Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has laughed off the criticism he receives in the press and says his desire to win games makes him "pissed and aggressive" on the pitch and even in training.
The German is often a target for criticism when Arsenal underperform, with his languid style leading some to question his attitude and work rate. Ozil believes nothing could be further from the truth than the suggestion he does not care, however.
He told Sky Sports (h/t Alex Young of the Evening Standard):
"I always have motivation, particularly before the games—I want to win all the games and I hate to lose, even in training I am pissed and aggressive because I always want to win.
"I am a very calm person, sometimes on the pitch I get very emotional if I make mistakes or give the ball away because I want to make everything perfect.
"The coach wants me to give everything on the pitch—which is what I do, but I still work hard to reach my aims."
When faced with criticism in the media, Ozil said "I just laugh. I don't listen to these people—I just listen to my coach and my people who say things straight to my face. So, of course, if I play bad, I know that just as I know when I play well."
The German donned the captain's armband and inspired a comeback against Leicester City on Monday with a goal and an assist.
Ozil equalised on the stroke of half-time after Hector Bellerin's own goal gave the Foxes an early lead at the Emirates Stadium. After the break, he supplied a defence-splitting pass to Bellerin for him to tee up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and he set up Aubameyang for the Gunners' third.
Sky Sports' Keith Downie was enamoured with the 30-year-old's play for Aubameyang's second goal, while the Mirror's John Cross praised Ozil's all-around performance:
Though Ozil has often come under scrutiny for his showings in Arsenal's most important games, there's little doubt he's a player of exceptional capabilities:
He sat on the bench during Thursday's UEFA Europa League clash with Sporting CP, but the Gunners were able to extend their winning run to 11 matches in all competitions.
That run will come to an end sooner or later, but as long as Ozil remains in good form, the Gunners will have a decent chance of taking three points every time they step on to the pitch.
If Ozil wants to silence his doubters, putting in a match-winning performance against the Reds would go a long way.