Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has responded to criticisms of his playing style by insisting that he “just laughs” at those that don’t say things to his face.
Former Liverpool midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness recently claimed that the Germany international is a “polarising” figure, after he played a key role in the Gunners’ 3-1 win over Leicester City.
Indeed, he made the claim that the playmaker is often “absent” in big games, and that his performance against the Foxes was not enough for him to be hailed as a game-changing player.
Ozil, though, maintains that he does not pay attention to those who criticise him in the media, insisting that he only listens to those who say things to him in person.
The German has thus far scored four goals in nine games in all competitions, as well as providing one assist, and he told Sky Sports News on his critics: “I just laugh.
“I am not the youngest anymore but I started playing professionally at the age of 16 or 17 and it’s always been up and down with me – people either like me or they don’t.
“I don’t listen to these people – I just listen to my coach and my people who say things straight to my face. So of course, if I play bad, I know that just as I know when I play well.
“The most important thing is that the coach can help me – if I make mistakes he can tell me, we can speak and I can improve for the future.
“But if people just say bad things about me because they want to be in the newspaper – I know that and I don’t care about them.”
Ozil also described how he hates losing, even in training, and that he can become “aggressive” if things aren’t going his way.
“I always have motivation, particularly before the games – I want to win all the games and I hate to lose, even in training I am p*ssed and aggressive because I always want to win,” he added.
“I am a very calm person, sometimes on the pitch I get very emotional if I make mistakes or give the ball away because I want to make everything perfect.
“The coach wants me to give everything on the pitch – which is what I do but I still work hard to reach my aims.
“I have said before the main thing is to achieve more than we have over the last few years and I think we have the potential to win something with the team. Hopefully at the end of the season we will win some trophies.”