Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil believes that he has always been an easy target for criticism, since his early days in Germany.

Speaking to the German news agency DPA, the World Cup winner stated that he has ‘nothing to prove’ in regards to his critics.

Ozil faced some questions during his first season with Arsenal and has recently been the focus of heavy criticism from football pundits following lackluster performances at the beginning of the Gunners’ 2014-15 Premier League campaign.

The 25-year-old answered some of the questions surrounding his body language and overall play by turning in a solid performance this weekend at Villa Park. Arsenal defeated third-place Aston Villa 3-0, with Ozil utilized in a more central role. The result ended with the player scoring once and creating the London club’s second goal for Danny Welbeck.

“I don’t play to prove anything to anybody, I play for Arsenal,” Ozil told DPA.

“I have the feeling that I am criticized more, that happened to me in the Bundesliga and also at Real Madrid.”

“We have only just started the season (at Arsenal), we have new players in key positions.”

“The collective game, which is something I have a lot to do with, cannot just then work well from one day to the next.”

Ozil then went on to remind the interviewer that he had been selected to the Premier League team of the season last year by an internet poll on the league’s official website.

“I was world champions then. It was the summer break and after a few games (of the new season) everything is called into question again. This is strange, but I know what I can offer.”

It is expected that Ozil and a number of first-team players are going to be rested by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for their Capital One Cup tie against Southampton at the Emirates on Tuesday. The Gunners are likely to send out a much different side for the League Cup, as they should have one eye on next weekend’s North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.