Mesut Ozil's agent snaps back at Martin Keown in a feisty rant
Mesut Ozil's agent Dr. Erkut Sogut had hit back at the stinging criticism of his star client, after he missed another game due to a minor injury.
Ozil was absent from Arsenal's 3-1 defeat at Leicester on Wednesday night, as he failed to recover from what his manager Arsene Wenger has described as a back injury.
It is the latest injury that has afflicted a player who has also been affected by a series of mystery illnesses in recent months, inspiring former Arsenal defender Keown suggesting last week that the German would 'find an excuse' to avoid playing in the club's final game of this season.
Now Sogut has leapt to Ozil's defence, as he offered up a forthright interview to Goal.com.
"I think that Martin Keown feels that just because he used to play football, it gives him the right to attack the current generation of stars," he stated. "Perhaps he just wants to remain relevant, or maybe it is due to jealousy?
"Is he envious about the money and exposure that current footballers have - I don’t know, but to sit there and criticise, and criticise, and criticise, time and time again, it’s getting a bit boring, in all honesty.
"He was an Arsenal reserve so left for Everton and Aston Villa because he wasn’t good enough.
"He returned to Arsenal but was still a reserve - always in the shadow of Adams/Bould/Dixon/Winterburn and then Campbell/Toure/Lauren/Cole.
"His behaviour towards (Ruud) Van Nistelrooy at Old Trafford brought shame on Arsenal, he will say it showed his passion when really it was bad sportsmanship.
"If Mesut, or any other player in this era were to act like that, they would bring great shame upon themselves and their club.
"In the 2004 Invincible season, Arsene Wenger let him play the last minute vs Leicester to qualify for a winner's medal.
"Otherwise he would not be an Invincible because he didn’t play enough games. He wasn’t a real part of the team.
"Even Keown's team-mate Ray Parlour said publicly he would have killed Wenger if he did not let him come on the pitch against Leicester.
"This is again representative of the behaviour against Manchester United - he claims passion, whilst it is really aggression.
"He spent many years criticising Wenger. Then it is announced Wenger is leaving and Keown starts to say nice things about Wenger - and after the Burnley game he had the audacity to go on the pitch with the real, and loyal, legends like Robert Pires.
"He questions Mesut’s loyalty, but can’t stick behind his own arguments - how can his opinion be trusted or validated?"
There are suggestions that Wenger has agreed to rest Ozil for the final games of his reign as Arsenal boss to ensure his £350,000-a-week midfielder is fully fit for Germany at the World Cup next month.