Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game against Aston Villa, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed his admiration for midfielder Mesut Ozil (via Arsenal.com). The German World Cup winner has been in sensational form for the Gunners this season, and the manager acknowledged that he had the skill to make ‘perfect’ plays.
Since joining the club in the 2013-14 season, Ozil has often come in for criticism from the media for being a lazy player, despite all the stats showing otherwise. Admittedly, he was not playing up to expectations, but has more than made up for that this season with 12 assists and 2 goals in the Premier League so far.
In his interview with Arsenal Player, the veteran manager revealed that Ozil was “like a musician” with his timing and it was a pleasure to see him play. Wenger said, “Mesut is like a musician who always plays the right note, and at the right moment. His timing is perfect – when he has to give the ball, he gives the ball.
“It’s just a pleasure to see. It struck me [on first seeing him] that he was at such a young age, but the boy could time his passing always right. He got out of impossible situations.
“Also what struck me was that it was not forced on an individual basis – the team play was in front of his ego. That strikes you because normally when players are that talented, that’s not the first quality you see.”
Ozil is remarkably selfless for a player of his stature, always preferring to play in his teammates rather than take the shot himself. However, in a team like Arsenal which relies on passing play, this is a very positive quality and has certainly benefited us greatly by allowing the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott to make runs behind the defence with the confidence that the ball will come to them. Now that Aaron Ramsey has shifted into a central role to assist Ozil, I feel that we will see even more impact from the German, and he may quickly add to his goal tally in the coming weeks.