Gunners legend wants the player to enjoy his football
Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for a reported fee of £42.5 million, signing a five-year deal in 2013. He has been a mainstay in the midfield since joining the club and has won 3 FA Cups.
The German International featured regularly for the Gunners last season, scoring 4 goals and providing 8 assists in 26 Premier League appearances. However, the club finished 6th in the league and will miss the Champions League in the upcoming season.
The 29 year old has had a difficult summer after feeling persecuted for Germany’s early exit from the World Cup where his meeting with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cited as a reason for the poor performances.
He even decided to retire from International football and was criticized by several senior officials in the German Football Association.
Arsenal Legend Martin Keown has backed Ozil to recapture his form under club’s new manager Unai Emery and wants the playmaker to enjoy his football again.
“I am hoping that now he is not playing international football that it can benefit Arsenal,” Keown told Goal in an exclusive interview. “They can get him back focused completely and Emery is the manager to do that.
“There’s messages coming out that he came back early to training and that’s the right attitude.
“It looks as if he is enjoying his football more. It looks as if the fun had gone out of his game, he needs to get back to enjoying it. Enjoying creating those opportunities. I think he can do it again. I know he is a quality player. What’s in question sometimes is his commitment.
“Is that a body language thing? Is that just him himself? Only he will know that, but he has still got a lot to prove and I hope he comes through in the Arsenal shirt.
“He won’t play for Germany again so it seems, but when he plays for Arsenal, let’s see the performances that we know are there.
“We will have to wait and see what the player wants. You always have to keep re-achieving, you are always on trial. Yes, of course, what you achieve is what you are judged on. You are only as good as your last game really. He needs to set the example.
“He is a senior figure there and there is no doubt that Emery is going to give him the reins. Let’s see how the performances come. He needs to start well and he is in the position to control games.”