‘I do not care what people think’

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Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has insisted that he pays no attention to the criticism he receives from fans and pundits.

Ozil has regularly been described as lazy and disinterested due to his demeanour on the field, but the former Germany international has scored 30 goals and created 55 more in his 151 Premier League appearances.

The 30-year-old has helped Arsenal make a positive start to life under new manager Unai Emery, with the team unbeaten in 14 matches ahead of this evening’s Europa League tie with Sporting Lisbon, but he warned that they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal.

“I know there’s people out there that like me, there are also people who don’t like me. This is a fact of life. But, for me, what is important is what the people in my inner circle tell me. I don’t care what people say outside of that. It doesn’t affect me,” Ozil told the Daily Mail.

“If the coach, or people in my circle, tell me: ‘Mesut you have to do this, or have to do that’ then I listen. I’ll take that and work on it. But I don’t look at what someone else is saying. It really doesn’t affect me. Personally, things are going well but that doesn’t mean I stop working.

 “But the most important thing is that the team is going well at the moment. But it’s a process — every coach has a different strategy or philosophy and we can feel it. It’s a tactical thing with the new coach. We are learning from him, we are trying to give our best on the pitch every day and every hour.

“But we have to keep being hungry, and keep progressing. It’s not like we are done now (because we have gone 14 games unbeaten). It’s like we are just starting. We are doing well for now, but that doesn’t mean we stop.”

Ozil has four goals in 11 appearances across all competitions so far this season.

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