Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has claimed that he is the victim of “immediate criticism” whenever he has an off day.
The German World Cup winner started the season strongly, scoring nine goals and producing six assists, but he has faded into the background in the last few weeks.
Ozil missed two games during the hectic festive schedule due to illness and he was also targeted by critics following defeats to Everton and Manchester City.
The 28-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013, has insisted that he can handle the negative aspects of football.
In the interview with Kicker, Ozil said:
“Other than the fact I score more goals, the only thing that has changed is the expectations for me are raised each year. People always expect good games from me. If I have one bad game after 10 good ones, there’s immediate criticism.
I have been in the business for many years. If I believed and accepted everything written about me I would be crazy. But through my experience and self-confidence I can handle my critics. They just make me stronger.”
It took a while for Ozil to find his feet at Arsenal following the £42.5m switch, and he is often accused of going missing in big games.
The midfielder’s future remains a big talking point as he is yet to sign a new deal, despite lengthy negotiations with the North London outfit.
Ozil, like teammate Alexis Sanchez, has 18 months remaining on his current terms at the Emirates.