German midfielder Mesut Ozil has expressed his happiness at Arsenal despite a mixed maiden season at the club and the Premier League. He compared notes with his time at Real Madrid and his first at Arsenal, giving the Gunners thumbs up.
Speaking to SportBILD, he said “I am now 25-years-old and at that age every footballer in the world plays differently to how they did when they were 21.
“And, of course, my role at Arsenal is different insomuch that I have more responsibility than I did at Real. And I like that.”
I find the last particularly interesting. It seems contrary to beliefs, Ozil actually wants the spotlight and attention and thrives under it. At Real Madrid, he was just one of the many good players with no bogus price talk and obviously in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes but at Arsenal, it is the exact opposite. He is the Gunners’ record signing and the brain box of the team. Despite boasting of plethora of other attacking midfielders a la Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky, Ramsey and Walcott, Ozil is the peak of the pack. To that end, all eyes are on him and he is expected to hit high notes in every match. It has been the weight of expectation that seems to have affected him last season.
I am particularly happy that he wants to revel under the weight of more responsibility. That means he needs to do more in the big matches next season. Last season, he wasn’t particularly decisive in the games against City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern.
Imposing himself in those games is the only way he can pull the weight of his fee.