Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Philipp Lahm says Mesut Ozil can 'punish' Bayern, despite critics rounding on the Arsenal playmaker
The £42.5m signing from Real Madrid will take his place in the starting line-up for the Gunners in tonight's Champions League last-16 first leg
After making a stunning start to his Arsenal career, Mesut Ozil has gone somewhat off the boil and the critics have been quick to point out the German's failings.
BT Sport pundit Michael Owen said the £42.5m signing from Real Madrid is "inconsistent", former Germany international Markus Babbel says he needs to bulk up while Match of the Day's Alan Shearer says he needs to start "earning" his money at the Emirates.
Piers Morgan, never shy of voicing an opinion, has also been among those to stick the boot in. "Hey @MesutOzil1088 - you're a fantastic player. But show us your HEART too. That's what we want to see," he tweeted earlier this month.
However, for all the criticism, Bayern Munich are wary of the threat Ozil could pose in tonight's match.
Read more: Arsenal v Bayern Munich match preview
Ozil can punish Bayern - Lahm
10 most dangerous Bayern Munich players
Clean sheet top priority for Wenger
Arsenal have learned from last season's exit - Wilshere
Podolski is lazy and Ozil needs to bulk up
Arsenal lacked belief last season - Wenger
Lehmann offers £2,000 reward for missing bag
Ramsey given green light to step up recovery
Mertesacker labels Bayern 'untouchable'
Wenger faces selection dilemma
Bayern a bigger deal than Mourinho
The captain of the German champions, who knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League at this stage of the competition last season, says Ozil is a "very intelligent player" and went on to sing his praises.
"Many of the players at Bayern know exactly what Mesut is capable of - he has been one of the best central midfield players in the world for many years now," Lahm told goal.com.
Even if Ozil's recent problems continue in tonight's game, the Germany international is still capable of turning a game says Lahm.
"Even when he is maybe not having the best of games or is not in the best form - you can't give him any space or time on the ball - because in a second he can find that pass and you are punished."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea 2015/16 shirt: Home, away and third kits leaked again
Wojciech Szczesny was 'lied to' by Arsene Wenger over future after £11m transfer of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech
England vs Japan - Women's World Cup semi-final: what time does it start and what channel is it on?
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez nears exit as Liverpool eye move for forward despite revealing Real Madrid video
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
- 5 Mystery sea creature - with 'fur' and 'a beak' - washes up on remote Russian beach, baffling scientists
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture