There's more to come from Ozil, insists Mertesacker ahead of Cardiff trip

By Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

|

Mesut Ozil will always provide Arsenal with an extra threat to open up defences - and there is plenty more to come from the 43million man, according to team-mate Per Mertesacker.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in a club-record deal on transfer deadline day, saw his tame first-half penalty saved against Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but then provided the perfect pass for Jack Wilshere to fire in a second goal which all but sealed a place in the knockout stages.

Ozil has returned a number of subdued displays since his high-profile move three months ago. However, Mertesacker - who is now an integral part of the defence after initially struggling for consistency after he joined from Werder Bremen in August 2011 - believes the best is still to come from his fellow Germany international.

Missed opportunity: Mesut Ozil misses a penalty against Marseille on Tuesday but later went on to set up Jack Wilshere's second goal of the night

Missed opportunity: Mesut Ozil misses a penalty against Marseille on Tuesday but later went on to set up Jack Wilshere's second goal of the night

On the run: Ozil recorded yet another assist in Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League win against the French side

On the run: Ozil recorded yet another assist in Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League win against the French side

'Mesut has made good progress. He is in good form and you can see that,' Mertesacker said.

'He was always a threat (against Marseille) and he never gave up after the penalty that he missed.

'We are very delighted with him, especially in the transition from defence to offence, when he is always a threat.

'He can play the balls, he is the one who always goes deep all of the time. He is in good form and I think we will see more.'

At the double: Jack Wilshere (second from right) celebrates after converting Ozil's pass for his second goal against Marseille

At the double: Jack Wilshere (second from right) celebrates after converting Ozil's pass for his second goal against Marseille

Mertesacker added: 'Sometimes he looks like his head is going down, but we said at half-time that we do not care (about the missed penalty). We just go on and that is what he did.'

Ozil's arrival seemed to lift the whole club, with a renewed sense Arsene Wenger's current crop of talent can finally come of age in 2014.

The contribution of Ozil within the team, allowing the likes of Wilshere - who scored his first goal against Marseille inside the opening 30 seconds - and Aaron Ramsey more freedom, is not lost on Mertesacker.

Confident: Per Mertesacker believes his German international team-mate Ozil will improve as the season goes on

Confident: Per Mertesacker believes his German international team-mate Ozil will improve as the season goes on

'Mesut moves well between the lines, so it is always difficult to defend against him,' the 6ft 6in defender said.

'When the centre-back comes out with him, there is always space for others to go in, so he helps us create more chances.

'We are playing well as a team and we should continue that in the Champions League and the Premier League.'

Arsenal travel to Cardiff on Saturday aiming to consolidate their place at the top of the table.

Mertesacker said: 'We are on a good run and we are in a good position. We want to keep that.'

Key man: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger greets Ozil after substituting him late on against Marseille

Key man: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger greets Ozil after substituting him late on against Marseille

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

The goal keeper was off his line and the flag man was one feet away Ozil should retake the penalty.. It's ridiculous

0
1
Click to rate

Yup!!!

0
4
Click to rate

A classy player who has exceptional vision to deliver that killer pass for his team mates to score. Every player has subdued performances once in a while and even when Ozil is off-form you still know that he just needs that one chance to create something or score himself. Ozil's contribution has lifted everyone around him and can be seen especially in the performances that Ramsey has put in. If Arsenal can get a quality striker in January then Arsenal will pose an even more formidable attacking threat, especially with the added space he will get by Giroud and the other potential striker pulling the defenders away and given players like Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla even more freedom to operate and linking up the play.

0
7
Click to rate

look the guy has come to a league that is played at a lightening pace ...he did very well in his first few games , better then anyone could have hoped for ...the league saps players and if people think back to henry and RVP they did the same ...he has a long time to get to his very best and maybe he dose need a few games rest ...he WILL be better and shine either the rest of this season or for sure next ..with the pace of walcott and pobolski returning he will have BETTER passing options ..and thats what he does best ...that spot on fianl pass to release a player onto goal ... i should imagine those questioning his ability are the same ones who wrote off viera when he first turned out and run round like a headless chicken ...or screamed to sell ramsey !!

0
9
Click to rate

Don't pretend you didn't write off Ramsey, and don't think your a saint for not writing of Ozil. No ones written of Ozil.

2
4
Click to rate

Not all of us did write off Ramsey. We all acknowledged he wasn't playing well, but there are those of us who genuinely believed he would get back to his best again. I did. Though I have to say, I didn't expect his best to be as quite as good as it is.

0
3
Click to rate

Meanwhile, back at White Hart Shame, Spuds set to sack yet another manager Lolz!

0
14
Click to rate

Personally, I think coming out of a game with a 92% pass completion rate and an assist is a job well done.

0
17
Click to rate

Far too much is being made of this, he played very well in the second half against Marseille, but all this fuss is because he missed a penalty. Well, Arteta took his first penalty for Arsenal last season against Fulham, and Schwarzer saved it. He hasn't missed since. So people need to stop reading so much into it and get off Ozil's back.

0
14
Click to rate

Great player, would have preferred him over Fellaini if I'm brutally honest

2
13
Click to rate

I am loving this Arsenal team.

0
27
Click to rate

He contributed to the second Wilshere goal, so to me that redeemed the fact that he missed the pen anyway. Some of the best players in the world miss penalties. He's still world class and I'm waiting for the day where he rips a team apart!

0
31
Click to rate

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now