Wenger: Ozil is a hard worker

The pundit suggested the 26-year-old lacked motivation, but the Arsenal boss says the Man Utd legend would have thrived in the same side as the deceptively hard-working German

Arsene Wenger has leapt to the defence of Mesut Ozil after he was criticised by Paul Scholes, insisting he is a hard worker and that the former Manchester United midfielder would have loved playing with the German.

Arsenal’s record signing was described as “going through the motions” by Scholes, suggesting the World Cup winner lacked the motivation to win a league title.

But Wenger has backed Ozil, insisting his languid style disguises how hard he works, and believes the former England international would be full of praise had he played in the same side as the former Real Madrid playmaker.

“It is not fair,” said Wenger when asked about the remarks at his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with United at Old Trafford.

“A player like Paul Scholes would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil.”

The Frenchman continued: “He has the quality and he works a lot harder than his style of play shows.

“We are in a job where you have to prove a point, he knows that. He works much harder that his style shows.”

Wenger takes his side to Old Trafford on Monday night looking for a first win away to United since 2006, but he is desperate to end that hoodoo in their bid to retain the FA Cup.

“I don’t believe too much in history,” added the Frenchman. “At the moment we are doing very well away from home so it’s down to our effort.

“We are confident. We go to Manchester United to qualify and give absolutely everything with hard work and team effort.

“We are the holders of the FA Cup and we want to keep it. The cup is about giving it all on the day and we’ll do that on Monday.”

Wenger also confirmed that Wojciech Szczesny will start against the Red Devils provided he can shake off illness in time, while January signing Gabriel is sidelined for three weeks and Nacho Monreal faces a late fitness test.

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