Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects £42m club-record signing, Mesut Ozil, to reassert his control of the Gunners’ midfield, but urges him to have more go at goals in some obvious circumstances.
Arsenal hosts Manchester United on Wednesday night and could bounce right back to the summit of the Premier League standings with a win over the champions.
Last summer signing from Real Madrid, Ozil, is expected to also bounce back from criticism after a series of diminutive performances for the Emirate Stadium outfit.
The 25-year-old German has managed just two assists in his last eight league games and has failed to add to his five strikes since joining in September.
“I wouldn’t like to put too much pressure on him because he has been a top-class player until now,” said Wenger.
“He feels the pressure of course because he knows a lot is expected when you are a big transfer like that. He’s not a guy who doesn’t care. His style can sometimes look like that but he’s really the opposite character. He cares about the game, he wants to do well and he needs more support.”
“There is a big expectation level but he shouldn’t worry about that, just play in the team, enjoy it and give his best. That’s the best way to deal with it.”
Ozil has made 10 assists in 27 games for Arsenal but his anonymous display in Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool, where he was substituted after 61 minutes, raised some eyebrows concerning his ability to handle pressure.
Wenger, who expressed his best confidence concerning the midfielder’s ability undermine the thrash talks, says he should strive to get among the goals in some salient situations.
“You want the guy who plays behind the striker to score some goals and sometimes he is too obsessed with making the perfect pass when he could take a shot at goal,” the manager added.
“[That will improve] by practising on it and convincing him by showing him situations where he can shoot more. He will do that.”