Thursday, February 9, 2023

Wenger: ‘Great’ Ozil showed he can fight

Arsene Wenger says that Mesut Ozil’s last two Arsenal performances – in which he’s bagged three assists and a goal – have been helped by his fitness levels and a willingness to do some of the work people don’t usually associate with him.

As well as his attacking contribution, the German has been much more involved when we don’t have the ball, and that’s played a part in our previous two home wins over Sp*rs and the 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield last night.

The manager acknowledged that the 28 year old has answered some questions, but insisted that he’s a player who has always put in a shift despite the perception from some misguided quarters that he’s lazy.

“I believe that if you come often to games nobody has to convince you that Ozil is a great player,” he said, “but he added something that people wanted to see from him as well, against Spurs and tonight, that he can fight and come back and win the ball back.

“Once people see that they are behind you, everybody knows in the stadium that he is a good football player and at the moment he shows that he can fight.

“I think that he always covered the distances in the game, but he is at an age where he is mature and he understands what is important, what is less important.”

Ozil has borne the brunt of criticism in the past, but Wenger defended his man and highlighted a key part of his game.

“I don’t agree with that because when you look at the percentage of possession during a game, no matter what the game is, he always wants the ball,” he said.

“He never hides and is never a guy who hides behind an opponent and doesn’t really want the ball. He is always available.

“But of course, when you play football you have other outfield players and when you are dominated you touch the ball less, but when we win the ball he always wants the ball.”

How did Ozil rate for you? Leave a rating on our player ratings for last night.

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H18ury

Sign him up. Give him whatever he wants.

IamaGoober

The guy is a Rolls Royce, just such a slick customer on the ball.

I’ll be so gutted when he goes.

ronaldo

lmao

ronaldo

lol, he wants to go, that’s what he wants

IamaGoober

Yeah – that’s clearly the case. We are never ever going to be able to beat the amount of money he would earn from signing on a free at another club come the summer, a salary increase at this point would look hilariously small in comparison.

Personally I am just trying my hardest to enjoy his performances up until his departure.

Ben Constable

It’s such an easy criticism to throw at Mesut, and I’m glad he’s shut a few people up with his latest performances. Hopefully we can keep this home momentum going for Utd on Saturday. COYG!!

BromleyGooner

As great of a footballer as he is, it’s an easy criticism to throw at him because for a lot of games it has been the truth that he has not shown any fight. In the last week games he has been fantastic, also in terms of fight but proving he can do it when he wants doesn’t somehow prove he can and has always done it. I don’t know whether the problem is he hasn’t been bothered about it, because Wenger hasn’t pushed him enough or whether he is only doing it as he is on the shop window… Read more »

Nketibag

Let’s be perfectly honest here. Mesut Ozil’s greatest Arsenal performances to date have come against the likes of Huddersfield and Ludogoretz.
I love the guy and think he’s a brilliant footballer, but I could list dozens of disappearing acts that he has performed over real competition in the last three years. Bayern, Barcelona, Monaco and the majority of top 6 away games spring to mind.
Now with a solid enough base behind, I just hope there is more to come from him before it’s too late.

Dan

To be fair the whole team went missing in those games, not just ozil

adgonner

That’s where big players are different

Welbeck\'s hi top fade

What about his goal and assist when we smacked United 3-0?

adgonner

That’s what. That was the 3rd goal.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

No, that was at home. Can anybody please remind me of a dominant, game-changing performance he has put in against a top team away? I’m struggling.

adgonner

There’s not one

Goonerink

He also destroyed the strongest spurs side in 60 years, literally.

ronaldo

it wasn,t spurs strongest side, rose was on the bench, and ali and kane were injured, so I wouldn,t read to much into that game, plus they just got beat by Leicester aswell.

Why+Not

And shutting up tottenham. in beating bayern a couple of times. Awesome player. End of story.

adgonner

Beating bayern in games that bayern could afford to lose

adgonner

Spot on

Midgunner

Ja Gunners Ja!

I think its a bit of misconception that he disappears in big games, or only turns up against lowly opposition. I feel its more that he plays well when those around him are not so shite…

adgonner

That’s how big players are different? Or you mean he is not a big player?

Zyrth

You don’t see big players winning games all on their own now, when they are surrounded by feckless dross.
He can’t do much when he doesn’t have runners, or when we have a poor midfield base to support him, and when our attack is so terribly dysfunc. Can’t blame him since he’s not a dribbly type of attacking forward.

ronaldo

lol he can fight alright, he,s fighting to get away to spain , france, or united anywhere but here, he is putting himself in the January window.

love+song+for+Song

I know how many feel about Ronaldo but you my friend bring shit to his name and that says a lot

Zyrth

Many a times, when we see a “hardcore” Ronaldo or Messi fan, we know how much they understand about football.

adgonner

I am almost sure that he will go disappearing on Saturday

Mutters

I wonder how much is down to Arsene’s man-management? We all know the genius that Özil is capable of but Wenger has dropped him in the scrappy games for Iwobi to favour work rate.

Seems Mesut has noticed this and has decided it is time to put a shift in doing the dirty work as well? Whatever the reason for it he’s come on a long way physically from his Madrid days and I think it’s testament to his attitude and professionalism.

adgonner

What long way man.. he has had just 4 good games and that too none of them away to the big sides.. Ozil is absolute beauty to watch but can’t win you titles! Flat track bully!

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