Search

Arsenal star must be more selfish at times, says skipper

22:30 02 February 2015

Arsenal

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil celebrates after making it 2-0 against Aston Villa

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil needs to develop a more ruthless streak in the penalty area, according to team-mate Per Mertesacker.

The German playmaker netted for the second time in successive games on Sunday as his side overran Aston Villa 5-0 to record their biggest win of the campaign.

Ozil also lit the fuse for Arsenal’s success with an audacious flick-on to set up Olivier Giroud’s opening goal and continue his return to form after a three-month injury absence.

However, Mertesacker – who also played with Ozil at Werder Bremen – believes his former international team-mate would benefit from being more single-minded at times.

“He was always that promising talent, and now he is showing a lot more – he has had so much experience in his young career,” said the Gunners skipper.

“Sometimes I wish he was more selfish in front of the goal, as you can see when he breaks through the lines – he should have scored instead of looking for another player.

“You can see he is dangerous and has pace. When he really wants, he is so quick, and he caused a lot of trouble, and was always a threat.

“It was not on his best position in my opinion – he played more on the left side, but he can play anywhere up front.

“It is good for him to get back his fitness and maybe on the wing he is doing a bit more defensive work as well.

“He suffered a bit at the end of the game, but he always looked dangerous, was always available, wants the ball and wants to create something.”

Arsenal ran riot against their West Midlands visitors, with Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla – from the penalty spot – and young right-back Hector Bellerin also finding the net.

The result also represented the Gunners’ fourth clean sheet in five games since their 2-0 capitulation at Southampton on New Year’s Day – a match that turned out to be a “wake-up call” for Mertesacker and his defensive colleagues.

“At Southampton, that was a major setback,” Mertesacker recalled. “It was a bad start to the year.

“After that, we promised ourselves to come out of that comfort zone and be a bit more focused, especially that what comes first is defensive work and not just for the back four.

“You can see the benefit when everyone realises that, and I thought everyone realised it very quickly after we lost at Southampton. Maybe sometimes you need a wake-up call in certain times to realise what was really important.

“We worked a lot on our defensive shape, not just the back four, to avoid those dangerous free balls against us. We look much better and the best game defensively was against Man City.

“We talked consistently about how to find our best way, but you have to show it on the pitch, otherwise everybody will doubt you and you cannot see any benefit.”

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 15:06
North Middlesex captain Tom Nicoll (left) has praised Rob Fahrenheim (right), who hit 96 against Teddington on Saturday. Pic: Max Flego

New signing Rob Fahrenheim led a much-improved batting display from North Middlesex – but the Crouch End outfit suffered their second successive defeat in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 07:10
Middlesex's James Franklin bowling.

Middlesex all-rounder James Franklin fears the new County Championship toss rule is stifling the competition and generating “attritional cricket”.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Dominique Janssen went close with a last minute free-kick in Arsenal Ladies' 0-0 draw with Birmingham. Pic: Sylvester George

Dominique Janssen hopes Arsenal Ladies’ Wembley triumph will give them the self-belief to challenge Chelsea for the Women’s Super League title.

Friday, May 20, 2016
Middlesex's Ollie Rayner (right) celebrates a wicket with team-mate John Simpson

Middlesex’s bowlers will make former skipper Chris Rogers their top target when he returns to Lord’s with Somerset this weekend, according to Ollie Rayner.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (centre) celebrates putting his side ahead against Aston Villa

How do you define a good season? Or more importantly a poor season?

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Great Britain's Jo Pavey won the 2014 European Championships and will be aiming to qualify for her fifth Olympics when she competes in Highgate Harriers' Night of the 10,000m PBs at Parliament Hill on Saturday

Olympic dreams will be realised and dashed on the Parliament Hill athletics track on Saturday night as Britain’s top 10,000m runners battle it out for seats on the plane to Rio.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham managers

Archant correspondents Ben Kosky, Ben Pearce and Dave Evans discuss the 2015/16 Premier League season

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Islington Under-11s with the Kay Trophy

Billy Osborn scored two goals and set up another as Islington Under-11s beat Camden 4-2 to clinch their first Kay Trophy since 2003.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe