Mesut Ozil: Champions League spot more important than my Arsenal future
Mesut Ozil has said that Arsenal's priority is securing a top-four finish and that his future, along with that of manager Arsene Wenger and teammate Alexis Sanchez, must be put on hold for the good of the club.
There has been speculation that Ozil and Sanchez, who will both enter the final year of their contracts in the summer, could depart, while fans have protested for Wenger to leave following the club's poor form.
Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League following a run of two wins in eight games, and Ozil told Sky Sports that improving their standing must be the immediate priority.
"I think at the moment it would be wrong to really think about that, to go ahead and look at that," he said when asked about his future and that of Wenger.
"At the moment, the team we're having a more difficult spell and at this stage I'm not important and no other player is important. What's important is the club.
"We've got aims that we want to meet this season. There's still lots for us to play for. We want to qualify desperately for the Champions League for next season as well.
"So we'll talk in the summer and we'll clear things then but for the moment, all that's important is Arsenal and not me and not any other player -- it's just the club.
"What we need to do is fight, to do what we can. It's not just about the boss or the fans -- it's about the whole club and playing for the whole club."
Ozil also called for Arsenal supporters to show Wenger more respect and said he was a major factor in his decision to leave Real Madrid and join the club.
He said: "As players you can't decide who manages the club. I've always said he [Wenger] was the most important factor in me coming here.
"He's been here for 20 years, he's given a lot to the club and I think he deserves respect for what he's achieved."
Arsenal's struggles have been summed up by Ozil's own form of late. He scored and provided an assist in a rare positive for the club in last week's 3-0 win over West Ham. But the 28-year-old has too often been on the periphery of big games, leading to criticism from pundits and a section of Arsenal fans.
"I don't really pay too much attention to what the experts say," Ozil said of any of his critics. "It comes down to maybe not seeing all of my statistics, maybe my style sometimes does make it look like I'm not 100 percent there, giving my absolute everything.
"But that is my body language, that is the way I have always been. That is the way I am and I won't change that. I always give 100 percent, I always fight for everything.
"Of course, in some stages you can be annoyed when things go wrong on the pitch. You can express frustration but there is no player, especially not me, who will go out and give 90 percent and not give everything or think 'we are going to lose today, what is the point, I will hold myself back.'
"That doesn't happen at all so the important thing is not to let your head go down."
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