Ozil has galvanised Gunners, says Arsenal star
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Mikel Arteta says Mesut Ozil’s arrival has inspired his new Arsenal team-mates to raise their game after Tuesday’s rousing Champions League victory against Napoli.
The German playmaker was in sparkling form as he scored the Gunners’ opening goal before setting up Olivier Giroud to make it 2-0 inside the first quarter of an hour.
Arsenal dominated the game without adding further goals and Arteta, who captained the side on the night, was full of praise for his midfield colleague.
“We got an amazing player,” said the Spaniard. “He really lifts everyone, not only us but you can see that people are excited to come and watch him.
“He makes runs behind defenders, he’s got some pace as well and his final ball is terrific. When you have a player that is capable of finishing the way he did it makes a big difference.
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“It gives you a step forward, quality-wise, and someone else on the pitch that can decide the game by himself. He’s proved again that he’s able to do that.
“The more players you have like that, the better chance you have to win games, so it’s easier for the rest. Competition is a great thing – it makes everyone work harder and it raises the level.
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“We have still people to come back like Santi [Cazorla], like Abou [Diaby], like Theo [Walcott]. Everyone gives 100 per cent and that’s how you want it.”
Tuesday’s win put the Gunners in pole position in Group F, with a three-point lead over both Napoli and last year’s Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund, who visit Emirates Stadium later this month.
The result also maintained the Londoners’ impressive run of form since their opening-day defeat to Aston Villa, and Arteta believes that the scalp of the Serie A side serves as proof of Arsenal’s credentials.
“It was a really good test for us and it was massive to score first against a very organised team like Napoli,” he added. “We really went for it and we always looked dangerous when we were attacking.
“They know what they’re doing, they make it really hard for you and that’s why I think we deserve credit.
“Some people were writing us off, saying we hadn’t played a big game yet, but I think now we’ve done it and proved we were ready.”