Onus on Ozil to rise above criticism, says ex-Arsenal star Wright

The best way for Mesut Ozil to silence his critics is by starring in the Premier League, according to Arsenal great Ian Wright.

Ozil, 29, endured a turbulent off-season that began with a divisive meeting with controversial Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Germany’s group-stage exit at the World Cup led to further scrutiny of the playmaker, who subsequently quit the national team citing a perceived sense of racist treatment from the German Football Federation.

Ozil has found sanctuary from the storm back at Arsenal and has been entrusted with greater leadership responsibilities by head coach Unai Emery.

Speaking to Omnisport, Wright challenged the midfielder to improve on the patchy form that saw him net four league goals last season.

“He’s somebody that is always getting a lot of criticism, and it’s up to Mesut Ozil to rise above that and try to perform in the way that people know he’s capable of performing,” the former England striker said.

“It’s going to be difficult because he’s a marked man.

“People know what he’s capable of if you give him time and space, so they’re not going to give him that, they’re going to deny him that.

“It’s up to him to try and find that space and try to make an impression on the game.”

Ian Wright attended a TAG Heuer event in London to celebrate the extension of its partnership as the Official Timekeeper to the Premier League.

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