LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has come out all guns blazing after criticism of his displays by stating he is among the best number 10s in the world who can help lead his side to glory.
Fresh from his World Cup triumph with Germany, Ozil feels aggrieved at the media's lukewarm response to his form for club and most of all for country.
"The fans believed I played a good World Cup. The statistics show that as well. I was satisfied with my performance at the World Cup. I know I could have scored more goals and shot more but I was surprised the press was negative," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph on Saturday.
"In my first season at Arsenal there were times when I was not at my best but in the qualifiers for the national team I did perform well. Look, I scored the most goals in qualifying (eight). The negative headlines were unfair."
The central playmaker pointed out he has been voted Germany’s national player of the year three times by fans and that left winger Marco Reus' injury before the World Cup meant coach Joachim Loew had to shift him over.
"The negative criticism came out of nowhere, it went from zero to 100. I went from being the darling of German football, the jewel in the crown, to being hammered in the media," Ozil said.
"I’m one of the best players in the world in that No. 10 position. Fans, coaches, players and everyone knows that my best position is playmaker.
"It’s different playing on the left. Joachim Loew needed me on the left. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the team."
Ex-Real Madrid man Ozil, a Muslim who is enjoying London's mosques and a multicultural scene which he prefers to the Spanish capital, is so settled at Arsenal that he expects great things with the addition of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona.
"Of course Arsenal can win the Premier League. We’ve strengthened our squad. We also want to show that we can play better in the Champions League. We have the potential to reach the final," he said.
He hailed manager Arsene Wenger as "so serene" and a man who could improve him and said Arsenal's British backbone of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were the key to success.
"We can achieve something big this season," he added.
(Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by Ken Ferris)