How Ozil turned Arsenal's fortunes around
After single-handedly destroying Napoli to set up a 2-0 win in the Champions League, MiD DAY zeroes in on the impact of Arsenal's record signing
Arsene Wenger described Mesut Ozil’s masterclass in Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Napoli as the complete performance.
The 24-year-old club record signing inspired a devastating opening 15 minutes that saw him stroke home the opener with the classiest of finishes before setting up the second for Olivier Giroud.
Wenger was delighted with the club’s record signing, a 43million pounds arrival from Real Madrid, and admitted Arsenal were “lucky” to have lured him to the Emirates Stadium.
“Ozil is like the team in that he had an outstanding first half that had everything you want to see from a great player,” Wenger said. “There was individual skill, team play, finishing and final ball. Just sit there and enjoy it.
I loved him when he was at Madrid, I thought he was great there. We are lucky to have got him. He enjoys playing football and enjoys playing with his teammates — he’s integrated very quickly.
“We got so much stick at the start so now I’m cautious, but of course he’s given belief to everyone around the club. Belief is part of success in football.”
Arsenal have a great chance of progressing from a challenging group after recording victories over Marseille and Napoli with a home clash against Borussia Dortmund their next assignment. Napoli were feared as strong opponents, but they were swept aside with ease by the EPL leaders.
“At home that first half
is one of the best halves we’ve played in a long time,” Wenger said. “It was a very enjoyable game with a fantastic first half, played at a great pace. There was belief and authority in our game. The finishing was great.
The second half was more cautious but in patches when we went forward you could see the third goal was there. Napoli suffered in the first half and the chased the ball a lot.
That took a lot of energy out of them. They didn’t give up, but they were tired. They’re a very good team, that’s why the trip to Naples will be difficult and a big fight. We play Dortmund next and the group looks very tight. The key game will be us against Dortmund in the next game.”
Ozil’s ‘wild side’ at Real
During his second year with Real Madrid, Ozil reportedly flew to Italy or Paris at every chance to spend time with ex-Miss Venezuela Aida Yespica. Newspaper reports also claimed that he splashed 15,000 pounds every couple of weeks on a private plane, so that he could be with Yespica.
The amount Arsenal paid Real Madrid for midfield maestro Mesut Ozil last month