Mesut Ozil has called on his critics to "stop talking and start supporting" after a number of former Arsenal players predicted the club would struggle this season.
Title-winning defenders Tony Adams and Martin Keown are among the Arsenal greats to have taken aim at Ozil following the club's failure to mount a Premier League title challenge in 2016-17, and the club's former midfielder Emmanuel Petit said the German should be sold following his performance in a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.
In a social media post to celebrate his four-year anniversary as an Arsenal player, Ozil hit back at those who have promoted the idea of a crisis at the club in recent weeks, pointing to the fact that he has won three FA Cups and three Charity Shields during his spell at the Emirates.
"During the last couple of days my DFB team-mates have been asking me about how everything is at Arsenal at the moment," said Ozil, who is on international duty with Germany and played in a 2-1 win over Czech Republic on Friday.
-- Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) September 2, 2017
"They claimed to have read about the current crisis through the media, as pundits and former players are commenting on a daily basis. They say that this could be the worst team in years, even decades.
"Six titles in four years is quite something. However, this only makes myself and the team even more disappointed for not playing a role in the title race at the end of last season - this is something we hope to change this year.
"Personally I've had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London.'Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight' - this is what people have said about me. Some of those comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players - both successful and unsuccessful during their time at the club.
"Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends - my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!"
Ozil stopped short of committing his future to the club, but thanked fans for their support and insisted he was optimistic about the season ahead.
He said: "Even though I personally do not know how my career will continue after this year, I look forward to my fifth season with Arsenal. This is because Arsenal is a great club with great people and great traditions.
"I am glad to be able to wear your shirt, Gooners. I've had so many great moments in the last four years and I really appreciate what this club means to the people of London, the UK, and all over the world."