Mesut Ozil has urged former Arsenal players who have criticised the Gunners in the media in recent weeks to get behind the team.
Arsenal have made a miserable start to the season, with last Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool leaving them languishing in 16th in table and already six points off Premier League leaders Manchester United.
Ian Wright is just one of a number of Arsenal legends to have publicly expressed his dismay at the current state of affairs at the Emirates Stadium.
But in a lengthy Facebook post on the fourth anniversary of his move from Real Madrid, Ozil has called on former players to show more support for Arsenal, pointing to three FA Cup wins in the last four years as an indication things are not as bad as they seem.
“During the last couple of days my DFB [Germany] teammates have been asking me about how everything is at Arsenal at the moment,” Ozil wrote.
“They claimed to have read about the current crisis through the media, as pundits and former players are commenting on a daily basis. They say that this could be the worst team in years, even decades.
“We have achieved a lot in our four years together [at Arsenal]. Three of the 13 FA Cup victories have been accomplished in the past four years, with the other 10 taking 75 years for the club to win.
“This is in addition to our three Community Shield wins. After all, six titles in four years is quite something. However, this only makes myself and the team even more disappointed for not playing a role in the title race at the end of last season – this is something we hope to change this year.
“Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London. ‘Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight’ – this is what people have said about me.
“Some of these comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players – both successful and unsuccessful during their time here at the club.
“Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends – my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!”
Ozil’s importance to Arsenal is underlined by the fact that he has created more chances over the last two seasons than any other Premier League player.
But his contract expires at the end of this season and the 28-year-old has refused to commit his long-term future to Arsenal.
“Even though I personally do not know how my career will continue after this year, I look forward to my fifth season with Arsenal,” he wrote.
“This is because Arsenal is a great club with great people and great traditions. I am glad to be able to wear your shirt, Gooners.
“I’ve had so many great moments in the last four years and I really appreciate what this club means to the people of London, the UK and all over the world.”