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Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who has played with Mesut Ozil for the German national team, says the criticism of the playmaker’s attitude is well wide of the mark.
Ozil is currently going through a rough patch at Arsenal, having not being picked by Unai Emery for most games. However, Gundogan believes he is an elegant player who is misunderstood by many around.
It has been suggested that the German could be on his way out of the Emirates come the summer window.
But his former national teammate says he is baffled by the criticism aimed at his countryman. Talking to a Sport360, Gundogan was asked about Ozil and Kevin de Bruyne, he replied: “Both are game changers. Kevin is a little bit more aggressive in his style and, at Mesut’s best, both are on a similar level.
“I think people always criticise Mesut because they think his attitude on the pitch is not a good one, that he doesn’t care that much.
“But I think people just struggle to accept that you can have the more emotional kind of players, the more aggressive ones and you have players like him, you know, that need maybe this calmness for their game.
“It looks a bit more elegant and slow, but believe me it’s so difficult to defend against these kind of players. They make everything look so easy and I think sometimes you forget to appreciate these kind of things.
“Obviously we always watch games and, even me, we always think we know better. But on the pitch it’s always a different story.
“A player like him, with his huge talent, I don’t think it just surprises just me, but a lot of people, that he doesn’t play regularly.”
Arsenal and Manchester City play each other tomorrow evening at the Etihad as the race for the title and top four hots up in the crunch part of the season.