Football

Barton thinks criticism of Ozil is unfair .

Joey Barton pinpoints why Mesut Ozil receives so much criticism

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It's going to be a long two years for the Wenger Out brigade.

Arsenal gave their fans some brief optimism that things might be different this season with a 4-3 win against Leicester on the opening day, before undoing that work by slumping to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke.

Jesé Rodriguez enjoyed a fantastic start to life in the Premier League as he scored the winning goal at the bet365 stadium.

Frustratingly, the Gunners were undone by many of the same individual errors and defensive problems they encountered last season.

They were also a tad unlucky when it came to refereeing decisions; Hector Bellerin might have had a penalty, and many officials wouldn't have spotted Alexandre Lacazette being a few millimetres offside.

Ultimately, though, their big players simply didn't show up when they were required.

Stoke police made a cheeky dig at Mesut Ozil on Twitter after the game, referring to him as a missing person. Pundits Martin Keown and Steven Gerrard both made their feelings about the Germany international known too, with the latter describing him as a "liability" live on BT Sport.

Keown, meanwhile, wrote in his Daily Mail column that the 28-year-old is "the most frustrating Arsenal player ever" because of his lack of fight.

Ozil was far from the only player who needed to up his game, and Joey Barton has been explaining on talkSPORT why he thinks the playmaker is the one who has come in for criticism.

Why does Ozil get so much stick? 

"He is the easy person to pick on," Barton said.

"His skillset is in a different area, creating goals and giving other players opportunities.

“It was a bad ball from Granit Xhaka [for the Stoke goal] and then he compounds the mistake by leaving the centre of the park.

Stoke City v Arsenal - Premier League

“But you have to give Stoke credit - it is a great finish by the kid."

Arsene Wenger also came to his defence, telling a press conference after the game:

"I think he did fight and overall it's difficult to single anybody out. I think we had many, many chances and personally, I don't think he deserves it [the criticism]."

Ozil hasn't endeared himself to Arsenal fans by refusing to sign a new deal. It was widely anticipated that he would leave north London this summer, but unlike fellow contract rebel Alexis Sanchez, there has been little interest in the former Real Madrid midfielder.

Has criticism of Ozil been over the top? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Football
Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal

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