Keown’s brutal Ozil declaration accuses Arsenal outcast of ‘conning’ fans
Martin Keown has accused Mesut Ozil of "conning" the Arsenal fans in a scathing assessment of the star's contribution to the club in recent years.
Ozil's stay at Arsenal is set to end either this month or in the summer, their more than seven-year association to a close.
The German midfielder was once the club's golden boy in the eyes of Gunners supporters, but his position has long since divided the fanbase.
Many have pointed to Ozil's lack of urgency and desire on the field, while his £350,000-per-week wages have provided a regular stick to beat him with.
But Keown feels some of the criticism levied at Ozil is justified, and believes his legacy in north London has been tarnished as a result.
"It hurts me that a player of that talent can’t get on the football pitch, it’s a crying shame," the Arsenal legend told talkSPORT .
"For me, he doesn’t go down as a legend, because he doesn’t match the energy and determination of legends that I’ve seen at that football club.
"If he had [Kieran] Tierney’s determination, coupled with that ability, he might’ve gone down as the best player ever to play for Arsenal.
"He’s become calculated in the way that he’s undermining the club with tweets, and I think it's now time to go."
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It looks increasingly likely Ozil will sit out the remainder of his contract before leaving Arsenal on a free at the end of the season.
Fenerbahce are the leading candidates to secure his signature, though it is believed Ozil has no shortage of offers, with MLS outfit D.C United also in the frame.
Ozil's agent Dr Erkut Sogut revealed the 32-year-old's future would be decided within the next week.
Though Keown has now sent a warning to potential suitors over Ozil's attitude, and hit back at Dr. Sogut's dismissal of his previous comments.
“Two-and-a-half years ago when Atletico Madrid knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League, I watched very closely and it felt like he [Ozil] was conning the fans.
“He wasn’t giving everything for the shirt; I accused him of crocodile tears, it felt like something was very wrong. That was two-and-a-half years ago, and my opinion hasn’t changed.
“There was a session of illnesses, a mystery back injury, away games he wasn’t available.
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“Is there a problem with the player? Is he conning us? Eventually he’ll write a book and we’ll get to know the whole story.
“But if you’ve got that much talent and you’re not getting picked, you can’t be giving 100 per cent, and that was happening two-and-a-half years ago."
Keown added: "He [Dr Sogut] accused me of jealousy and not being worthy; I think the 449 games for Arsenal qualify me, I’m not sure how many the agent has played.
“My eyes don’t lie. Statistics tell you an amazing story about Ozil, which I don’t think is convincing.”
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