English Premiership

Ozil holds key to Arsenal title bid

2016-01-02 07:17
Mesut Ozil (Getty Images)

London - Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil holds the key to Arsenal's hopes of winning the Premier League for the first time in 12 years.

Ozil's superb run of form has been the catalyst for Arsenal's climb to the top of the Premier League table heading into 2016.

The 27-year-old German midfielder has been immaculate in recent weeks and has already notched up a league leading 16 assists this season.

The latest came in Monday's 2-0 win over Bournemouth, with Ozil then adding the second goal himself.

"He is a complete athlete. I also believe he has grown in stature and takes responsibilities and leadership in the team," Gunners boss Wenger said ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium.

"On that front he has improved tremendously and looks determined to lead the team compared to when he arrived.

"I think he plays in a position that suits him well.

"This season he was not stopped by injuries and I believe that he arrives at an age -- 27 -- that you think 'it's time for me to really be efficient in every single game, and I want to enjoy every single game'."

Arsenal continue to nurse frailties of their own, as shown by their 4-0 Boxing Day drubbing at Southampton, but the Bournemouth win was enough to take them top of the table on goal difference after former leaders Leicester City could only draw 0-0 with Manchester City.

Leicester lost 1-0 at Liverpool prior to Tuesday's goalless stalemate with City, but manager Claudio Ranieri says that his players are determined not to let their early-season momentum peter out.

"We've had a fantastic half-season, it's unbelievable what we are doing and we must continue," said the Italian, whose team welcome Bournemouth to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

"We will fight right until the end and we want to win. If we give 100 percent, then we accept every result."

 

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Fixtures
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 21:30
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Bramall Lane 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Watford, Old Trafford 16:00
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 18:30
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