I think that Arsene Wenger must have been listening to the TV pundits and their opinion of Arsenal recently, especially what they were saying after the shock defeat to Southampton about one of the things that could stop us from winning the Premier League this season.
That old doubt about the Gunners lacking leaders raised it’s head again and we all know how the press love a bandwagon and a cliche so it was a big talking point for a couple of days. Maybe that is why the manager took the chance in his press conference reported by Arsenal.com to praise our German star Mesut Ozil and talk about how he has become a leader in the Arsenal side.
Wenger said, “I think he plays in a position that suits him well. He plays in a style of football that suits him well. He is, today, maybe more in a more comfortable psychological position because he’s accepted and not so much questioned than he was in the years before.
“This season he was not stopped by injuries and I believe that he arrives at an age – 27 – that you think ‘it’s time for me to really be efficient in every single game, and I want to enjoy every single game’.
“When he was injured for a long period he worked very hard physically. He is a complete athlete. I also believe he has grown in stature and takes responsibilities, leadership in the team and on that front he has improved tremendously and looks determined to lead the team compared to when he arrived.”
If you doubt the manager’s claim about Ozil’s leadership qualities, perhaps because of his relaxed looking style omn the pitch I would remind you that the German is one of our hardest working players and that he really steps up when we need him. with the pressure on after the Boxing day defeat Ozil came up with an amazingly influential game, creating a massive nine chances which is a Premier League record for the season.
So I agree that Ozil is now a leader in the Arsenal squad but who else does the job? Petr Cech obviously and I would say that Flamini does it well as does Coquelin when he is fit and maybe Per Mertesacker. Is that it and is it enough?