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Arsenal legend backs under fire Ozil

Former Arsenal defender Lauren has launched a defence of the under-fire Mesut Ozil over what he believes is unfair criticism.

After an indifferent start to the season, Ozil was omitted from Unai Emery’s starting line-up for last weekend’s win at Bournemouth, with the Gunners coach admitting that he felt the 29-year-old lacked the required intensity for the South Coast fixture.

The Arsenal playmaker’s work-rate has often been questioned since he moved to the Emirates from Real Madrid in 2013.

However, Lauren, who was part of the ‘Invincibles’ side which went the entire 2003/04 Premier League season unbeaten, has defended Ozil and believes the fans should keep faith with the German.

 “Ozil is targeted much more than other players who aren’t performing their best.’’ Lauren told SportingBet.

“A lot of players across Europe who have come back from the World Cup haven’t performed as well as usual.

“Kane, Griezmann and Modric haven’t played at a standard that we’re used to seeing, yet they don’t receive the same criticism. Ozil is clearly tired and once rested, will be a different player.”

It remains to be seen whether Ozil will start this weekend’s North London derby against Tottenham.

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