Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has tipped Mesut Ozil to be one of the great players of the upcoming season. The Frenchman went as far as saying that the languid German could potentially be crowned Player of the Year.
Arsenal FC face Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea FC later today in this season’s curtain raiser – the FA Community Shield at the Wembley Arena. Ozil has not yet reached the heights expected of him since his club record move from Real Madrid in 2013. The World Cup winning German international registered just four goals and five assists in the Premier League last season.
“He can be one of the great players of 2015/16” – Wenger on Ozil
Arsene Wenger has backed Ozil to play a central role in the Gunners’ quest to win their first league title in 11 years, having last won it in the famous ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/04. Wenger also expects Ozil to improve on his goal-scoring, with the 26-year-old having a reputation of being goal shy.
a He shows more authority to dictate the game than before. In the second part of last season we saw the intelligence of his passing, the fact that he added some steel to his game, which was needed, and Ia m confident that he can be one of the great players of 2015/16. He can become player of the year.
a You can see that people have turned in favour of him recently and he is starting to enjoy his game. He plays in the heart of the game, and these kinds of players have an importance and can be efficient in helping us score goals.
The Frenchman has set a target of 10 goals for this season from Ozil. With a lack of World Class striker’s in the market, the 65-year-old wants his mid-fielders and attackers to chip in with more goals this season.
a I also want more goals from him because he plays in a position [high up the pitch] and hea s a good finisher. He doesna t take enough chances when hea s in a position where he can finish. Hea s conscious of it and he wants to do it now.
a His main aspect will always be the intelligence of his passing and his creativity, but he gets into positions where he can finish better and we want 10 goals per season from him.a
Wenger feels that after being involved in the club’s pre-season tour for the first time following his move two years ago, the German can expect to have a stand out season for Arsenal FC.
a He joined very late [in 2013] without any preparation with the team,a the manager said. a In 2014 he came back exhausted after the World Cup, he got injured for four months and in the second part of the season he really started to adapt. This is the test and a very important season for him.
a He looks happy,a added Wenger. a London transforms people. At the start when people come from the south they feel a bit of a shock because of the climate, the city is bigger. After a while, London slowly gets people under the charm of the city and Ia ve seen that many times. .
Wenger also cited the example of former ‘Invincible’ Robert Pires, who struggled initially to adapt to the Premier League but took the English game by storm once he had settled.
a The Premier League is sometimes a shock for the players because they think, a Oh whata s happening herea . I remember when Pires arrived and in the first year I put him next to me at Sunderland. I said, a You will sit next to me today and watch the gamea . After 20 minutes he said, a Is it always like that?a and then he adapted.a
Wenger correct in predicting huge year ahead for Mesut Ozil?
Mesut Ozil’s arrival at the Emirates has coincided with the Gunners’ back-to-back FA Cup triumphs. However, the German has had a slow start to life in England. With a full pre-season under his belt, Wenger is probably correct in predicting a huge season ahead for the flamboyant midfielder.
If the German manages to keep himself fit, there’s no reason why he cannot compete for this season’s Player of the Year. The Community Shield match against Chelsea FC could be one such occasion for the 26-year-old to make his mark and help Wenger claim his first victory over Mourinho.