Jens Lehmann says Arsenal's Mesut Ozil needs to perform on the big stage

Mesut Ozil has a big season ahead of him with Arsenal.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has challenged German compatriot Mesut Ozil to reach his potential in the big games and make a difference, The Sun reports.

The Gunners’ record signing from Real Madrid has had a steady two years in North London, winning successive FA Cups and helping the club retain their place in the Champions League.

However, his performances in the big matches have so far left plenty to be desired, especially when it could ultimately be the difference between winning the Premier League title and falling short.

Ozil has shown that he can consistently shine against the so-called lesser teams, but former Gunner Lehmann feels his countryman needs to step up when it really matters and prove his ability.

“Everyone knows he can be a fantastic player," Lehmann is quoted as saying by The Sun.

"But you need to be a fantastic player in the big games. You don’t need to be a fantastic player in the small games and mediocre for the big games. He can definitely do that — but must prove it.”

Ozil’s task made easier by the balance in the first team

Not just Ozil, but Arsenal previously suffered in the big games because their balance was off – the ability to counter smartly and defend when appropriate.

With Francis Coquelin’s inclusion and Santi Cazorla’s positon change, there is an evident control in the middle of the park and the Gunners’ 2-0 win at Manchester City last season was a real turning point.

Ozil previously stood out while the Gunners struggled to wrestle control, but now the team is more settled the former Madrid man is given a better shot at influencing the game in the final third.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch