Mesut Ozil has come under intense criticism in the last few weeks after a string of disappointing performances for Arsenal, which has also coincided with the club suffering numerous defeats. The club record signing has been excellent for Arsenal in the first half of the season, but he has been looking increasingly laboured since the 4-0 defeat against Liverpool. He was at fault for two of the four goals scored by Liverpool within 20 minutes. Ozil also missed a crucial penalty in the 2-0 defeat against Bayern Munich, which would have given the gunners something to fight in the second leg.

As it is, they are now favourites to get knocked out of the competition just as they suffered at the hands of the German outfit last season. This has led to Arsene Wenger dropping the 24-year-old for the match against Sunderland, which Arsenal managed to comfortably in 4-1. He said after the encounter that Ozil will certainly prove his quality once he returns from his short absence from the team. Wenger is of the opinion that the £ 42 million signing can do with some time out of the limelight.

Ozil was not the only player to get a rest in recent weeks. Wenger had given the entire squad two days off in order to recuperate.

“I never tell Mesut: ‘You have to win us the game,’. He shouldn’t do that. It’s down to the performance of the team. But maybe he feels that a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well. It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition. But he will adapt. He had a difficult game [against Bayern] because he missed that penalty and it was on his mind,” said Wenger to www.ilovearsenal.net.