The 29 years old Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal 5 years ago, believes that he still has a lot to prove to the fans. Though Ozil is flattered on being compared with the living legend of Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp, he doesn’t want to be compared to anyone.
‘I’ve been told so many times over the years that this is how Bergkamp played.
‘Of course, that makes me proud and it is an honor to be compared with him. Bergkamp is a living legend at Arsenal and he was an amazing football player.
“But I do not want to compare myself with anybody. I have my own style and I’ve had it since I was a kid. I am proud of these comparisons, but I am Mesut Ozil and I’m not finished yet.”
– Ozil on Bergkamp comparisons
In a recent interview with Arsenal.com, the former German National showed his love for midfield, the pace and excitement that comes with it,
“In my opinion, a creative player should always have fun on the pitch and should trust their playing style in order to help the team.
I’ve been playing this way my whole life, which is why I still enjoy giving my team-mates assists to this day.”
– Mesut Ozil
The Arsenal midfielder who is regularly compared to Dennis Bergkamp due to his similarity to Arsenal’s legend includes not just their position and mind blowing goal creating capabilities but also the beauty of their passes and their habit of free roaming during the match.
Arsenal ace Mesut Ozil discusses comparisons to Dennis Bergkamp in refreshingly honest interviewhttps://t.co/HkkluSrH6u
— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) September 17, 2018
Though the Former Real Madrid playmaker has had his share of criticism for his lack of pace and drifting through big games since becoming a Gunner, he is lauded for his artistry. Ozil when in his best form can do the impossible and that is the reason why even after such criticism, he is still compared to Bergkamp.
Bergkamp was considered one of the most talented footballers of not only the team but of the whole generation. His swiftness and artistically deceptive touches go through the toughest of defenses in seconds. Distinctive in his own style, he helped the team win 3 Premier League titles and were dubbed as The Invincibles too.
Though the playing style of both the players is quite similar, Ozil will have to work very hard to reach anywhere near the level of Dennis Bergkamp. Former Arsenal captain Tony Adam believes Ozil lacks mental toughness.
Adams told The Sun when asked to sum up the German playmaker,
“If you have solidity and strength in your team, then Ozil is a great asset. He’s a World Cup winner and a class act,”
“He’s like Bergkamp, who cruised through his first couple of years at the Arsenal.
“We had to get him a little bit toughened up but Ozil hasn’t got the people around him to push him and get him going.
“There’s only so much a coach can do. It starts in training. We used to kick Dennis. Bouldy would kick him up in the air again and again.
“After a while of this, he turned around and stamped on Bouldy and said ‘I’ve had enough of you effing kicking me, you’re going to get a little bit back here’.
“We all said ‘aye, aye, he’s a got a bit about him — Hallelujah!’.
“But it’s all become a little bit too nice there. You can’t criticize or say bad things.”
– Tony Adams on Mesut Ozil
Tony Adams on Mesut Ozil:
"When Dennis Bergkamp joined, Steve Bould would kick him up in the air time after time. Ozil needs a good kicking. He's the icing on the cake, but we haven't got a cake." pic.twitter.com/XscLZgwRHw
— Coral (@Coral) August 24, 2018
Adams believes such an approach will ultimately make Ozil more aggressive.
This, in turn, will not just improve his pace but also his goal crating ability.
Ozil, although under immense pressure to meet the expectations of not only the fans but the whole team and knows how much is at stake. As already stated, the now 29 years old works best under pressure. So, it just might be a matter of time before we see a new and improved midfielder.