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Ozil must adjust to physical Prem says Wenger

The Gunners boss compared Ozil to Robert Pires

By | 23rd September 2013
ozil mertesacker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes new signing Mesut Ozil will need time to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League after arriving from La Liga side Real Madrid on the final day of the transfer window this summer. Arsenal spent £42.5 million on the creative playmaker, who has already made three starts for the club and created a goal just minutes into his first match with the club.

Wenger compared Ozil to Robert Pires, who signed for Arsenal 13 years ago from the top flight French division. Wenger had Pires sit on the bench for his first match with the club in order for the Frenchman to understand the differences in physicality between the Premier League and other leagues. While Ozil was not afforded this luxury due to injuries, Wenger feels the transition will be similar.

“Sometimes the players, at the start, have a shock,” Wenger said, according to The Guardian.

“I remember the first game at Sunderland, I said to Pires, ‘Today you don’t start – you sit next to me.’ And, after half an hour, he said to me: ‘Is it always like that?’ And I said: ‘It can get worse …’

“It was not bad at Sunderland because Peter Reid at the time was the manager. So it was quite committed. When I arrived, it was much more violent than today. It’s not violent any more. Still, the pace and the commitment is high. I thought there was a similarity with Ozil and Pires. If he does as well as Pires after that, it’s not too bad.”

Ozil played will during his first match but had a quieter game for Arsenal on Wednesday when the club defeated Marseille 2-1 in the Champions League. The 25 year old German international was as influential as ever on Sunday as the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners over Stoke City in Ozil’s home debut, as the midfielder picked up two assists.

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