Mesut Özil insists that despite how it might sometimes appear to onlookers, he’s fantastically motivated to win all the time, even in training.
In general, the impression you get from the pictures of Arsenal’s training sessions is that there’s a good positive atmosphere in the camp. There are lots of posts from the Gunners’ Twitter account of players laughing and joking around, even if they are all clearly working hard at the same time.
However, Özil insists that underneath all that, things are actually very competitive. The playmaker says that whether it’s in training or out on the pitch, he always wants to win, and he can get emotional when he doesn’t.
“I always have motivation, particularly before the games,” he said. “I want to win all the games and I hate to lose, even in training I am p****d and aggressive because I always want to win.
“I am a very calm person, sometimes on the pitch, I get very emotional if I make mistakes or give the ball away because I want to make everything perfect. The coach wants me to give everything on the pitch – which is what I do but I still work hard to reach my aims.”
Those are hopefully the two components of a side that can really achieve something. First, the competitive nature of training sessions where everyone is fighting to prove themselves. Second, a good team spirit with players that get along and will back each other up.
It’s working well for the squad so far. 11 wins in a row, breaking into the Premier League top four, topping the Europa League group and progressing in the League Cup. They just need to keep that going through the historically tricky month of November and beyond.