Mesut Ozil is enjoying a fine start to the 2015/16 season. The German playmaker has been instrumental in Arsenal’s recent good run of results that have propelled them to the top of the Premier League standings, behind Manchester City only on goal difference. The 27-year-old, who celebrated his birthday earlier this month, has revealed the reason behind his inspired form this term.
For the first time in his time at Arsenal, Ozil had a full pre-season this summer. Following his deadline day move in 2013 and World Cup exertions in 2014, Ozil believes his upturn in form and fortunes this season is down to having a full pre-season in a long time, and also credited the Gunners’ coaching staff for his injury-free campaign thus far. Last season this time, Ozil suffered a knee injury that kept him out for three months.
“The coaching staff know exactly how individual players become fit. They have all the information and I think a first full pre-season in a long time has helped me to feel really fit.
“Before, I was playing at tournaments after a long season and had little time for holidays. In hindsight, you realise that your body may not have the same freshness. At the moment I feel very comfortable, I’m fit and that’s what is important,” Ozil told Arsenal’s official website.
Ozil remains the key for Arsenal this season, and at a time when a spate of recent injuries has left them somewhat light in their attacking options. With Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey all ruled out until at least after the international break, Ozil will assume a key role to break Swansea’s ranks today afternoon.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are facing an all too familiar injury crisis, which has become an annual phenomenon. Eight first team players are currently out injured, including recent victims Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain, which has led to widespread criticism of the Gunners’ backroom staff.
Wenger tried to explain the injury situation in his pre-Swansea press conference, and expressed his confidence in his medical and coaching staff, without dwelling much on why injuries happen as he believes they are a normal occurrences in the game.
“We have to analyse every single case and every single exercise and I think you have to not over-analyse when players are injured. When a player is injured, they are injured, this has always happened. We have not too many muscular injuries but it is post-international games when we get all these injuries so is it linked with that? I don’t know,” Wenger said.
“I trust my medical staff to do well and my coaching staff to do the fitness planning very well. I can only invite you one day to see what work is done behind and we have some players who are more injury prone than others , but we are very well organised on that front,” he added.
With Ozil’s bubble of confidence somewhat contrasting to the injuries befalling Wenger, Arsenal will hope the German playmaker continues his impressive run of form against Swansea. Ozil has created a goal in each of Arsenal’s last four league games, and for the Gunners to come away from Wales with a win, they will definitely need Ozil to be on his game.