Ozil: It was the hardest year of my career

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Mesut Ozil says his three month lay-off between October and January made last season the toughest of his career so far.

The German midfielder suffered knee ligament damage in a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea at a time when he was struggling for form following his country’s World Cup success.

The 26-year-old consequently underwent a gruelling period of rehab, bulking up in the process, before making his return against Stoke in the New Year.

Pinpointing the support shown by Arsenal’s fans on his comeback as the highlight of his season, Ozil told Kicker magazine.

“It was a very long season. I guess it was the hardest in my career. The first time in my life I had to deal with a serious injury. It feel it was a consequence of playing a lot games without a break over years.

“I was happy with the second half of the season. I wanted to show everybody that I’m back. Winning the FA Cup means it was a successful year. I’m proud of that win.

“My best moment [of the season] was the first game back after my injury against Stoke City. The fans cheered a lot when I was brought on. That was a brilliant feeling and helped me a lot.

“From then on I understood: no matter what happened, the club and the fans are always with me.

“But the most important think is the opinion of my coach. I have a lot more self-confidence when he is with me. I always had that feeling with Arsene Wenger.”

Ozil also predicted that the Gunners can mount a serious title tilt next year so long as they continue to stave off injuries.

“We had bad luck with injuries this season, but next season we can win the Premier League and go further in the Champions League.”

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54 Comments on "Ozil: It was the hardest year of my career"

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Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

I wish the worst year of my career meant included a world championship in my field of work!

Ozil has been excellent since he arrived, I don’t care what anyone says, but he has also certainly gotten better and better while playing for Arsenal. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for him and Alexis now that they’ve had more time on the pitch together.

PVS

I don’t think it was his “worst” year Mr. Snuffles, it was his “hardest” year. I think it was hard on him mentally but rewarding nonetheless.

post-ball touching smasheroonies
post-ball touching smasheroonies

I wish my name was Cornelius P. Snuffington III.

post-ball touching smasheroonies
post-ball touching smasheroonies

That came across as irony but I’m serious. Both here and irl.

InTheNorthBank

Deed poll

Corona X

Well, considering your name is a plural version of Rooney, no wonder you wish your name was something else…

christco

He said “hardest,” not “worst.” It’s a fine distinction, no doubt, but that slight change in wording makes a big difference.

CB

Have a good rest, look forward to seeing you next year, Mesut. You did some great stuff this year.

Amy

How anyone can dislike this guy is beyond me. We love you Özil.

Scott P

That’s one of the reasons why I love Arsenal – most players and staff at the club seem like genuinely good people. Compare that to some of the other orcs in our league…

goonero

Because he doesn’t “RAN ARAAND ENAFF”

Richard

I have a gooner mate at work who dislikes Ozil and his lack of work rate. I can’t believe some people can’t see his genius. He is a step ahead of anyone else on the football pitch.

Rufusstan

I wonder sometimes if that is the effect of TV, and how that small frame just focuses on what is going on on the ball.

Its led to so many discussions/arguments over the years about performances, that ultimately come down to the difference between what the TV shows you, and what you can see in the stadium.

Özil is a classic example of it. The effort he puts in off the ball, in his positioning, or constantly making himself available is so easy to miss.

TTT

my favorite player from the current squad
next year is yours Mesut

simonetta

And mine.

goonerestgooner

next year is yours too? ; )

Ormey88

I sometimes forget that this guy is still only 26 and therefore *just* entering the peak years of his career…

A truly amazing talent, one which we are very fortunate to enjoy week in, week out.

#YaGunnersYa

Özil

He had a hard start to his Arsenal career, showed glimpses of what he could do in his first season but second half of this one he has been much improved. Notch it up another level next season and we will have the world class player we paid for!

