Friday 26 December 2014

Ozil: I'm one of world's best

Published 30/08/2014 | 07:16

Mesut Ozil is confident of proving his worth to Arsenal
Mesut Ozil is confident of proving his worth to Arsenal

Mesut Ozil believes criticism of his Arsenal performances stems from high expectations borne out of being "one of the best number 10s in the world".

The Germany international struggled to live up to his £42million transfer fee after joining the Gunners from Real Madrid last season, though he did end the campaign as an FA Cup winner.

That Wembley win over Hull was followed by World Cup success with his country this summer but still questions persist over whether he can impose himself in the Barclays Premier League.

Ozil, though, told the Daily Telegraph: "The opinions of fans are important to me and I'm happy they have such high expectations of me. I have high expectations of myself.

"I'm one of the best players in the world in that number 10 position. Fans, coaches, players and everyone knows that my best position is playmaker. It's different playing on the left.

"When I was in Madrid, I often played on the right. I enjoyed that because I'm left-footed and I was able to cut inside to give assists and get shots on target. On the left, it's more difficult."

Manager Arsene Wenger defended the 25-year-old on Friday, likening him to a virtuoso musician and suggesting Ozil's lack of aggression and defensive ability fuels a perception of him as 'lightweight'.

Wenger said: "People are very harsh on Ozil because he's a player who is easy with his play.

"When you watch his game back the next day you think 'what a player'. Everything he does is intelligent and the timing of absolutely everything he does is absolutely perfect.

"He's like a guy who plays music with perfect timing. There aren't many players like that."

Ozil is grateful for the Frenchman's support.

He said: "The whole club can be proud to have such a fantastic manager with so much experience, playing with style and doing so many great things for 18 years here.

"The boss has always blooded youngsters, and helped make them into some of the best players in the world. That's also why I came here. I wanted to develop myself further."

Having got into the habit of lifting trophies this summer, Ozil is keen for more.

"Of course Arsenal can win the Premier League," he said. "We also want to show that we can play better in the Champions League. We have the potential to reach the final."

Press Association

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