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Arsene Wenger: Why should Mesut Ozil be be a scapegoat?


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists midfielder Mesut Ozil should not be criticised for not performing to his full potential.

The German has failed to emulate last season's form during the first part of the campaign but the Frenchman has asked fans and critics for patience ahead of Saturday's away game against Aston Villa.

"The fans should not be concerned and just support him," Wenger said on Friday afternoon.

"I understand that you always want your best players to make the difference in every single game and we all go through periods where we are a bit less good.

"You help. A club is a union between players, supporters and directors.

"You have to be united and sometimes go through periods together where it goes a bit less well.

"Why should he be be a scapegoat? We've lost one game since April 1. Let's be realistic. We've come out of a very difficult preparation period with decisive games.

"What is difficult to manage today is that everybody knows absolutely everything and everybody judges people definitely on one game.

"You have to accept that football is played by human beings who have ups and downs like you have in your life."

"[Criticism] is a bit unfair because I believe that our offensive talents on Tuesday night were not in their best condition, and they couldn't express that talent."

Last week the manager said the Germany international worked hard and played well against Manchester City but he now believes that the 25-year-old needs time to recover mentally from the World Cup Finals.

"On the other hand it's post-World Cup. He came back on August 11. You know it takes a few months for them to get back to their best, that can happen.

"Many of the World Cup players don't even play at the moment. I believe that's natural and I've seen that before. I've gone through that before and it's normal - it's more mental than physical in my opinion."

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