Mesut Ozil provides perfect response to Martin Keown criticism as Arsenal beat AC Milan
Before the last-16 clash at the Allianz Arena, Keown claimed Arsene Wenger’s successor at Arsenal may want to have a clear-out and sell a number of first-team stars, including Ozil.
‘The next manager coming in might want to sell Ozil,’ Keown told BT Sport. ‘I’m not sure who would buy him.
‘He’s not the sort of player who would show enough grit and determination, for me. Yes, he’s the icing on the cake, he’s a quality player.’
Ozil’s work-rate and attitude has been repeatedly questioned during his time at Arsenal but the Germany international has remained one of the most influential players at the Emirates.
And he impressed in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over AC Milan on Thursday evening, providing two assists as the Gunners took control of their last-16 tie.
Ozil first set up Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored his first goal for Arsenal since joining from Manchester United in January, before doing likewise for Aaron Ramsey.
The 29-year-old’s contributions in Milan ensured he has now been involved in 100 goals in all competitions for Arsenal (37 goals and 63 assists).
Speaking after the comfortable win, Wales midfielder Ramsey said: ‘We showed tonight we have characters in this team, it’s never easy to come here.
‘I’m really pleased that we’ve come here and got the win. We started well and scored a couple of goals in the first-half.
‘A lot of people are going to talk [about Arsenal’s recent form], it’s their job, it’s just important for us to keep focused, to improve and work hard.’
Wenger added: ‘It’s an important win, we had a nightmare week, it’s a good win but it’s not qualification. Overall I’m happy with our spirit and the response we gave.
‘Our speed dropped in the second-half. We became a bit too cautious but we defended with resilience.’