Arsene Wenger feels Mesut Ozil is rejuvenated after his brief break and expects he will respond to recent criticism after a difficult period in an Arsenal shirt.
The Gunners summer record signing was rested for the weekend’s win over Sunderland after an unconvincing display against Bayern Munich that saw him ridiculed for his penalty miss and lack of influence in another big game.
Wenger believes it’s not just the playmaker’s responsibility to win games, but the side as a whole. The Arsenal boss is certain the Germany international will come right and deal with the immense pressure on his shoulders – something he is adjusting to.
I never tell Mesut: ‘You have to win us the game’.
He shouldn’t do that. It’s down to the performance of the team. But maybe he feels that a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well.
It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition.
But he will adapt. He had a difficult game [against Bayern] because he missed that penalty and it was on his mind. Sometimes, when you are under this kind of pressure, it’s good to refresh.
The former Real Madrid star has struggled to make a statistical impact since the turn of the year, contributing just one assist and no goals in the Premier League, but it’s his initial movement and ball distribution that creates openings others can not.
Ozil demonstrated his brilliance against Liverpool influencing both goals heavily, and despite the blip against Bayern, Wenger is confident we will see the midfielder return to his best if he gets full support from the north London faithful.
I don’t worry about Özil. He has gone a little bit through a difficult time. It can happen to anybody.
He looks all right. He loves to play. You give him a ball and he’s happy. That’s the most important thing. And he has the quality. You always have to be behind your players. The best way is to show him support.
The Gunners have a horrific run of fixtures on the horizon so we need all of our star players in flying form. Stoke City this weekend offers the perfect opportunity for Mesut to regain some confidence and develop some momentum on the pitch.
We need a big game from Ozil.