Ian Wright says that the criticism levelled at Mesut Ozil “annoys” him, as he launches a defence of the Arsenal player.
Ozil came in for considerable criticism last weekend after featuring for the Gunners in their defeat to Stoke.
Steven Gerrard and Martin Keown were particularly scathing in their judgement, with the former notably critical.
“He’s left me frustrated,” said Gerrard. “We’ve seen him on his day when he fancies doing both sides of the game he is a world-class talent.
“I just worry about his reaction and body language – when the ball is turned over he offers his team-mates zero. Away from home he’s a liability – he just doesn’t do enough.
“It’s clear to see that out of possession he doesn’t want to know – he only wants to be on the ball, trying to create and making things happen.
“But world class players do both – when they lose possession they put a shift in for their team-mates and it was clear that didn’t happen.”
Wright issued a response to the criticism on Sky Sports’ The Debate show on Monday.
When asked if he understood the frustrations centering around Ozil, Wright replied: “What, the one that’s already created 10 chances for his teammates when he’s supposed to be having a nightmare? Because he looks frustrated when he loses the ball or something happens?
“If I’m Arsene Wenger, I’m saying ‘When he gets the ball, I just want you to back him up, and if he loses it you get it back and give it back to him to let him get on with it again.
“Because some players you have to give them the licence to do that. The stick he gets, it really annoys me, it jars me.
“I believe he [Ozil] is somebody who should have even more licence to do what he wants. He’s a creative player, he’s not going to start running back and tackling people. They can utilise him better.”