Mesut Özil has admitted that even he’s had to change and adapt to the physicality, as well as the mental aspect, of the Premier League.
The German playmaker signed for us in 2013 from Real Madrid. It was a dream signing and for those who admired him before he came to north London, it was unbelievable to have such a talent grace our club. However, he still had to adapt. The English League is typically more physical and the midfielder revealed that he even had to change his body language.
“Before, after a missed chance or a misplaced pass, I lowered my head and I thought a lot about it,” he said to France Football.
“Now I keep my head high and I try to make up for my error right away. The game goes so quickly that there’s no room to feel sorry for yourself.
“A mistake shouldn’t make me go out of a match. I’m paying close attention to that.”
On his physicality, he added, “It was essential to be stronger in the duels. After training, I do muscle-building exercises.
“I also go into ice-cold baths to have better blood circulation.”
He continued, “The key to my success this season was the preseason preparation,” Ozil said. “For the first time since my arrival, I was able to train normally.
“And I reaped the rewards by playing my most complete season, without any physical niggles and with a certain consistency.”
In Özil’s first season with us, he scored five goals and assisted 10 in the Premier League; the next year, he suffered a ruptured knee ligament and was therefore out for months – he only scored four and assisted six. However, this season, despite only scoring six goals, he assisted 19. Although he has to work on his goalscoring, a lot of which is just to do with him not shooting enough and instead looking for the pass, this shows improvement. I’m sure he’ll continue to do so and will wow us even more in the future.