Arsenal great Ian Wright has branded Mesut Ozil’s complaints about the criticism he receives from former players “laughable” in view of his failure to sign a new contract.
In a long Facebook post on Saturday, Ozil hit out at his critics in the media and told Arsenal’s former players to “stop talking and start supporting”.
But with the 28-year-old Germany playmaker still to extend a contract that expires at the end of the season, Wright says Ozil is in no position to tell anyone what to do.
“Sign a contract, if you feel that strongly about people criticising the team because you’re somebody who is integral to Arsenal’s success,” Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday.
“You’re not signing a deal and you’re probably going to continue to hide behind the fact that (Alexis) Sanchez is the one that everybody’s going to say, ‘Is he going to go?’
“Why haven’t you signed yet? That’s what I would say to you. If you feel that strongly, why haven’t you signed yet?
“A player that is not actually performing on the pitch is coming out, calling people out, and he’s not signing a contract. It’s laughable.”
Consecutive losses to Stoke City and Liverpool, who thrashed Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield, have left Arsene Wenger’s side in 16th place in the Premier League table.
Former midfielder Emmanuel Petit told the Sunday Mirror Ozil and his team-mates needed someone to tell them “not to act like babies and kids”.
Wright, Arsenal’s second-highest goal-scorer, defended the right of former players to criticise the current regime.
“We all feel the same because we’re all passionate and we all love the club,” he said.
“What are we supposed to say? That they’re unbelievable, in the boardroom, the boss, and the way they’re playing? Because they’re not. I can’t understand it.
“We’re not talking about former players criticising a team that’s charging up the league and winning leagues.
“Yes, we’ve won the FA Cup and when they’ve done that, they’ve rightfully been praised for that. But we’re talking about a team that’s under-performing.
“Not just the team — people in the boardroom, the manager with his decisions, everybody.”