Mesut Ozil has hit back at his critics following Arsenal’s disappointing start to the Premier League season and called on them to “stop talking and start supporting” the club.
Several former Arsenal players have criticised the team and key players including the German international in recent weeks, with the level of vitriol reaching new heights after last weekend’s dismal 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Emmanuel Petit, Martin Keown and Paul Merson are among the Arsenal old guard to have laid into Ozil, Petit lambasting his “defeatist attitude”, while Merson suggested that the German International “doesn’t show up half the time.”
Now, the 28-year-old, who is on duty with the German national team, has hit back in a lengthy post on Facebook to celebrate the fourth anniversary of his move to the Emirates from Real Madrid.
“Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London. ‘Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight’ – this is what people have said about me,” Ozil wrote.
“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!”
Ozil has notched 32 goals and 42 assists in 164 appearances in all competitions since arriving in a £42.5million deadline day deal from Real Madrid, but he continues to divide opinion among fans and pundits.
He added that the club had done relatively well in recent years despite the constant criticism.
“We have achieved a lot in our four years together,” Ozil said. “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 [trophies] 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.”