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Aug 13, 2014

Mesut Ozil keen to improve at Arsenal

Former Arsenal player Paul Mariner breaks down how he sees Arsenal did during the transfer window and if they need to make any more moves.

Arsenal attacker Mesut Ozil feels that he needs to improve for his second season in the Premier League despite becoming a World Cup winner last month.

- Head-to-head: Is Ozil a flop?
- Mangan: Five questions facing Arsenal
- McNicholas: Arsenal season preview
- Delaney: Wenger's vision

Ozil, 25, has now returned to training with his club along with compatriots Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski following the trio's victorious campaign in Brazil.

The former Real Madrid playmaker scored five league goals and created another nine in his first year in English football, but the Gunners' club-record 42.5 million-pound signing said he is yet to show his best in the Premier League.

"There is room for improvement in all departments," he said in an interview with Sport Bild. "I need to have more shots at goal again, and also improve my headers. The World Cup title was a great success, but it has to go on now."

Despite helping his new club end their nine-year wait for a trophy with triumph in the FA Cup last season, Ozil experienced a dip in form during the second half of the campaign as Arsenal once again finished fourth in the Premier League, and he acknowledged that some of the criticism directed at him was justified.

"I am looking forward to my second season in England, because I can also bring in my experience from my first season," he said.

"I feel great in England, and even more so in London and especially at Arsenal. When things don't run that smooth at times, there is criticism. Sometimes it's fair, and sometimes it's unfair. But I can judge my performances very well -- and I also know how the coach [Arsene Wenger] and the fans rate it."

Ozil garnered a mixed reception for his performances in his first year in England.

Ozil was absent as his teammates -- including summer arrivals Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers -- won the Community Shield on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley.

In spite of that resounding victory, he knows that the fight for the title is set to be even more competition this season.

"It's difficult in England," he said. "There at least five teams competing for the title in the Premier League. But to me personally it's clear: I want to have maximum success in every competition I play.

"I've only been back with the team since Monday. But I believe that we have made good reinforcements. And I hope that those injury woes from last season do not continue."

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEWS

As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

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