Wenger reveals cause of Ozil improvements - did he listen to Mourinho?

Arsene Wenger Press Conference - 18/02/2014

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger has explained how Mesut Ozil has improved his form, but was it the result of how the player was used by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho?

Following Arsenal's victory over Newcastle United earlier in the week, manager Arsene Wenger lifted the lid on the root cause of elite-level trequartista Mesut Ozil's improved performances, resulting in the German's exquisite passing display against the Magpies at the Emirates where he returned a 93% passing accuracy, six goal-scoring chances created, an assist and a goal.

"He has been getting stronger in every game now and he is refreshed," commented the Frenchman to Sky Sports when probed as to whether Gunners fans can expect a consistent Ozil for the rest of the season and next term.

"After Christmas he began suffering a little bit physically and now he looks, sharp again, refreshed and mentally focused to play - so that is why his performance is good."

Intriguingly, Wenger brought Ozil off after 74 minutes, replacing the former Real Madrid man with Mathieu Flamini.

The game, of course, had already been won at this point as Arsenal were already 3-0 up and Newcastle looked impotent in attack and would have been completely vulnerable at the back had it not been for Tim Krul keeping the concessions as low as three.

There may be an argument that Wenger was simply protecting the lead, or even protecting Ozil so that he can repeat the quality of his incisive passes in matches in the immediate future.

However, even if the score was 1-0, or a draw, Wenger should still have substituted Ozil, regardless of whether he looked like creating more opportunities for his team-mates.

Ozil has been majestic for Arsenal, but inconsistent. He has been utilised in a completely different manner in England than he had been in Spain, though, as his former boss at Los Blancos regularly only fielded him for 60-70 minutes, seldom 80 and only 25% of the time did he play the full game in his final season in La Liga.

In the 2011-12 season he played a full match only 20% of the time, just eight games from 35 La Liga appearances. This is a sharp contrast to how frequently he has played the full 90 minutes in England, in the Premier League and Champions League, it is a high of 60% of his total outings.

Together with no winter break and it is no wonder why a: suffered a muscular injury (thigh) in the second half of the season and b: endured a dip in form during the congested fixture period at the turn of the year.

Wenger continued: "The first season is always adaptation and what he has brought is fantastic technique, the simplicity of his game and the intelligence of his passing. You look at his numbers, his assists, his passes in the final third are all very good.

"We want some more goals from him but I think that will come naturally."

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