It goes without saying that Mesut Ozil has developed into the player we always knew he could be this season.
Although he’s always been great, this season he’s brought it to the next level and is easily the best player in our squad at the moment.
Wenger thinks this is because he’s finally gained acceptance and is in a far better place mentally compared to the past couple of seasons, where he suffered from injuries and the odd not-so-good performance. Now, he’s confident, shooting and assisting left, right and centre.
“I think he plays in a position that suits him well,” said Wenger.
“He plays in a style of football that suits him well. He is, today, maybe more in a more comfortable psychological position because he’s accepted and not so much questioned than he was in the years before.”
It’s interesting to think about what Wenger means by acceptance. Whether he means the media, who branded him a flop within months of him donning an Arsenal shirt and not scoring 10 goals within five minutes; the fans, the majority of which accepted him as soon as he set foot on the pitch; or himself.
The last one, himself, is easy to understand. He’s Mesut Ozil: World Cup winner and Real Madrid playmaker. He had a lot of pressure riding on those shoulders. Combine that without a real rest after the World Cup win, and you can imagine there was quite a bit of self-doubt going on behind the scenes.
Whatever it was, I’m glad he’s grown out of it because what we’re witnessing now is very special.