Footballers are only human and so it shouldn’t come as a shock to hear that criticism from pundits and fans does affect them.
In an honest and revealing Instagram post, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has urged former Arsenal players-turned-pundits who have been critical of him over the past four years to start supporting him.
“Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London,” Ozil 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!”
On those who have stuck by him through the difficult times, Ozil added: “I would like to thank all the Gooners that have always supported me and believed in me. When I leave the Emirates after a game, I see the fans standing along the street cheering. When I've played well, I hear you sing my song, and this makes me incredibly proud, giving me goosebumps every time.”
Ozil was heavily criticised for his role in Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend but reminded everyone what he’s capable of during Germany’s 2-1 win over the Czech Republic on Friday night.
As well as providing the assist for the opening goal, Ozil was also filmed tracking back and producing a slide tackle - footage which raised plenty of eyebrows on social media.
The German playmaker’s talent is clear for all to see. It’s just his questionable work ethic which lets him down at times, as well as his tendency to go missing in the big matches.
Arsenal fan's 19-tweet thread about Ozil is superb
Nevertheless, the recent criticism towards Ozil has inspired one Arsenal fan to remind the rest of us just how good he really is.
Check out this brilliant 19-tweet thread from @arsenalcrest, which is going viral…
1. ‘Four years ago, Mesut Özil signed for Arsenal. His best / most influential assists in his Arsenal career: a thread’
2. ‘They say the first thing always remains fresh in your mind. Mesut Özil's first assist in an Arsenal shirt.’
3. ‘They say it's Özil's best ever assist in an Arsenal shirt. Would've gone lengths to kill Giroud if he hadn't scored.’
4. ‘This quick run and a brilliant pass to Giroud: season 2013/14.’
5. ‘What a vision: Özil with a pin-point pick to Ramsey who then heads it towards the goal. Season 2013/14.’
6. ‘I will never know how he managed to find Alexis within that crowd. Unreal vision. Season 14/15, FA Cup.’
7. ‘What. A. Ball. Walcott fortunately manages to not make a mistake in his first touch and somehow scores.’
8. ‘This cheeky chip enabling an even 5'6" Alexis to head the ball into the goal, gets better every time you watch it.’
9. ‘Personally, this is my favourite Özil assist for Arsenal. Unreal link-up with Giroud. What. A. Cross.’
10. ‘Another sweet cross that turns into a goal. Brilliant find in Gibbs; always a special goal when it's in the NLD.’
11. ‘Make that 3. A set piece genius in Özil. I swear him and Giroud should never be separated.’
12. ‘What a moment this was. We actually thought we were going to win the league. Look at the passion behind the goal.’
13. ‘This is the thing what Özil is all about. Accurate and exact pass, nothing fancy, nothing less. Beautiful to watch.’
14. ‘Telepathy. One touch. Extraordinary vision. Finish equally good. Best players doing what they're good at.’
15. ‘Teamwork revolving around Özil. This is the Arsenal that all of us are in love with. Season 15/16.’
16. ‘Usual day in Özil's business. Campbell takes out a nipple from his shorts and starts sucking to celebrate. Peak.’
17. ‘Backheel to Welbeck who fortunately manages to finish it. Add 1 good assist to the list.’
18. ‘This was filthy: both from the creator as well as the finisher. Great goal Ramsey. Which celebrity died as a result?’
19. ‘Well this is the end. A proper start does need a proper finishing, doesn't it? Here's what we all think of this man.’
So, there you have it: a reminder of why Wenger will always continue to select Ozil.
He might have his flaws but there's no question that, when on song, he's a genius.
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