Mesut Ozil: Nothing wrong with my attitude at Arsenal, some people don't like me

ALEX YOUNG
REUTERS

Mesut Ozil has defended himself against recent criticism of his perceived attitude at Arsenal, insisting that "some people don't like me."

The club-record signing has been deemed by some as not applying himself enough in games as the Gunners run the risk of failing to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Ozil was again a peripheral figure as Arsenal lost to Tottenham in the final north London derby at White Hart Lane to confirm Spurs will finish above their neighbours for the first time since 1995.

But the World Cup winner, who has a little over a year to run on his contract at the Emirates Stadium, has defended his displays.

"Some people like me, some people don't," Arsenal's club-record signing told Goal. "Some people look at my body language and think I don't care. But that's me. I won't change my body language or my style of play drastically anymore.

"Expectations on me were very high everywhere because I am a player who can make the difference. You have to deal with that.

"There will always be criticism and there will always be praise. But what matters is what the manager tells me. I have said that numerous times.

"But what I can't understand is when people say: 'Look, he does not push anymore' or 'He does not run enough'. If you look at my numbers you can see I run a lot and I show a good attitude."

After the Spurs game, Ozil kicked a door in frustration having been told he had been selected for a drugs test, with manager Arsene Wenger defending the actions of his player on Thursday.

Ozil's contract expires in 2018, while Arsene Wenger is out of contract at the end of this season and has yet to announce whether he will stay or go.

But Ozil insists his own Arsenal future is not tied in with that of his manager, adding: "Of course he was the one who convinced me to join Arsenal and he was a main factor for me to come here.

He is a very experienced coach who made Arsenal one of the best clubs in the world. You must have respect for him, because he is a great manager. But I do not decide whether the manager stays or not.

What's important for me is that we develop as a team and reach our goals."

Ozil also revealed he had received an offer from the lucrative Chinese Super League but has never been interested in a move to the Far East despite the vast money on offer.

"Money never played a big role for me in football," he added. "I play football because I love it. Sure, you do not earn peanuts and the offer from China was tempting and interesting.

"But as I said: Money is not everything. I want to win titles and I have my goals I want to achieve. That is more important than money. That's why I said from the beginning, that China is not an option for me."

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