Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
Mesut Özil has given a lengthy interview to Dfb.de – the official website for the Germany national team.
After the big summer move from Real Madrid to Arsenal, the German national side site were clearly eager to speak with Özil after his first month in English football.
Below are selected questions and answers in relation to how Özil has settled at Arsenal and in London.
DFB.de: How much help have the German players been at Arsenal? It’s not just Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker there, but also young players like Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld.
Özil: For many reasons, this is a great help for me. I must admit that there is still a little hitch with my English, because I definitely have to work on it. Even so it is important for me that at Arsenal so much German is spoken. Especially with Lukas and Per I have a very good relationship, we understand each other really well. The guys are all great, they help me and support me really fantastically. This is true but for the whole team. The players at Arsenal are all very easy going, they come up to me, we laugh a lot and have fun. The atmosphere is great, everyone is there for everyone, it’s very familiar. I really can not say anything negative.
DFB.de: How much do you feel you have already arrived in the new town?
Özil: It was important for me that we were quickly settled into a house. With the club and the national team I spend a lot of time in hotels, I wanted to find a place quickly in London. That’s why I’ve been looking very closely together with my girlfriend, it was worth it. After one week, we found a house in which we feel very comfortable. And London, I must not say much – the city is just amazing. So far I can say that people respect the privacy of us too, which I also enjoy very much.
DFB.de: In London do you already own a car? Have you gotten used to driving on the left hand side of the road?
Özil: Yes, I am already used to this. As difficult as the switch is, it took me a few rides, and you get used to it. Usually you have another car in front so one can orient themselves.
DFB.de: New players at Arsenal have to sing a song in front of the whole team. Have you already been through this ritual?
Özil: When I sing, I do not like my voice. So it was quite a challenge, but yes, I did it. I do not think my colleagues understood what I sung, but I was glad that that is behind me.
DFB.de: With Arsene Wenger after Jose Mourinho, you have one of the most respected coaches ever. How do you like the training under him? And how much it differs from what you knew in Madrid?
Ozil: There are differences, but they are not serious. Arsene Wenger controls the load, which makes it just right.
DFB.de: You have adapted well at the start to Arsenal, and basically the entire Premier League. Are you yourself a little surprised how quickly and easily you have coped with the football in England?
Özil: I was previously also wondering how this will develop. The system is different, you can not judge one hundred percent the strengths and abilities of the players. Nor those of the opponent. So far it has worked out well also due to my fellow players: they trust me, they give me the balls and they cater to my ideas.
DFB.de: How much of the football in the Premier League is different from that in the Primera Division?
Özil: For me the Premier League is the strongest league in the world. Even with my few games, I’ve noticed how balanced the league is. This means that you will always be fully tested in each game, the games are very intense. I believe that I will benefit from it. Also striking is the atmosphere in the stadiums, the support of the fans, even the away fans is impressive.
DFB.de: In Madrid, you were a star, but there was also Cristiano Ronaldo and players like Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema and some other additional players who were the focus. At Arsenal you stand out. How do you deal with this associated pressure?
Özil: In football I feel generally very little pressure. I am doing what I enjoy most and what I do best. I love my work, so I just look forward to every game and do not concern myself so much with what others say or write. The pressure that I have, I mainly put on myself because I expect a high level of myself. But with this I can handle pressure very well and hide everything very well.
DFB.de: Sami Khedira has said that Arsenal with you are the best team in England. Currently, you are leaders of the Premier League. Is the target now to win the championship?
Özil: Hold on! We are now first, I’m happy about that. But we know that the season is still very long. To talk now about the championship is far too early. We continue to be focused approach to each game, will try to do better as a team. If we do that, we have a great opportunity to achieve much. For that I will give everything.