Nacho de Montreal is tasty
Nacho de Montreal is tasty

You gave a true picture of Ozil at Arsenal so far. Just want to add that Wenger needs to put a dominating center forward in front of him with Sanchez and Walcott on the wings. Giroud will be the second option up front. Jackson Martinez is the only one available, I think PSG will not sell Cavani as Ibrahimovitch is heading to Milan. Failing Falcao (who we didn’t want anyways) will apparently land at Chelsea. Don’t think Benitez who doesn’t know the subtle contribution of players will keep Benzema. Karim will only be a slightly better option that Giroud just like in the french national team, if he doesn’t land at Man U. My fear is that Wenger may not even be able to buy if he wants to.

Trezy

Karim is better than giroud…no question. His hold up play is just as good, has FAR better technique, dribbles better, can create chances for himself and is a better finisher. He’s being inhibited at madrid and needs to leave. All he has been doing in madrid is play for cr7, which is crap for a player of his ability.

UFB

Couldn’t agree more. And he is much faster too.
But he is less physical, and Giroud is a monster in the air, which is a real asset when it comes to clearing out corners and others… And Giroud is a team player. Not sure about Benz.
And we have to keep in mind that Giroud has been improving constantly. No reason he should stop.

Trezy

Giroud is definitely better aerially and stronger I guess.
Benz is def a team player though…he even plays on the left at times for the NT to fit Giroud in.
Considering how much he’s had to alter his game at Madrid….
Oh well lets see what wenger has in mind. Giroud would have to improve significantly for us to win the league.

Mpls

We are already lucky to ‘have’ the world class Ozil, and he’s not some fucking side of beef that isn’t quite tender enough or whatever.

Yes, they make a shit-ton of money, but please realize these are humans we are talking about.

Mike

Honestly thought he was going to be Arshsavinesque but since his return from injury and with his new found bulk he’s been so much more consistent.

Would like to see him dominate games more but am started to realise that he deals in moments. He’ll create 3-5 chances a game up to the rest to take them.

christco

What in the world made you think he’d be Arshavinesque? Arshavin was lazy as hell. Ozil doesn’t have that problem. As for the domination part, he’s less a dominator than a facilitator of domination. I see him as the guy pulling the strings so Alexis can dominate the games.

Oberyn Martell

Doesn’t matter,

he doubted,

but now he’s seen the light.

mo974

Mesut is a playmaker, in the classic sense. a link player. He doesn’t dominate games. He makes the team thick and fluid.He is there to create chances for the strikers, but they have to be skillful , agile and fast.
He is the kind who find pleasure in giving assists than score.
You can see he is sometimes frustrated with Giroud up front. It’s normal, when you are use to give assists to the likes of Muller, Klose, Ronaldo , Benzema , Di Maria, and you end up with Giroud it can be frustrating. If there is no recruit , Theo should be put upfront and Sanchez .Giroud on the bench.

GoonerInk

I dislike his workrate, at least i bemoan it when he doesnt track those extra few yards to attempt a tackle or interception.

But tbh, this season he has improved that part of his game 10 fold, and with a sturdier back 6 I have seen it as less important than his magic that he shows.

goonerbynature

He was excellent in the Cup Final. What a first half.

Arsenal's Legend

That is the spirit. set your goals higher and work tirelessly towards achieving it. We will win the league next year. Özil we love you

ArseMansBackInTown

I’m glad his overall impression is that the fans are behind him (which we are). You can never be sure that’s getting through all the negative noise from Twittertwats and “Journalists”.

Runkeball

Not forgetting certain pundits who seem to have taken a personal dislike to him judging by the way they keep on moaning.

Meanwhile, here we are, the Arsenal fans, immensely proud to have added such a top level player to our club. And he delivers.

Clock-End Mike

Hmm. I like “Twittertwats”… must remember that!

kiddersauce

Reading the penultimate quote in the article, only one thing come to mind:

WAGNER AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

simonetta

Actually that sentence had something of Wagneresque…Maybe also Mesut loves “the smell of fresh napalm in the morning”

Runkeball

Ride of the Mesut, zapping pundit cunts out of the sky with his almighty thunderbolts.

