Former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann says Mesut Ozil must win the Premier League or Champions League to become part of Arsenal folklore.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed some of his best football for the Gunners this season, scoring six goals in 12 appearances in all competitions, including a hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets.
Hamann believes Ozil has never looked better in England, but warns that he must sustain his form for the whole campaign and deliver either the domestic or continental crown in order to be considered a great for Arsene Wenger’s side.
When asked if the Germany playmaker was enjoying the best football of his career, Hamann told Omnisport: “I would agree with that but he’s got to do it for a full season.
“He’s always showed in his two years in England that he’s capable of doing that but he’s got to do it over a longer period now.
“I think, to really go down in Arsenal folklore, he’s got to win either the league or the Champions League. Winning an FA Cup is great, two is even better, but it’s not the league or the Champions League.
“That’s the task they have. I think they’re capable of doing that.”
Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday took them to 23 points from 10 league games this term, behind leaders Manchester City only on goal difference.
They will secure passage to the Champions League knockouts on Tuesday if they beat Ludogorets in Bulgaria and Paris Saint-Germain avoid defeat against Basel, while they reached the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over Reading.
Hamann feels that Arsenal’s consistent form has been down to the tactical decision to play Alexis Sanchez as the central striker, along with the signings of Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi to improve their defensive record.
“Playing Sanchez up top makes a difference as it makes them more flexible – they’re not as static as when [Olivier] Giroud is playing. I think it helps everybody,” he said.
“In Mustafi and Xhaka, they’ve got two defensive-minded players that they’ve probably lacked in recent years, which makes them stronger defensively. That’s probably where they lost titles in the past.”
Hamann also hailed the impact of Alex Iwobi, who has been a consistent part of Wenger’s first-team plans this term.
“Iwobi coming in has been a breath of fresh air,” added the former Bayern Munich and Liverpool man. “His youth, his enthusiasm is great to see, so I think they’ve got a really good mix.”
Hamann was speaking courtesy of the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University, an accredited two year, part-time course that teaches a unique curriculum tailored to meet the real demands of leading sporting organisations.