Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil was hit so hard by Arsenal's defeat to Bayern Munich because of his intense desire to win the Champions League.
The Arsenal manager revealed this week that Ozil had found the Gunners' shocking 10-2 aggregate exit in the last-16 of this season's competition mentally tough to deal with.
The Germany international had already hit out at criticism directed at him for the defeat, feeling he had been made a scapegoat for his team's poor form.
And Wenger elaborated on why Ozil had been particularly affected by their elimination, insisting he cares much more than his critics perceive.
"[Ozil was affected] because he is very ambitious - he wants to win the Champions League and he has come out many times saying that," Wenger said.
"If you look at the two games if you take the first 45 minutes in the two games we are qualified but then we went out in such an emphatic way.
"It was difficult to take for everybody and maybe more for him because it a big part of his ambition.
"He cares. What I wanted to say is that people often reproach him by saying he does not care because of his style of play, but he cares much more than people think he does."
Wenger acknowledged it was disappointing that some Arsenal fans have protested against his management at recent matches and training sessions.
He added: "My target is to keep all the fans happy. That is always what I try to do. If I don't manage to do it I am of course disappointed.
"We had three fans [at the training ground] on Tuesday, but when I went home we had 10 fans who were very positive. Unfortunately you [the media] picked the three who were here that morning.
"Against West Ham we were a united team who fought together. The continuity of our dominance and the quality of our team play was very good. Our passing was quite good, our combinations were good. Our concentration was very positive.
"Conclusions are always definite in the modern world but things can turn quickly."