Press conference

‘Ozil is a great player… and he can fight’

Mesut Ozil claimed a goal and two assists in our 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Wednesday evening.

Arsène Wenger was asked about our Germany playmaker’s performance after the match and had this to say:

on why Mesut Ozil is in such good form…
The fact that he is fit, the fact I believe that you come often to games nobody has to convince you that Ozil is a great player, 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.

on why Ozil is fighting more…
Our job is to encourage people to fight of course, but 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.

on whether Ozil is affected by criticism…
I don’t know, you should ask him that. I think everybody wants to be acknowledged for their quality and the judgements are sometimes harsh in a footballers job, but overall I believe the majority of people love him and always loved him.

on the criticism of Ozil needing to be brought into a 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 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.

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