Mesut Ozil was happy to see Arsenal rack up a third straight win, but believes a return to winning ways is no coincidence given Mikel Arteta’s decision to play a No.10.
The German midfielder has been frozen out by Arteta and been unable to help his previously struggling side in the role he has made his own over the previous six years.
A run of seven matches without a victory had prompted many Arsenal supporters to demand Ozil’s return to the team, but the gunners have put together a series of impressive results which have coincided with the introduction of Smith Rowe.
The 20-year-old midfielder shot to prominence during a pre-season tour of Asia two-and-half years ago but he has been forced to bide his time for a chance in the Arsenal first team.
Injuries have curtailed the youngster’s progress, while he has also spent time out on loan at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield but he looks certain to remain a vital part of Arteta’s plans after another impressive performance in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over West Brom.
Commenting on Twitter, Ozil said: ‘Nice game my boys! Great spirit – 3 wins in a row. Team looks good with a No10 like Emile Smith Rowe – the difference maker.’
Asked after the match, if the decision to play Smith Rowe and fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka on a regular basis had been key to the club’s improvement.
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Arteta said: ‘When I talk about the energy, when you are in a moment where you are winning and playing with confidence, you can see that you can transmit that.
‘The body language is better and you have that enthusiasm that wins help massively for you to build. ‘When we were going through a difficult moment, I said that the most important thing is to maintain the team spirit and the belief that we would turn things around and belief in what we are trying to do.
‘This week, obviously, is paying the price for the way that we have been going together through that period.’