Arsene Wenger has called on supporters to get behind Mesut Ozil stressing Arsenal need to stay united through the ups and downs of the season.
After a below par climax to last season, the German international – despite playing an important role in Germany’s World Cup win – remains the target of weekly barbs from frustrated fans, unimpressed former players and media commentators with his performance against Dortmund the latest to be scrutinised in intense detail.
Eager to point out his entire team was piss poor in the Westfalenstadion, Wenger, not for the first time, urged patience from critics of the Gunners’ record signing, citing a post-World Cup hangover as a possible reason for his lackadaisical performances.
“It’s a bit unfair because I believe the offensive talents on Tuesday night were not in best condition to express that talent. On the other hand it is post-World Cup and he came back on August 11 and it takes a few months to get back to your best.
“Many of the World Cup stars don’t even play at the moment. It’s natural. I’ve seen it before. It is more mental than physical.
“They (the supporters) should not be concerned. We all go through periods where we are less good. We are a union, players, supporters and directors. Fans need to be patient.
“You want your best players in every game but you have to be united and go through hard periods. Everybody judges players on one game but football is played with many ups and downs
“Why should he be a scapegoat? For what? We lost one game since the beginning of April. But we want to respond after a disappointing performance.”
On the subject of whether Ozil is being played out of position on the flank, Wenger was quick to point out that the 25-year-old isn’t confined to hugging the touchline.
“That’s a secondary debate in my opinion because he has the freedom, when we have the ball, to go where he wants. If you look at the heat map where he plays, you’ll be amazed [to see] he’s all over the pitch.”
Arseblog News fully expects a bit of rotation when we visit Villa this weekend and wouldn’t be surprised if Ozil is deployed from the bench. Given the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Santi Cazorla haven’t played much (or at all in the Czech’s case) it could be time to freshen things up against a side who are enjoying a bit of a purple patch.