Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil’s technical quality helped his Arsenal teammates overcome early nerves as they beat Bournemouth 2-0 to temporarily take top spot in the Premier League.
The German midfielder registered his 16th assist of the season as Gabriel headed home his corner on 27 minutes and then sealed victory with a deft strike of his own midway through the second half.
Reflecting on a majestic performance, Wenger even went so far as to compare the 27-year-old with legendary Gunner, Dennis Bergkamp.
“Mesut was the focal point of our team because we had a new midfield today and he gives reassurance with his technical security and ability,” the manager told his post-game press conference.
“When we had problems in the first part of the game it went always through him and it gives you confidence and security.
“I have seen a few good games from Ozil but what is important is that he convinces everybody that he is not only a talented player but a player that is always willing to work for the team and work hard. He has added scoring goals to his assists and overall he is a complete player.”
He continued: “I have not seen many of that quality but I was quite lucky in my career. For me I don’t like to compare players and he is an exceptional player. I think you have to give me credit that I defended that point of view even when you were sceptical about it.
“What is very important is that he comes as good as he can be and he is on his way. Is there a lot left? I don’t know, but what he is doing at the moment is fantastic.
“Bergkamp was more of a goalscorer and Mesut was more of an assist [player] but now he becomes more of a goalscorer. They are really comparable.”
On what it is about Ozil’s game that makes him so enjoyable to watch, the boss added: “Remarkable technical quality. Something that I enjoy very much is the timing of his passes. It is never surprising. If you think in the stand he should give the ball now – it is now. By the time you have finished your thinking the ball has gone already.
“He is somebody whose song is always the right tone and that is something that is very difficult to achieve in the game because on the pitch the decisions you have to make are so quick and to get that always right is not easy.”