Was it REALLY just a fitness issue for Ozil at Arsenal?

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?

Tags Aston Villa Germany Wenger


  1. RK1339 says:

    We are weak in the center. #FACT

    Proven today.

    But eish…Alexis’ goal..

    Can’t wait for Walcott and Alexis to play together..

  2. Matt says:

    Got home from the game about an hour or so ago, purely because the trains were delayed and what not, nearly got my head kicked in by the Southampton lot on the way back too and this is after seeing us loose 2-1 at home to a lesser team than us and then I just read that Stan Kroenke has taken 3 million quid out the club which coincidently is part of the 3% rise of season ticket prices… Not been my night really. Oh well, I’ll be at the a Emirates on Saturday to see us destroy the Spuds, come on you gunners!

  3. pubgooner says:

    OT: Wenger knows all!
    All along it was AW’s plan to lose and go out of this Mickey Mouse cup. The team is not fatigued. He is out to get the real deal “the EPL trophy”. So no worries..
    Wenger knows all!

    1. Darwin says:

      are you being sarcastic? I felt like it. anyways, even last year I said it, a cup is a cup.

  4. Greg says:

    It was more of a case of being played out of position, and a case of being out of form! Im hoping this is a sign of great things to come, and mesut ozil can go from strength to strength and recapture his true form! Coyg!

  5. CraigZWE says:

    I am not glad we out of cup, it gave other players game time.
    You can’t do that in any other competition.

    1. Darwin says:

      Yes, I also share the same sentiment. We can hardly play any new formations/tactics/players in CL & PL, this tournament would have provided that, atleast for a few rounds if not in quarters, semis etc. COC is not the higher than PL & FA, however a cup is a cup regardless. also sometimes momentum from cups helps in leagues also.

      on the positive side less games means less opportunity to expose our squad depth in certain areas and greater preparation time for other games.

      1. Incarnate says:

        Or maybe the squad players will put in more of an effort in training since they have no tournament of their own, they’ll actually fight for their place and not rely on the Capital One cup to get games

  6. CraigZWE says:

    chambers Mert Kos Gibbs
    Diaby Ramsey
    Walcott Ozil Sanchez

    Subs jack Santi Ox

    That’s our best team when Theo returns

  7. g00ner4lyf says:

    I kind of felt like Ozil couldn’t be bothered recently.

    After the greats publicly slated him after the Dortmund game thats when i felt he got the kick up the arse that he needed.

  8. Greg says:

    Gotta give credit though to alexis sanchez, despite the loss today, the guy is a fighter to the end! This is the attitude and character that i would love to see, in all our players! As for his goal today absolute “top draw”! Coyg!

    1. almostawinner says:

      did u see sanchez pushing pod on asking him to run faster and join the attack?
      sad to see pod falling out of it so much.
      i used to like pod: v.sad.

  9. henry12 says:

    Honestly we looked extremely week today. It just shows how much we needed Welbeck. Just with him and Ozil playing in the center we looked so much stronger. Sanchez, Walcott, Podolski, Campbell cannot play striker by thereself. If we want to play them as striker we must play in a 4 4 2 formation. Rosicky also looked poor but that could just be because its his first game, same with Campbell. Diaby looked good but he is no where near the fitness level of playing 90 minutes a week, and I’m not sure if he’ll ever be. Clearly the back line was flawed today but who could blame them? Coquelin at left back? I thought that guy was a CDM. Chambers and Hayden are too inexperienced to go toghether, they need either Kosc or Merts to help them. Bellerin looks good, but again no where near ready for the first team.

    Was anybody else unbelievably impressed by Schneiderlin today?! This guy is AWESOME. I HOPE Wenger was just as impressed as I was, cause damn this mans got talent.

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:


      the same was said to Mvilla, Sissoko, Capoue, Tiote, Mbigwa, Diame etc….

    2. almostawinner says:

      diaby looked better than flam and ramsey.
      i hope he gets fitter and comes to the first team.

    3. captinweestain says:

      The back 4 looked ok, it ws against an Inform Southampton who want this cup more than us.

  10. Free Gaza says:

    Dear life, I know you’re a sadistic moron and you have people’s happiness for breakfast. I know you play gulf on the weekends with Hitler. I know you sit across the table from Sadam and play chess but, can you take a chill and stop crapping over Diaby’s career.

    Here is hoping Diaby never gets injured AGAIN!
    Free Gaza and COYG!!!

  11. davidnz says:

    Two factors cost us the game v Sotn.
    Ozil and Giroud. Both were invisible.
    Giroud did not score and Ozil
    just never got involved. Its time to get tough.
    Ozil and Giroud out. Bendtner played well though.

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:

      the mighty Lord Bendtner!!!!!

    2. Darwin says:

      @davidnz.. haha.. enough mate. cant handle too much of sarcasm a day… 😀

  12. captinweestain says:

    Ozil tired my ass, it was just a lack of confidence, and playing on the left flank.
    It was said he like a little puppy, he wants to be loved.
    So Gooners get behind him, and Wenger play him through the middle.

    And davidnz i know you love you’re satire humour but that badge takes the pi$$, not having that mate. BAN HIM BAN HIM BAN HIM 😉

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