Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wenger: I see similarities between Ozil and Bergkamp

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 Jan 2016

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil has similar characteristics to club legend Dennis Bergkamp.

The North Londoners’ playmaker is enjoying a record-breaking season, having provided 16 assists in 20 league appearances, in his most consistent campaign since joining the club from Real Madrid in 2013.

Wenger believes German attacker Ozil has a calming influence in the Arsenal dressing room.

“Yes, he’s a bit like [Bergkamp],” he said. “Not that guy who stands up and speaks too much but every time he says something, it is straight to the point.

“He’s has a big influence. He’s not an extrovert, as you know. But you don’t win by coincidence and he has won in his career. He’s demanding from his partners.

“Per is [also] very important in that. He’s a very important leader in the dressing room – and a respected one as well. He maintains focus and wants to do well. He’s one of the guys who can help us.

“Experience helps but what will help more than anything is the quality of our performances and I think Sunday [against Chelsea] is a big one for us on that front.”

Wenger is confident his team’s spirit can be maintained through the positivity of the older members of the squad, as Arsenal look to lift their first Premier League title since 2003-04.

“The qualities that have come out of our team until now are especially mental,” the Frenchman said.

“To keep that spirit will certainly be vital for us because every game is very tight.

“I believe we have a strong spirit but spirit is a bit like the weather in England. It can change very quickly. And we have to care of that.

“It is something that is very fragile, to maintain that under pressure, disappointments, injuries, that is our task. That’s why all the older players have this kind of responsibility to take care of our unity.”

Wenger’s men head into Sunday’s clash with Chelsea three points adrift of Leicester City at the top of the Premier League table, after their 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday.

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