• Premier League

Ozil needs to be more consistent, says Mertesacker

ESPN staff
April 23, 2014
Mesut Ozil felt the wrath of Per Mertesacker when he failed to applaud travelling fans after Arsenal's heavy defeat at Manchester City © PA Photos

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes Mesut Ozil needs to be more consistent in the Premier League, but has backed the club's record signing to come good next season.

Following a bright start in England, £42.5 million signing Ozil went through the mill after criticism of his performances reached fever pitch; in the aftermath of Arsenal's heavy 6-3 defeat at Manchester City, Mertesacker lambasted his fellow German for failing to applaud the club's travelling fans at the final whistle.

Ozil's patchy form continued before he missed a pivotal penalty against Bayern Munich during Arsenal's Champions League last 16 first-leg in February. Manager Arsene Wenger later admitted the playmaker had let the mistake "affect him too much".

However, having been sidelined with a hamstring injury since March 11, Ozil returned to the Arsenal starting line-up for their 3-0 win at Hull on Easter Sunday - and Mertesacker is convinced there is more to come.

"He has shown some great skills but he needs to be more consistent, which makes a difference at the end," Mertesacker told Arsenal's official website. "Sometimes it's good to get criticism with the negative points.

"If you realise quick what it means, if you are intelligent enough, and he is an intelligent footballer. I think he will sort that problem out.

"It's similar to myself when I got my injury in the second part of my [first] season, and after I came back even stronger because then I realised what is at stake.

"I think for Mesut it was good to get a little rest to be ready for the last few games for us, then the World Cup and then another season. I think with a pre-season ahead of him, there's more to come from him.

"Mesut came from La Liga and it's quite difficult to play there. I think he has adapted well but there is more to come from him. I think the second season will be much better for him because he's a fantastic player."

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby successfully came through 45 minutes of an under-21 game on Tuesday, as he makes his latest attempt to recover from persistent injury problems that have halted his progress in recent seasons.

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