Martin Keown has slammed Mesut Ozil for his display against Atletico Madrid and has accused the Arsenal midfielder of picking and choosing the games he plays.
Ozil, like many of his teammates at the Wanda Metropolitano, failed to find his rhythm as the Gunners slipped to a 1-0 loss on the night and 2-1 defeat on aggregate in the Europa League semi-final tie.
The Germany international has often come in for criticism from former Arsenal players for failing to take big games by the scruff of the neck, and Keown believes that the incoming new manager needs to get to the bottom of the problem as a priority.
“It’s almost like his hands are in the air: ‘Look, this group aren’t as good as me’,” he told BT Sport. “Somebody needed to grab him a long time ago, to give him a shake and say: ‘We’re trying to get you the ball to you. We are working for you, but you’re not working for us.’
“I bet he doesn’t play again this season. He’ll have some emotional breakdown and he won’t be able to play at the weekend. I don’t know how many illnesses he’s had this season – but the fella is not kidding me! That is not a proper performance. He is not giving everything and there’s much more under the bonnet.
“Somebody else will find it. Whether the new manager coming will find it, I don’t know. It’s a big problem for the new manager because [Arsene] Wenger’s invested an awful lot of money in this player — and I’m not seeing a performance to go with it.
“He wasn’t fit to wear the shirt for me tonight and I’ve seen this a lot this season, and he needs to be dug out because we expect better from him. He’s a World Cup winner. These are crocodile tears that I’m seeing from the player. He’s not conning me!”
Ozil has a combined 17 goals and assists in 33 Premier League and Europa League outings this season.