Arsenal icon Ian Wright has hit back at Mesut Ozil, branding the playmaker “laughable” after he slammed former players for their negative reviews of the Gunners.
The Germany international, who has faced criticism after Arsenal lost two of their first three matches to open the new Premier League season, took to social media last week to call on prominent ex-players to “stop talking and start supporting” and start to “behave like legends”.
Ozil has under a year left on his contract at Emirates Stadium and Wright feels he should sign a renewal if he cares so strongly about the club.
Wright suggested Ozil was letting Alexis Sanchez’s contract situation deflect attention away from his own, going as far as accusing the 28-year-old of hiding behind his team-mate, who saw a potential move to Manchester City break down on deadline day.
“Sign a contract, if you feel that strongly about people criticising the team because you’re somebody who is integral to Arsenal’s success,” Wright said to BBC Radio 5.
“You’re not signing a deal and you’re probably going to continue to hide behind the fact that [Alexis] Sanchez is the one that everybody’s going to say, ‘Is he going to go?’.
“Why haven’t you signed yet? That’s what I would say to you. If you feel that strongly, why haven’t you signed yet?
“A player that is not actually performing on the pitch is coming out, calling people out and he’s not signing a contract. It’s laughable.”
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) September 2, 2017
Wright feels Arsenal players did get the deserved credit for winning three FA Cups in the last four years, but thinks the negative reviews have been fair, particularly after the humiliating 4-0 loss away to Liverpool prior to the international break.
“We [former players] all feel the same because we’re all passionate and we all love the club,” said Wright.
“What are we supposed to say? That they’re unbelievable, in the boardroom, the boss, and the way they’re playing? Because they’re not. I can’t understand it.
“We’re not talking about former players criticising a team that’s charging up the league and winning leagues.
“Yes, we’ve won the FA Cup and when they’ve done that, they’ve rightfully been praised for that. But we’re talking about a team that’s underperforming. Not just the team, people in the boardroom, the manager with his decisions, everybody.”
Along with Wright, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Paul Merson and Emmanuel Petit are among the former stars to have spoken negatively about Ozil and Arsenal in recent weeks.
Arsene Wenger’s men are at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, the start of an important nine-day period that also sees them play Cologne in the Europa League before meeting Premier League champions and rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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