Search

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger defends Mesut Ozil after Gunners legend Martin Keown’s criticism

PUBLISHED: 09:57 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 04 May 2018

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on from the dugout (pic Adam Davy/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on from the dugout (pic Adam Davy/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended Mesut Ozil after Gunners legend Martin Keown blasted the German midfielder in the wake of the club’s disappointing Europa League defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal legend Martin Keown has slamed Mesut Ozil. PAArsenal legend Martin Keown has slamed Mesut Ozil. PA

Ozil – who signed a new deal worth £350,000 a week in January – was slammed after Arsene Wenger’s side were knocked out of the tournament 2-1 on aggregate following the second leg at a raucous Metropolitano in Madrid.

A Diego Costa goal blasted past David Opsina moments before half-time sealed the tie to send Diego Simeone’s side through to the showpiece final in Lyon in two weeks time.

The result puts paid to Wenger’s last hope of bowing out of the North London giants with silverware while also confirming his final match will be in Yorkshire against Huddersfield Town a week on Sunday – while also meaning Arsenal will miss out on the Champions League qualification for a second consecutive season.

Speaking after Arsenal’s exit, Keown slammed Ozil’s performance for the Gunners, claimed he would not play for the team again this term and blasted his ‘crocodile tears’ in the aftermath of the damaging defeat to Diego Simeone’s side.

Arsenal's Danny Welbeck (centre) in action during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid (pic Adam Davy/PA)Arsenal's Danny Welbeck (centre) in action during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg at Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid (pic Adam Davy/PA)

However, speaking after the match Wenger responded to Keown’s honest assessment saying: “I don’t agree [that he didn’t work hard].

“I think you will see that when you analyse his [Ozil’s] physical performance that he gave a lot tonight.’

“It was a difficult game, physically very intense and I’m convinced Ozil should not be now vilified by anybody because we didn’t score.

“We had plenty of opportunities in the two games. We lose as a team.

“I don’t agree with that, coming out now straight away. When you want to be listened to now you always have to be extreme. Football is a bit more complicated than that, a bit more complex.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

19 minutes ago

Tottenham Hotspur will be without Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose and Dele Alli for the fixture at the London Stadium

16:00

Greens won 3-2 at Hartley Wintney last Saturday, but lost at Metropolitan Police in CSS League Challenge Cup in midweek

The former Maidenhead United forward has scored five goals in four FA Cup games this season

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs are set to play seven important matches during the next three weeks

09:41

Fly-half one of seven Sarries men in Eddie Jones’ squad

08:00

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina is excited about playing a match in London as it will give his family and friends a chance to watch him play.

Jack Wilshere has called on Arsenal to make Aaron Ramsey captain of the club rather than allow the Welsh international to leave on a free transfer.

Yesterday, 22:46

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now