REUTERS – German midfielder Mesut Ozil attributes his excellent form this season to a greater maturity in his Arsenal side, a factor that has allowed him to control more games.
The 27-year-old playmaker has been one of the club’s stand-out performers and has registered 10 assists in the Premier League so far, making him Europe’s most creative player.
Often criticised for a lack of consistency since moving to the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid in 2013 for a club record fee, Ozil has helped the Gunners to second in the league. The club is behind Manchester City only on goal difference.
“I think as a team you can see that we’ve become more mature. We’ve learnt from our mistakes and you can see on the pitch that we’re more steady,” Ozil told the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
“We’ve had some setbacks this season but we’ve learnt from them and it shows on the pitch that my team mates are looking for me even more and I’m able to control the game better. You can see that we function well as a team,” the Germany international added.
Ozil, who has scored two goals in 16 appearances this season, said Arsenal’s maturity has been more evident since the turn of the year, with the club having picked up more points than any other side in England’s top flight in 2015.
“When you look at the past seasons, we’ve always been a technically-strong team but when we played against big teams, we dropped points,” Ozil said.
“In the second half of last season and in this year so far, we’ve proved ourselves against the biggest teams.”
“You learn from your mistakes and we can measure ourselves with the best. That distinguishes us as a team,” the World Cup winner added.
Arsenal travel to take on 13th placed West Bromwich Albion in the premiership on Saturday.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle)