Speaking to the Sun recently, Hector Bellerin explained why Mesut Ozil doesn’t need to work as hard as others in Arsenal training.
Bellerin, who recently signed a new, long-term deal rumoured to be for six-and-a-half-years, taking him up to 2023, described Francis Coquelin as one of the best trainers in the Arsenal camp. However, Ozil is apparently one of the worst, simply because he doesn’t have to really try.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a recovery the day before a game, or a normal training session, Francis always gives 100 per cent,” Bellerin revealed.
“There are players that don’t need to be on it as much, they’re more naturally-gifted like Mesut.
“The quality they have probably means they don’t need to try as hard as the rest of us.”
Although the German international had a couple of poor performances against Everton and Manchester City, both of which we lost 2-1, he appeared to be back in business against the Baggies on Boxing Day.
Other than Granit Xhaka, Ozil completed the most passes (107/122) and made the most in the final third (74/88). He also created the most chances (7) and provided an assist for Olivier Giroud’s 86th-minute headed goal.
Obviously, this does still raise the question of whether Ozil hides in bigger games and comes to life in the less-intense ties but I think this is mainly down to psychology, rather than what he does or doesn’t do on the training pitch. There’s only so much preparation players can do on the training pitch going into a clash against title rivals. The real issue is confidence and their mindset heading into these games.