Dr Erkut Sogut, the agent of Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, has hit back at critics, suggesting his client has been a “scapegoat” for the club’s poor form.
The Gunners were put to the sword by Bayern Munich earlier this week, in a 5-1 rout, with manager Arsene Wenger’s future once again called into question.
Ozil himself was not spared from the heavy fire, after his performance in another big game came into question.
“Criticism is normal if a player plays badly, but Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results,” Dr Sogut told BBC Sport.
“Bayern had 74 percent possession. How can someone in the No. 10 position create chances if you don’t have the ball?
“In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money — that is Mesut. But he can’t be always be the scapegoat. That’s not fair.
“Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch, but Mesut was singled out for criticism. Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five goals?
“It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: ‘Should he play? Should he be dropped?’
“It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”