Mesut Ozil has once again shown himself to be a man who doesn’t pay too much attention to criticism, at club and international level.
The German was voted Arsenal’s player of the season for 2015/16, and speaking in a lengthy interview with L’Equipe (translated by Get French Football News here) said that doubts about his ability to adjust to English football made him redouble his efforts.
“I never doubted my ability to succeed in the Premier League,” he said. “The critics and the difficult moments pushed me to work harder. I think that I have shown the world. I have learnt to accept that sometimes you have low points.
“When I play less well, I remain calm, whilst working two times harder in training. Through perseverance, I became better.”
It tallied with criticism he received during Germany’s World Cup win of 2014, again something which didn’t cause him sleepless nights.
” I have nothing to prove to anyone. At the World Cup, I put myself at the service of the team. I played in a position that was not my own. As a playmaker I am more at ease in the centre behind the attackers.”
And on being played out of position, he simply accepted his job in the team.
“It is not in my character to do that. It was the World Cup, not the Mesut Özil Cup. I accepted the decision and did not regret it for one second.”
Having previously touched on dietary adjustments, he again laud out what he’d changed.
“I changed my body language,” he said. “Before, after each missed opportunity or imprecise pass, I let my shoulders drop and I would moan.
“Now, I keep my head up and I try to make up for my error as soon as possible. After training, I go to the gym. I also go into the freezing baths in order to have a better blood circulation.
“Before I drank fizzy drinks and I was not drinking enough water. Now, I drink enormous amounts of water and green tea. In terms of nutrition, I have stopped eating bread.
“As a result, I feel much better in terms of my body and muscle injuries are much rarer. I will continue to be disciplined and rigorous. There is no secret.”
And in general, he sounds happy with his life at Arsenal and in England, despite saying the Gunners lost concentration too often last season.
“On the pitch, I am always enjoying myself,” he said. “I am lucky to play in the best league in the world and to be a certain starter at one of the best English clubs. In the Premier League, my enjoyment is very high.”