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Arsenal's Mesut Ozil: It's always my fault if we don't do well

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Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has said he is always blamed when things go wrong at Arsenal, but that he will remain at the club until "at least 2021."

 The former Germany international has struggled for game time this season, making just one Premier League and one Carabao Cup performance and not yet completing a full 90 minutes, but has insisted he will try to prove himself at the Emirates, rather than looking for minutes elsewhere.

"When I signed the new deal, I thought about it very carefully and said it was one of the most important decisions of my footballing career," Ozil told The Athletic.

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"I didn't want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit my future to Arsenal and the club wanted me to do the same.

"You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I'm not going to. I'm here until at least 2021.

"When I moved from Real Madrid, it was a really tough time for Arsenal, but I always believed in what we could do and together we delivered. More recently things have been difficult and a lot has changed, but I'm proud to be an Arsenal player, a fan and I'm happy here. Whenever people see me in the street I always say, 'This is my home.' I'm going nowhere."

While Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said Ozil's limited game time this season has occurred because other players "deserve it more," Ozil said he has no problem with the Spaniard.

"All I know is what has already been said," he said. "It's disappointing, of course, but as a professional footballer, I have to respect the decision of the coach. This should not be about me or the coach, only the club."

The 31-year-old, who signed for Arsenal in 2013, has at times come under scrutiny for his performances at the north London club, particularly in so-called big games, but said the criticism was largely unjust.

"It always happens that an ex-player stands there on TV and criticises me," he said. "Others just continue the theme and it gets in everyone's heads.

"If we don't do well in a 'big' game, it's always my fault. If that's true, how do you explain our results in the 'big' games when I wasn't involved? There's no real difference.

"I know people expect me to offer more, dictate play and make the difference -- I do, too -- but it's not that straightforward. I'm not the only player in the team and, don't forget, some of our opponents are simply better than us.

"Also, what is a 'big' or 'small' game? In the Premier League, anyone can beat anyone. Look at Wolves and Norwich beating Man City, or Newcastle and West Ham beating Man United. So you can't say my good performances only came in 'small' games, because these games don't really exist."

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