A happy, healthy and calm Mesut Ozil says he’s looking forward to a new season at Arsenal after a roller coaster 12 months that looked like it could lead to him departing the club.
Recently married, peroxide blond and on good terms with coach Unai Emery, the German insists he has everything he needs to help the Gunners get back on track after a disappointing end to last season.
When Ozil was hauled off in favour of teenager Joe Willock in the Europa League final, Emery appeared to be making a clear statement about the status of the club’s highest earner, but since then, they’ve held clear the air talks.
“What we spoke about, between me and the coach, I can’t tell you because if I say something now to you, in the future he does not want to speak to me again, so I have to take care of that,” Ozil told journalists on the US tour.
“We are speaking a lot and he wants to help me and I know what I can do on the pitch. I want to help the team and I think it will be going well this season, for me and the team.”
He added: “I have had a lot of coaches in my career so of course every coach is different and wants something different from you as a player.
“I had a few injuries before the season started last year so of course I had a tough time. But at the end of the day, especially the end of the season, I played a lot of games. I have a really good relationship with the coach so we are speaking a lot. He wants to help me and I want to help the team.”
In a separate interview with Arsenal.com, he also explained how off-the-pitch tranquility is having a knock-on effect.
“Outside the pitch, you have to be happy,” he said.
“If you find the right person, which is what I did, you’re more calm in your life. I think it helps a lot in your job as well.
“I am really happy, I am healthy, and I got married so I am calm. You want always to win a title so we are working hard and let’s see what happens.”
Ozil’s £350,000 a week wages were always going to be prohibitive when looking for a potential buyer and it’s never really looked like he might leave. As a senior member of the squad – he’s even one of our captains – it’s important we try and get the best from him. So to hear Unai Emery speak positively about the German’s attitude is very welcome.
“I spoke with him last week, at the beginning of pre-season, and wanted to get his best performance,” Emery told the Telegraph.
“The way to achieve that is with daily commitment. Really, he is working very well and I am very positive about his commitment. He has a high, high commitment today. He is one of the captains of the team, with Granit Xhaka and Nacho Monreal. I am looking forward to seeing the best Mesut Ozil this season.”
Here’s hoping the happy vibes can continue into the start of the season and beyond.