After a magnificent win over Everton at Goodison Park today, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger singled out Germany international Mesut Ozil for praise. Ozil, who’s been heavily linked with a move away to bitter rivals Manchester United by the media in recent times, took home the Man of the Match award after impressing against the Toffees. Wenger pointed out that Ozil’s superb performance proves that he is back to his best after recovering from a knee injury.
The midfielder has been the subject of intense criticism by both fans and pundits alike, but Wenger continued to defend the former Real Madrid star, nonetheless. Today, Wenger argued that Ozil has been struggling to regain full fitness and was therefore unable to perform at his best.
“If you’re not 100 percent at your best, no matter how good you are, you are at a handicap,” said the 68-year-old manager.
Since arriving at Arsenal back in 2013, Ozil has shown glimpses of brilliance but fans have often grown frustrated at his inconsistency and dips in form. Unlike his teammate Alexis Sanchez, the German midfielder is also accused of lacking fighting spirit when the going gets tough and allegedly has a tendency to disappear during big matches. However, after Arsenal’s 5-to-2 victory at Goodison Park today, Wenger claimed that “nobody can question [Ozil’s] class or the quality of his game,” as long as he remained physically fit.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Frenchman emphasized how Ozil’s dedication and hard work have paid off in today’s match against Everton, where he scored a headed goal and assisted the Gunners’ record signing Alexandre Lacazette, who now has 5 goals to his name in the Premier League. Wenger was especially pleased about the German’s ability to serve the team.
“He was superb. Agile, quick, intelligent – always at the service of the team with the quality of his passing.”
The long-serving manager also heaped praise on Sanchez for his role in today’s win, saying that the Chile international “was on fire.” Sanchez, of course, scored a late goal after previously failing to put the ball into the net from a nigh-perfect pass from Ozil. In fact, this match marked the first time Sanchez, Ozil, and Lacazette started alongside each other for Arsenal. Arsenal fans have long been crying out to see the trio play together, and they did not disappoint with all three of them scoring one goal respectively. Arsenal now sits fifth in the Premier League and will face off against Swansea City on Saturday, October 28.
[Featured Image by Gareth Copley/Getty Images]