The Gunners boss is not fazed by his €50 million signing’s current slump and insists his recent break from the first team will reinvigorate the German
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the rest afforded to Mesut Ozil will refresh the out-of-form midfielder and is convinced he can handle the pressures placed on him by the north London club.
The former Real Madrid man was absent for last weekend’s 4-1 win over Sunderland having failed to get over the disappointment of missing a penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a match that saw him singled out and criticised.
Wenger, though, believes Ozil is reinvigorated by his short break and exclusion from the spotlight, and insists he does not put extra pressure on the club-record signing to live up to his significant price tag.
“I never tell Mesut: ‘You have to win us the game,'” Wenger told reporters when asked about the pressure placed on the German.
“He shouldn’t do that. It’s down to the performance of the team. But maybe he feels that a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well.
“It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition.
“But he will adapt. He had a difficult game [against Bayern] because he missed that penalty and it was on his mind. Sometimes, when you are under this kind of pressure, it’s good to refresh.”
Ozil has recorded just one Premier League assist in 2014 and failed to find the back of the net, struggling to live up to his early billing, but Wenger is convinced the 25-year-old has the quality to drag himself out of his current slump.
“I don’t worry about Ozil,” the French boss continued. “He has gone a little bit through a difficult time. It can happen to anybody.
“He looks all right. He loves to play. You give him a ball and he’s happy. That’s the most important thing. And he has the quality. You always have to be behind your players. The best way is to show him support.”