Mesut Ozil speaks highly of West Ham, suggests he's long-term fan of Slaven Bilic

Mesut Ozil has praised West Ham and manager Slaven Bilic.

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has been quoted by the London Evening Standard as saying that he thinks West Ham are playing well this season.

Ozil, 27, has enjoyed his finest Premier League season to date, racking up seven goals and 18 assists in a productive campaign - but it doesn't look like it will be enough for Arsenal to win the Premier League title.

It's still mathematically possible for Arsenal to win the league, but as they sit 11 points adrift of league leaders Leicester City, it looks incredibly unlikely that the Gunners will claim top spot.

The Gunners head to Upton Park in order to take on London rivals West Ham United today, and will be hoping to avoid an unwanted double, having been beaten 2-0 by the Hammers on the opening day of the season back in August.

Slaven Bilic's men have far exceeded expectations this season, and they could even sneak into the top four if results go their way between now and the end of the season, with Croatian boss Bilic overseeing an almost perfect first season in charge of West Ham.

Now, Bilic has been praised by Arsenal star Ozil, who has suggested that he has been a long-term fan of the West Ham manager having observed his work with former club Besiktas.

Ozil was also quoted by the London Evening Standard as saying that he thinks West Ham are a very strong team, and Arsenal must be on top form to claim a win at Upton Park this afternoon.

"You’re aware of the players who are playing well, and the teams playing well this season and West Ham is one of these," said Ozil. "I know the manager from Turkey, where I sometimes follow the league and he just does a good job, he has put together a very strong team and you can see that they deserve to be up there and they will give everything against us so that they can beat us and it has to be our aim to fight from the first until the last minute. If we can show what we are capable of, then I am convinced that we will win the three points," he added.

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