Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been furiously defended by his agent following criticism of the World Cup winner's anonymous performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week, with Dr Erkut Sogut suggesting his client is being made a scapegoat.

According to Sogut, Ozil cannot be held accountable for the Gunners' sub-par defensive performance in the 5-1 thrashing, claiming a lack of Arsenal possession left the 28-year-old unable to affect the game.


Criticism is normal if a player plays badly, but Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results," the agent old BBC Sport in the wake of the Allianz Arena humiliation.

"Bayern had 74% possession. How can someone in the No.10 position create chances if you don't have the ball?" he questioned.

"In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money - that is Mesut. But he can't be always be the scapegoat. That's not fair.

"Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch but Mesut was singled out for criticism. Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five goals?"

FC Bayern Muenchen v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

Ozil's lack of work rate and tendency to go missing in big games had some Arsenal fans worried about his inclusion in the line-up before the game had started.

His total disinterest when the other team has the ball was evident once more on Wednesday and was particularly disheartening given the way Paris Saint-Germain's attacking players had run themselves into the ground defending from the front against Barcelona 24 hours earlier.

Ozil is not a naturally defensive player, but Sogut's argument begins to fall down when the player is seen visibly walking when he should be exerting at least some effort for the sake of the team.

"It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: 'Should he play? Should he be dropped?'" Sogut continued.

"It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team."

To continue the discussion on Twitter follow @jamiespencer155