Mesut Ozil says he is always unfairly blamed when Arsenal suffer a slump in form with the Gunners having lost four of their last five Premier League games.
Arsenal’s latest dip has seen them slip out of the Premier League’s top four and also humiliated in the Champions League with a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich.
Ozil has not featured for his club since the FA Cup win over Lincoln due to injury and illness but still feels he is unfairly targeted by critics.
“When the team’s on a bad run, somebody needs to be singled out, sadly most of the time it’s me,” he told Sport Bild.
“People know what I have achieved. That I am a World Cup winner, played for Real Madrid, set up 20 goals last season [in all competitions].”
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Ozil’s future at Arsenal remains very much the subject of debate with the Germany international yet to agree a contract extension but he has revealed how much he loves being at Arsenal, although he refused to rule out a return to the Bundesliga at some point in his career.
“You know what made me proud? That day, the Arsenal fans sang the Ozil song,” he said of the fan chat.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it at any other club. It gives me goose bumps every time the fans sing that song.
“I don’t want to exclude that [a Bundesliga return]. Many family members – my mother especially – would welcome it if I were closer to home.
“I still have a year on my contract and I love running for this club. At the moment, everything is still open.”
Ozil was also asked about former club Real Madrid, who will face Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League next month.
“Of course my heart beats for Real,” he said. “I played there and still have many friends to this day in the team and in the club.
“Therefore I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Real, even against Bayern.”
While Ozil is often unfairly criticised, there is no doubt his form has tailed off since the beginning of the season.
The German has managed just two assists in 2017, against non-league Lincoln and Burnley, and has not scored since December’s win over Stoke.