‘Take a look at yourself, not everybody else’ Mesut as Gunners hero opens up and lays into Arsenal star

Arsenal hero Martin Keown hits back at Mesut Ozil.

Gunners legend Martin Keown has hit back at Mesut Ozil and told the German ‘he needs to look at himself’ after his recent outburst to his critics.

There has been some suggestion in the media that Unai Emery does not like the style of play of the German, and does not want him in his squad any longer, that is why the former Real Madrid ace has made just one appearance in the Premier League this season, which came in the 2-2 draw with Watford.

Ozil has missed over 100 games as an Arsenal player and that has led to some questioning his motivation, with many laying into the German for his inability to stay fit throughout the course of the season and his unflattering performances in an Arsenal shirt on a weekly basis.

But de defender himself, telling the Athletic: ‘I get really frustrated when I miss a game through illness and people question if it is genuine,’ Yes, it happened a few times — usually in the winter — but what am I supposed to do? If you knew me, you would know it takes a lot for me to miss a game and I have never used sickness as an excuse. Actually the opposite.

‘I played many games when I was ill or had injuries. Before the Champions League game against Bayern Munich [in March 2017], I was sick and Arsene told me I was not in the squad because of that. The next morning, the guys from Arsenal called me and said, ‘Listen, you have to come to the stadium, you have to be in the squad’. Despite my illness, I joined the squad and played the last 20 minutes.

‘Most players don’t play when injured or sick — it influences your game, you can’t give everything — but I was always available unless it was impossible.’

ARSENAL CLOSE IN ON PERFECT OZIL REPLACEMENT?

OZIL’S REPLACEMENT INTERESTED IN MOVE

It always happens that an ex-player stands there on TV and criticises me,” Ozil said. “Others just continue the theme and it gets in everyone’s heads. If we don’t do well in a ‘big’ game, it’s always my fault. If that’s true, how do you explain our results in the ‘big’ games when I wasn’t involved? There’s no real difference. I know people expect me to offer more, dictate play and make the difference — I do, too — but it’s not that straightforward.

‘I’m not the only player in the team and, don’t forget, some of our opponents are simply better than us. Also, what is a ‘big’ or ‘small’ game? In the Premier League, anyone can beat anyone. Look at Wolves and Norwich beating Man City, or Newcastle and West Ham beating Man United.

‘So you can’t say my good performances only came in ‘small’ games because these games don’t really exist. The intensity is there in every match and often the ‘small’ teams raise their standard against the ‘big’ teams.’

KEOWN HITS BACK AT OZIL

Keown, however, insists there is only one man who should be shouldering the blame and conceded it is embarrassing for his old club to be left in a scenario whereby their highest earner has been deemed un-selectable.

He told talkSPORT: ‘It’s embarrassing for the football club that he is not featuring for Arsenal. He has to take a look at himself. It can’t be everybody else’s fault. ‘I don’t care what he’s earning to play for the club it’s an honour to play and while you are there you make your mark.

‘At the moment is he setting a good example in training? As a senior player I would make sure that the youngsters would follow on. ‘I would graft, I would work, give everything I could. I would be collective and help the group around me.

‘I wouldn’t be talking about me. He’s looking about and saying I’m not playing now so don’t blame me. ‘Well, no! It’s about the collective it’s not about you. How do we get you in the team now to get you back in the group. That’s the next step for Ozil now. The opportunity is there.

‘I don’t see him saying anywhere he is desperate to play. For me, the oxygen every weekend was to be in that team and I would bust a gut and I want to see that from Ozil.’

Many Arsenal fans love Ozil and many don’t, so he takes up most of the headlines on a weekly basis for the club, which is not great isit?

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