Get him a case of beer for that.

gdna

Incredible player. His technique and play making ability is better then anyone in the league and now he appears to be settling in with the robustness of the EPL. Can’t stand when so many people say he is lazy and not motivated when he is in fact the opposite. He covers plenty of ground and can play through the middle, the left or right side. If he and the rest of our midfield plus Sanchez can play most games next season then we can win it.

Gooneropolis

Shows the effect his exit from Madrid had on him. I think this bodes well for Arsenal.

We recognize, support and nurture talent. The scary part, for our rivals, is he’s just started to feel comfortable in England, as shown with some of his virtuoso displays since coming back from injury. More of that to come once we have a little pace up front with Feo for Ozil’s inch-perfect through balls.

Glad the squad’s brain is happy with the club! Makes me happy!

goonerestgooner

Mesut Fucking Ozil.

Ravi

Go Mo!! #YaGunnersYa

Stringer Bell

When you watch the game you don’t see Mesut Ozil, when you watch Mesut Ozil you see the whole match. Can’t get bored of saying that. Can’t believe we signed Mesut Ozil. Look at the ex pros lining up to slate him and DeMaria who cost over £20 million more gets very little said. Media bias cunts

Trezy

Best number 10 in the league. I wouldn’t swap him for anyone – even cesc.
Been a huge fan of him since the bremen days…and its funny when we were linked to him back in 08, people didn’t want him because we had wilshere, mark randall and eastmond.
People dished out their frustrations on him partly because of seeing cesc do so well in chelsea, but they fail to realise that Ramsey took cesc place…Ozil has always been the better number 10.

bdotm

He encapsulates everything about the Wenger philosophy when u watch him play. In full flow, the struts his stuff with grace and elegance. His genius is actually hidden under his seemingly nonchalant demeanor. What a player

TommyGun

I love Ozil, he just quietly goes about his business pulling the strings in midfield. I know a lot of people wanted Cesc but he can do one. Cesc chose to leave us whereas Ozil chose to join us from the biggest club in the world. I love him and Sanchez and I think we have a lot to be excited about now they have gelled.

Trezy

Best number 10 in the league. Only an idiot would think otherwise.
Been a huge fan since his bremen days. remember when we were linked with him then and some fans said we didn’t need him because we had wilshere, mark randall, eastmond, merida and ramsey.
Always felt he was more elegant than cesc…maybe cesc is better defensively and at long passes, But ozil off the ball movement is far better and his football intelligence is just…wooow!!

Ex-Priest Tobin

There’s still a lot of room for improvement in his performances in my mind. Majestically talented player though.

spinner

That utter bellend Michael Owen said Sterling was better than Mesut. Nobody else in the TV studio agreed with him but they remained polite and didn’t start laughing. Then instead of keeping his head down and hoping his absurd statement doesn’t get mentioned again, he repeats his farcical claim the next day.

How does that horse loving cunt get a job as a so called football pundit? Serious question!

With that dickhead Owen, one of my favourite proverbs is very apt – “better to keep silent and let people think you are a fool, rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt”

Nigerian Kanu

Wilshere is a better mild fielder. Just look at his performances for the English team. Ozil is a luxury player…. Against Chelsea at home Ozil should have scored. Ozil is impeding Wilshere development as CAM true number 10. Wilshere can shoot something Ozil can’t do.

Fin

Sir, kindly leave please.

Trezy

I honestly hope you were being sarcastic.
Wilshere is no where close to ozil…infact wilshere should pray his career turns out half as good as mesut’s.
Santi and probably Rosicky are better than Jack at the moment.

Adams Jnr

He really deserves a better song.

Arsepedant

If that’s what Ozil can do in a most difficult year, I can’t wait to see how he lights up the league in a year of merely average difficulty.

Nigerian Kanu

I wasn’t been sarcastic Ozil is a luxury player. we don’t need him. wilshere is suited for EPL. give Wilshere Ozil’s playing time and see what he would do !

Davjamgil

It seems to be a peculiarly English affliction, a mistrust of technically gifted players. Too often work rate is more highly prized than genius. Players like Ozil do things in matches that other players couldn’t even dream of.

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