• Champions League

Podolski supports under-fire Ozil

ESPN staff
February 20, 2014
Ozil needs to earn his spot back

Lukas Podolski has come out in support of Arsenal team-mate Mesut Ozil after the club's record signing has been criticised for his lacklustre performances in recent weeks.

Ozil squandered the opportunity to give Arsenal the lead during their Champions League last 16 tie against Bayern Munich by missing a penalty, and Arsenal went on to lose the first leg 2-0 when they had goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny sent off in the opening half.

And Ozil, who joined the Gunners for £42.5 million last summer, has come under-fire for the penalty miss, with manager Arsene Wenger saying he does not like the way he takes penalties. Ozil was also criticised for his poor display in the 5-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League a fortnight ago as well.

But Podolski posted a picture and a message of him and Ozil in support of his fellow German international.

"Everybody is disappointed because of yesterday's result. However, that's football. It's not fair to diss [criticise] Mesut. Picking one player out doesn't help the collective and the whole club neither!

"He's an outstanding player who will make all of us happy in [the] future. A missed penalty won't change that. This happens to me and to every footballer. Friends stand together. So lets go!"

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