A large part of the talk among Arsenal fans and in the football media concerning the Gunners this week is the return to form of the club record signing Mesut Ozil. That is only fair really, after the Germany international was the focus of all the attention while he was struggling for form.
Many people have had their say as to why we finally saw the Ozil that helped his country to win the World Cup and was such a mainstay of the Real Madrid side under Jose Mourinho, with many focusing on him being moved back into the niddle by Arsene Wenger.
Ozil himself suggested to Arsenal Player that the great support from the travelling fans at Villa Park played a part. And that was something the boss had called for in midweek, but that is a two-way street and if Ozil was playing badly he would not have got that rousing support. Wenger was quoted in an ESPN report suggesting that it was really just a matter of time for us to see Ozil improve. He has seemed short of fitness so far this season and the manager blamed that on the World Cup.
Wenger said, “”People forget that he played the World Cup and only came back on August 11 and it takes some time to come back mentally and physically to your best.
“The game at Dortmund [in the Champions League] can happen to anybody. We had a tough, tough game against Man City on the Saturday, and Tuesday was very short preparation time.
“Everything is analysed today, you had Ozil, you had Yaya Toure, and straight away everyone questions them. But both of them showed on Saturday and Sunday that they are great players.
“I believe as well it is a fact that confidence is a vital factor for everybody, but also the drive you bring into the game. If a ball comes out quickly and well from the back, he is always the one who can deliver a quality pass. His quality depends on how well we feed from the back.”
If you look at the playmaker’s stats and heat map in the Daily Mail it is clear that playing in the middle did not mean he had less work to do either. In fact it shows a fit player getting involved all the way across the pitch and this certainly supports what Wenger has been saying. So was it just a matter of fitness?