The Germany international has been forced to defend himself after his performances came under scrutiny from supporters and pundits
Mesut Ozil has claimed he is usually the player to be singled out when Arsenal are struggling, but insists his record speaks for itself.
Ozil would consider Bundesliga return
The Germany international has fallen short of producing his best form during a disappointing season for the Gunners, who crashed out of the Champions League after a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich and may yet fail to qualify for the 2017-18 competition.
The future of manager Arsene Wenger, who is out of contract at the end of the campaign, has been the subject of intense speculation, while Ozil and star striker Alexis Sanchez have both been tipped to seek an exit from Emirates Stadium.
Ozil seemingly feels he has been blamed, at least in part, for the difficult predicament the north London side are in.
“People know what I have achieved,” the 28-year-old told Bild.
“That I am a World Cup winner, played for Real Madrid, set up 20 goals last season [in all competitions].
“When the team’s on a bad run, somebody needs to be singled out, sadly most of the time it’s me.”
Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013 and, while a return to the Spanish capital is unlikely, the playmaker remains loyal to the Liga leaders.
“Of course my heart beats for Real,” he said.
“I played there and still have many friends to this day in the team and in the club. Therefore I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Real, even against Bayern [Munich],” he added, referring to the clubs’ impending clash in the Champions League quarter-finals.