Mesut Ozil is being made a scapegoat for Arsenal’s current issues, believes the midfielder’s agent.
Ozil was the subject of criticism after Arsenal’s 5-1 thrashing against Bayern Munich in midweek after the German international appeared half-hearted in his efforts.
The 28-year-old completed just 20 passes – the same as Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer – and was lethargic in closing down Arjen Robben for the opening goal.
Mesut Ozil last night pic.twitter.com/8CdqomWChL
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But with Arsenal coming under scrutiny for their struggles in both the Premier League and Champions League, Ozil’s representative Dr Erkut Sogut says the former Real Madrid man is an easy target.
"Criticism is normal if a player plays badly," he told BBC Sport.
"But Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results.
"In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money – that is Mesut. But he can't be always be the scapegoat. That's not fair.
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"Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch but Mesut was singled out for criticism. Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five goals?
"It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: 'Should he play? Should he be dropped?'.
"It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team."