Martin Keown claims Mesut Ozil’s situation at Arsenal has become “embarrassing”, suggesting that he needs to shoulder the responsibility for his lack of game-time.
Despite being a World Cup winner tied to a lucrative contract at Emirates Stadium, the German playmaker has slipped out of favor under Unai Emery.
He maintains that seeing out a deal due to run until 2021 remains his intention , with the criticism aimed in his direction said to be unfair.
Keown, though, believes Ozil is to blame for being frozen out, with his attitude and commitment to the collective cause being called into question .
The former Gunners defender told talkSPORT : “It’s embarrassing for the football club that he is not featuring for Arsenal.
“He has to take a look at himself. It can’t be everybody else’s fault.
“I don’t care what he’s earning to play for the club, it’s an honor to play and while you are there you make your mark.
“At the moment, is he setting a good example in training? As a senior player I would make sure that the youngsters would follow on.
“I would graft, I would work, give everything I could. I would be collective and help the group around me.
“I wouldn’t be talking about me. He’s looking about and saying ‘I’m not playing now so don’t blame me’.
“Well… No. It’s about the collective - it’s not about you.
“How do we get you in the team now to get you back in the group? That’s the next step for Ozil now. The opportunity is there.
“I don’t see him saying anywhere he is desperate to play. For me, the oxygen every weekend was to be in that team and I would bust a gut and I want to see that from Ozil.”
Ozil has taken in just two appearances for Arsenal this season, with only one of those coming in the Premier League.
Emery has sought to rubbish suggestions that Ozil has become a scapegoat in north London , with the 31-year-old told that he needs to work harder in order to earn regular game time.
"We are in our way and we live in the present,” said Emery, when asked if Ozil's assessment that he is often the scapegoat was fair. “In this present we are looking for the best way to be competitive, to play each match with our best quality and best mentality.
"Mesut Ozil, for us, is important. Sometimes one player could be important playing or could be important being on the bench or could be important preparing for the next match.
"This is our mentality and this is the way we want to create with 25 players in the squad.
“Mesut Ozil is in the same way and I told you now for the last three weeks he is working and improving and being better in the training. If we need him we are going use him.”
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