Interview

Ozil - The players who taught me about the derby

Mesut Ozil knows all about the unique nature of the north London derby.

Our playmaker played a starring role when Tottenham visited Emirates Stadium last season, as we secured 2-0 victory over our rivals.
 
Now, just over 12 months on he's looking for more of the same - but Ozil can still remember who first stressed the importance of this fixture following his arrival at the club in 2013.

"It was the German guys, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, who really told me about it in my first year," Ozil told the official matchday programme. "Before I signed, I didn’t realise how big the derby was. But I remember the  first time I played against them, you could sense the feeling in the days before the game.
 
"You’re not nervous about it, but you’re really excited, especially when the game is at the Emirates. Lukas and Per helped me a lot.
 
"Derbies are always special. You’ll have loads of friends and family wanting to come and watch it. As a player, you’re excited.
 
"It’s our job on the pitch to give everything to be successful, but as a player, these are the games you really get excited for. It’s always a tough game against Tottenham.
 
"They give everything against us, as we do against them. They have a good team, with good players, but the fans want us to be successful against them and we are determined to do that. If we do what the coach says, we can win today."