Mesut Ozil has called for Arsenal supporters to show Arsene Wenger more respect and said he was a major factor in his decision to leave Real Madrid and join the club.
He said: “As players you can’t decide who manages the club. I’ve always said he [Arsene Wenger] was the most important factor in me coming here.
“He’s been here for 20 years, he’s given a lot to the club and I think he deserves respect for what he’s achieved.”
Arsenal’s struggles have been summed up by Ozil’s own form of late. He scored and provided an assist in a rare positive for the club in last week’s 3-0 win over West Ham. But the 28-year-old has too often been on the periphery of big games, leading to criticism from pundits and a section of Arsenal fans.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to what the experts say,” Ozil said of any of his critics. “It comes down to maybe not seeing all of my statistics, maybe my style sometimes does make it look like I’m not 100 percent there, giving my absolute everything.
“But that is my body language, that is the way I have always been. That is the way I am and I won’t change that. I always give 100 percent, I always fight for everything.
“Of course, in some stages you can be annoyed when things go wrong on the pitch. You can express frustration but there is no player, especially not me, who will go out and give 90 percent and not give everything or think ‘we are going to lose today, what is the point, I will hold myself back.’
“That doesn’t happen at all so the important thing is not to let your head go down.”