By Liam Twomey
Mikel Arteta believes Mesut Ozil has been unfairly singled out for criticism since arriving at Arsenal and is backing him to silence his doubters this season.
Ozil became the Gunners’ record signing when he arrived from Real Madrid in a £40 million deal last summer, but drew criticism from sections of the media and supporters for a perceived lack of effort and inconsistent performances.
But Arteta believes his team-mate is being judged by unfair standards because of his hefty price tag, and is adamant the German will be better in his second season in England.
“When you pay £40 million for someone there are always going to be critics,” the Spaniard told Goal at the launch of Arsenal's new PUMA kits.
“It’s been over the top because Arsenal don’t usually spend that kind of money, so expectations are really high.
“He’s never been in that situation before but he coped with it really well, he took it on the chin, he tried really hard and he was always in a position to help the team.
“People forget how well he started and how many good moments he gave us during the season.
“People want to pick out the bad ones, but everyone has bad ones. When you cost £40m, people look at you with different eyes.
“Mesut is really relaxed. He’s been under big pressure, but hopefully next season he can be even better for us.”
Arsenal's new home and away replica kits and a full collection of fanwear are available for fans to purchase now online at www.puma.com and in many stores worldwide. The new cup kit will launch in-store and online on August 14.