and unsuccessful during their time here at the club.
“Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends — my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!”
Arsenal have faced plenty of criticism in recent weeks following a poor start to the season and a frustrating transfer window.
But Ozil, currently on international duty with Germany, feels there is plenty to be celebrated at the Emirates Stadium.
“During the last couple of days my DFB [Germany] teammates have been asking me about how everything is at Arsenal at the moment,” he wrote. “They claimed to have read about the current crisis through the media, as pundits and former players are commenting on a daily basis. They say that this could be the worst team in years, even decades.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) September 2, 2017
“I’m writing this text together with people that are close to me, and we’ve got something to celebrate. Although no match was won, or trophy was lifted today, Arsenal and I are celebrating our anniversary! Four years ago I was transferred in a last minute deal from Real Madrid to Arsenal — Arsene Wenger convinced me.
“He told me about the great history of this club, about its living legends such [Dennis] Bergkamp, [Patrick] Vieira and [Robert] Pires, who owe a large part of their success to the manager. Arsene told me how he would help me to develop as a player, and this is something every player wants to hear, as it is great encouragement.”
Ozil added: “We have achieved a lot in our four years together. Three of the 13 FA Cup victories have been accomplished in the past four years, with the other 10 taking 75 years for the club to win. This is in addition to our three Community Shield wins. After all, six titles in four years is quite something.
“However, this only makes myself and the team even more disappointed for not playing a role in the title race at the end of last season — this is something we hope to change this year.”
Ozil’s long-term future remains unclear given he is out of contract with Arsenal at the end of the season and has so far yet to agree to an extension.
But he says whatever is to come, he is proud to play for Arsenal and is looking forward to the season ahead.
“Even though I personally do not know how my career will continue after this year, I look forward to my fifth season with Arsenal,” he wrote. “This is because Arsenal is a great club with great people and great traditions.
“I am glad to be able to wear your shirt, Gooners. I’ve had so many great moments in the last four years and I really appreciate what this club means to the people of London, the UK and all over the world.”
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