Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has described Mesut Ozil’s social media post addressing criticism from ex-players as “laughable” and questioned why the German has not signed a new contract with the club.
Attacking midfielder Ozil, who is in the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium, took to Facebook on Saturday to hit back at negative comments about his recent performances from ex-Gunners players.
Wright has previously defended Ozil but believes the 28-year-old must commit his future to the north London club before condemning his doubters.
“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 said on BBC Radio 5 live.
“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.”
Ozil’s lengthy Facebook message called for former Arsenal players now working in the media to support the club rather than offer negative assessments.
Emmanuel Petit, Martin Keown and Paul Merson are among those to have singled out Ozil for his contribution.
Wright, the second-highest goalscorer in the club’s history, believes it is hard to be positive about Arsenal’s poor start to the season, which included last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool.
“We [former players] all feel the same because we’re all passionate and we all love the club,” Wright added.
“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.”