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Arsene Wenger insists Mesut Ozil doesn’t deserve to be made the scapegoat for Arsenal’s spluttering performances despite the German star’s lacklustre efforts this season.
Wenger splashed out a club record £42 million ($76 million) to sign Ozil from Real Madrid last term but, although he won the World Cup with Germany this year, the playmaker is yet to make a significant impact on the Premier League.
Ozil came under fire again following another uninspiring display in Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund in midweek.
But Wenger is adamant there is no reason to criticise Ozil and he claimed the 25-year-old remains an integral part of his plans.
“Why should he be a scapegoat? For what? We’ve lost one game since April 1. Let’s be realistic,” said Wenger, whose side travel to second placed Aston Villa on Saturday looking for just their second league win of the season.
“We have come out of a very difficult preparation period with decisive games. We had very difficult games against Besiktas. I don’t know – a scapegoat for what?
“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.”