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Former Arsenal boss: Ozil 'looks sad'

Former Arsenal manager George Graham says the club's record signing is struggling to keep up with the English game.

Graham won two league titles as Gunners boss, as well as the 1994 Uefa Cup Winners' Cup, while he turned out for the north London side as a player between 1966 and 1972.

You could say, then, that the 69-year-old is qualified enough to pass judgement on Arsenal's best players - and his verdict on Mesut Ozil's recent form is a damning one.

Indeed, Graham admits the German was "outstanding" when he first came to England but thinks the pressures of Premier League football have taken their toll on the 25-year-old.

"When he first came into the team he was outstanding and gave a lift to the rest of the players," Graham told BBC Radio Five Live.

"But his form has dipped very much and I think the pace and intensity of the English game have caught up with him. He looks sad now and mentally he needs to come back."

Meanwhile, Graham agrees with Jamie Carragher's view that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should rest his key players for his side's Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

The European and Bundesliga champions, who extended their domestic unbeaten run to 49 matches this weekend, beat Arsenal 2-0 in their last-16 first leg at the Emirates Stadium, prompting Graham to urge the Gunners to focus their attentions elsewhere.

"One of the questions facing Arsene is whether they play their best team and try to win the tie, which is near impossible, or concentrate on the league.

"Personally, I'd play a weakened team because I think the second half of the first leg was like a practice match for Bayern.

"It took a lot out of Arsenal and they have some very tough games coming up. They need fresh legs and fresh minds. This is one of the big decisions managers have to make."

image: © wonker

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