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

The playmaker's recent performances have been the subject of much debate but his fellow German 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 midfielder, a €50 million signing from Real Madrid last summer, missed a first-half penalty in Wednesday's Champions League loss to the Bavarians and struggled to make a positive impact thereafter.

The results of a poll published on Goal in the aftermath of the first-leg defeat saw readers unanimously vote in favour of Arsenal now dropping Ozil, but Podolski is sure that his international compatriot will soon be back to his best.

He wrote on his Facebook page: "Everybody is disappointed because of yesterday's [Wednesday'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, with goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller leaving Arsene Wenger's side with a mountain to climb in the second leg.