With his all action performance at Old Trafford in the FA cup, the Arsenal and Germany star Mesut Özil even made the former Man United midfielder Paul Scholes eat his words. The pundit’s recent criticism of our club record signing was, for me, based more on his price tag and the performances of the playmaker in the early part of this season and the second half of the last one.
Because since returning to the Arsenal team in January after months out with a knee injury, Özil has been much more effective for the Gunners, whether in the middle or playing as a wide forward. A Daily Star report reveals the secret of this success, according to the player, and it appears that his injury may have been a blessing in disguise.
The 26-year old used his time on the sidelines well, working hard in the gym to increase his upper body strength and make himself more able to stand up to the very physical type of football that the Premier League is famous for. Özil was obviously aware that he was not affecting games as he should have been and so he was determined to put that right.
He said, “I wanted to be as fit as possible when I returned after my injury. I worked on my upper body as well as paying attention to my nutrition.
“I underwent treatment to get myself fit as soon as possible and to prevent the injury from returning. I’m on a good path now.
“I worked really hard and I think it shows in training and in matches that I’m fresher. I’m really happy to be back on the pitch and able to do what I most love.”
Three goals and four assists since his comeback is not a bad return at all, even though it should and could have been more, but it is not the whole story by any means. Ozil’s fitness, strength and hard work, combined with his vision and technical ability, are the cement that have been holding together the Arsenal team and making us such a hard team to play against.
Now help us get through to the next Champions League stage, Mesut, and all will be forgiven.