'Arsenal is my family' – Ozil thankful for team-mates' support

The German playmaker, who has been criticised throughout the new campaign, has lauded the egalitarianism promoted by Arsene Wenger and says he feels “at home” in north London

Mesut Ozil has dismissed critics of his recent displays and says he is very happy at Arsenal and thankful for the support of his team-mates.

The Germany international had come under fire prior to his strike at Aston Villa on Saturday, with numerous fans and pundits critical of his performances and lethargic body language.

But the former Real Madrid star believes it is impossible to gauge a player’s character by their attitude on the pitch and is enjoying the supportive and homely environment at Arsenal.

“You can’t forget that people don’t know you away from football,” the World Cup winner told the club’s official website.

“You can’t really see what a person is really like when they are on the pitch. Sometimes a player will come across as arrogant and another as being a nice guy when in reality it could be the other way round.

“At the club you always have to be respectful towards one another. It doesn’t matter if one player is a world star and the other is a newcomer. Everyone should be treated in the same way and that’s why I’m so happy at Arsenal, because that’s really the case here.

“Everyone is treated the same way and has respect for one another. That’s a big help on the route to reaching your targets – when you’re like a family who make each other feel welcome and at home. That’s how it is here.”

The 25-year-old registered both his first goal and his first assist of the season at Villa Park, opening the scoring before later setting up Danny Welbeck as the Gunners eased to a 3-0 victory.

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