Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has told Sky Sports he gives “no worth” to the criticism he receives from pundits, and that manager Arsene Wenger’s opinion is the only one that matters to him.
Ozil’s inconsistent performances in big games have drawn repeated criticism this season, with some pundits having held him partially responsible for Arsenal’s run of poor results since February.
But the Germany international says that such talk only makes him “stronger” as a person.
“The expectations are always high, which I guess is normally a positive, you could say,” Ozil said. “But I know what I can do and it doesn’t affect me really. I’ve played for Real Madrid, I’ve played for Germany and I’ve had praise and criticism throughout my career and it’s only made me stronger.
“For me, what’s most important, as I’ve always said, is the manager’s opinion because when it comes from him you know it’s the truth, be it positive or be it negative.
“There’s some people that like me and some people that don’t, but I give no worth to those opinions, really. They can have them, but I know what I can do. My stats show that I do give my all and I give my best.”
Ozil’s future at Arsenal beyond this season is still up in the air as he has yet to sign an extension to his contract which expires at the end of the next campaign.
But the midfielder reiterated that he remains happy in London and that contract talks will resume in the summer.
“As I’ve always said in the past, I feel comfortable here,” he said. “I’m happy. Arsenal belong as one of the best clubs in the world and London is a great place to be, a great city to live in.
“So after the season we will talk and then we will make a decision from there. The most important thing is Arsenal and what we do as a team now. I’ve got aims with this club, we all want the top four and that’s what counts at the moment.”
Arsenal play Southampton on Wednesday needing a win to keep their hopes alive of finishing in the Premier League’s top four and securing another season of Champions League football.
“We always have belief,” Ozil said. “We know it depends on the teams above us dropping points, but we need to look at ourselves. We need to make sure we do our job. We know it’s our last chance, we know we need to win all our final games if we are to have any kind of positive achievements to take from this season.”
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