Arsenal fans may well be loving the way that our German international attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil is playing this season, but there has also been a fair bit of concern over his fitness, especially after Alexis Sanchez picked up a hamstring injury after being played all the time by Arsene Wenger.
With a host of Arsenal midfielders in the treatment room, we can understand why the manager keeps playing his creative star, but Wenger has revealed that this is not the only reason for Ozil starting every game. As reported by Arsenal.com, the boss has revealed that he is taking special measures with Ozil in training and also that he let the player go off on holiday when he was not selected by Germany for the last international break.
So because of these factors, the Arsenal boss is not worried about losing his key player, or no more worried than with any other player anyway. It certainly seems to be working because Ozil is in the form of his life and does not seem to be showing any signs of burn out.
Wenger said, “I gave Mesut a one-week holiday during the international break. At the moment he doesn’t practice a lot, we rest him a lot between the games.
“He is a guy who, once the basic fitness is there between the games, he wants to play. There are types of players, sometimes the most technical players, it looks like it demands less energy for them to play – it is just natural for them.
“Rotation is sensitive more in the centre of the team than on the flanks. If I play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and then Joel Campbell, that is not really rotation, but in the heart of the team at centre back or central midfield it is more risky.
“You also look at the impact Ozil can have on other players. The Premier League is very tight and if you go into the decisive game and [rest Ozil or other key players], the other players think subconsciously ‘Why?’, and even the player himself.
“When we lost at Southampton everyone said to me ‘Why didn’t you rotate?’ and then when I did change it, ‘Why did you rotate?’. At Southampton we had five days recovery after Manchester City and that should be enough.”
Has the Frenchman found the perfect formula for getting the best out of our assist king? And will this be the key to Arsenal finally picking up the Premier League trophy again?