Arsenal record signing rejects claims it's a lack of a Winter break where it's gone wrong for him, claiming pre-season was the issue instead.
German icon Mesut Ozil was inevitably quizzed by the German press ahead of last night's international friendly about his form at Arsenal, and gave off an air of not being rattled by it.
He did though admit that he had 'fallen down a hole' with his recent form, telling SportBILD: "I've got over it."
Mentally that may now be the case, but he wasn't selected to start for the Gunners against Stoke at the weekend, possibly for the best due to their roughhouse tactics, but he needs to show with his performances that he is past the sticky patch as well as talking the talk.
While fellow Germans Jens Lehmann and Michael Ballack blamed his malaise on the lack of a Winter break, Ozil disagrees.
He says it is down to the fact that as a deadline day signing he did not get the opportunity to spend a pre-season with the Arsenal squad, who jetted off to Asia for a fortnight of hammering local opposition.
"For me it was clear that I fell into a hole, because I lacked the overall preparation time with Arsenal."
That may well be the case, so Arsenal fans may wonder what sort of pre-season lies in store for Ozil and co this coming summer.
The club have been linked with a trip to the US but so far dates have not been set in stone, but apart from the annual Emirates Cup at the end of July. However Ozil may miss this year's pre-season tour also.
It all depends on the progression of Germany in the World Cup - should they reach the final on July 13 it's likely Ozil won't link back up with the squad until early August.
The new season kicks off on August 16, and if Arsenal do win a trophy, the Community Shield a week before that - so there won't be too much preparation time next season for Ozil if he leads his teams to multiple successes.
That would be a price worth paying, even if it means the German misses out on a full pre-season again next year.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald