'It's not fair to diss Mesut!' - Podolski tells critics to lay off under-fire Ozil

The 25-year-old playmaker put in an unspectacular performance in Arsenal's 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich but his German team-mate has backed him to hit top form again soon
Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has called on the critics to lay off Mesut Ozil after the 25-year-old's lacklustre display against Bayern Munich.

The former Real Madrid midfielder, a club-record £42 million signing for the Gunners in the summer, missed a first-half penalty in Wednesday's Champions League defeat and struggled to make an impact in a game that Arsenal would go on to lose 2-0.

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The results of a poll published on Goal in the aftermath of the first-leg defeat saw readers unanimously vote that the Germany international should now be dropped although Podolski is sure his international compatriot will soon be back to his best.

He wrote on his Facebook page: "Everybody is disappointed because of yesterday's result. However, that's football.

"It's not fair to diss Mesut. Critic is part of sports and this is good -but polemic is not. Picking one player out doesn't help the collective and the whole club neither!

"He's an outstanding player who will make all of us happy in future. A missed penalty won't change that. This happens to me and to every footballer. Friends stand together. So lets go! Poldi."

Ozil himself took to Facebook to apologise for Arsenal's display in the loss to the Bundesliga leaders where goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller have left Arsene Wenger's side with a mountain to climb in the second leg.