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Thursday 28 August 2014

Ozil not after easy life - Wenger

Published 20/09/2013 | 12:36

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Mesut Ozil is set to make his home debut for Arsenal against Stoke

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains club-record signing Mesut Ozil has shown no signs of wanting to leave Real Madrid for an easier life at the Emirates Stadium.

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The Germany playmaker's £43million move on transfer deadline day was met with disbelief from several former team-mates at the Bernabeu, with Ozil suggesting he felt no longer central to the plans of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti following the world-record signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

However, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has subsequently claimed Ozil in fact asked to leave the Spanish club because "he couldn't handle the pressure at Madrid".

Wenger, though, insists Ozil - who made an impressive contribution in both his Arsenal appearances so far and is set to play at his new home for the first time against Stoke on Sunday - is the complete professional.

"No, I have not seen that at all," said Wenger when asked if Ozil looked like a player seeking the easy life away from Madrid.

"He is 24, he has over 50 caps for Germany and when you play for Germany, you are under a lot of pressure. He won the championship with Real Madrid, and that is a club where there is a lot of pressure, but I could not detect that.

"Ozil has integrated well, and been well accepted.

"I think he is not at the top physically yet, overall we are very pleased to have him with us, but he will demand a bit of time to adjust to the vigorous body challenges he will face here in the Premier league.

"Once he has done that, he will be even stronger."

A player who has certainly come on leaps and bounds in the first few games of the new campaign is Aaron Ramsey.

The Wales midfielder, 22, scored his sixth Arsenal goal in the 2-1 Champions League win in Marseille on Wednesday night, as he continues to go from strength to strength - and showing no ill effects from a potentially career-ending double-leg break suffered in a tackle from Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross at the Britannia Stadium in February 2010.

Wenger was never in doubt Ramsey, signed for £5million from home-town club Cardiff in the summer of 2008, would emerge into a great talent.

"There is a basic rule in our game - when you have a big injury before the age of 20, you come back and redevelop completely normally, once the psychological damage is out of your head, so I was not too much worried, but you never know how big, how deep the impact is psychologically," the Arsenal boss said.

"It took him a long time to get completely over that, especially in the duels, in the fights. He had a little resistance to go into the fights for a long time. Now he is over it and also scores goals now, he has improved tremendously on that front.

"He has a great engine, great spirit and has an obsession - he wants always to be better. That is of course very good ingredients.

"Ramsey had a difficult period in mid-season where people became a little bit impatient with him. He lost confidence and sometimes you give the players a little rest, they can rebuild their confidence, they can think about their game and they came come back stronger. That's what happened to him."

Wenger added: "I believe that every test that you pass, you come back mentally stronger. It is a good test as well because in our career you go through periods where people like you a bit less or hate you a bit more and if you can deal with that, it makes you stronger."

Arsenal could have Mikel Arteta in the squad for the first time this season as he steps up his recovery from a thigh problem.

Wenger said: "When every body is back, there is competition for places, especially in midfield."

Press Association

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