Mesut Ozil: This is what Arsenal have been lacking against top sides in Champions League
By Matt Farr
Mesut Ozil claims the Champions League is a winnable competition for Arsenal – but admits they have lacked “confidence” against the top sides in recent seasons.
The north London club have not had the best history in the competition, but the 28-year-old playmaker is optimistic that his side can achieve it this season.
The Gunners lost in the final during the 2005-06 season, but they have not made it beyond the round of 16 in their last six attempts.
However, Ozil has put their European misfortune down to bad luck, insisting that they have the quality within the squad to achieve their dream.
He told Marca: “I think we have been missing a bit of luck, in every sense.
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“We have been pretty unlucky with the draw in the Champions League. These past few seasons we had Barcelona and Bayern very early on.
“And even then, we still had our chances. But I think we lacked a bit of confidence against the big teams, especially in those rounds.
“It is a series of factors but we believe we can make that jump. I hope to win the Champions League with Arsenal, I think we have a team that can do it. Like I said, we need a bit more luck, but why not…we have great players.
“Qualifying for the knockout stages proves we are doing things the right way and we’re on the right path. Arsenal always makes it out of the group stages, and now is the time to make that extra step,” he said.
Arsenal travel to Basel for their final group-stage game on Tuesday night, having already secured their place in the knockout-stages of the competition.
As it stands, Arsenal will qualify in second-place, with French giants Paris Saint-Germain qualifying as group leaders.
However, finishing second in the group has proven to be Arsenal’s downfall in recent seasons, often earning themselves a draw with the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Ozil has been in blistering form this season, and is one of the main reasons why Arsenal have already qualified for the latter stages.
The 2014 World Cup winner has contributed seven goals and three assists in 17 appearances in all competitions, including an impressive hat-trick in the 6-0 victory over Ludogorets on October 19.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners are moving closer to the signing of this 16-year-old wonderkid.