Arsene Wenger reveals Mesut Ozil suffered mentally after Arsenal's Champions League exit

Arsenal went into Wednesday's clash at Emirates Stadium having won just one of their last six Premier League games, but second-half goals from Ozil, Walcott and Olivier Giroud got them back on track.

Arsene Wenger was happy to hear his name chanted after Arsenal beat West Ham on Wednesday night for their first league win in nearly two months.

Four points off fourth place, Arsenal will head to Crystal Palace on Monday knowing they have to win.

"I feel that he is back physically, with focus", Wenger told the club's official website.

His critics in the media over the past few weeks include Gunners legend Thierry Henry, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville and fellow Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, all of whom have lambasted Ozil's lack of productivity in key games.

Wenger said he was positive about Arsenal's chances of making the top four, something he has achieved in all his 20 plus years at the club and a target he has set himself this time round while insisting it is not a condition of the board's towards signing a new contract.

Hammers manager was quizzed about the length of Wenger's spell in charge with the Frenchmen taking over at the Gunners 20 years ago.

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker added: "We are really capable of going on good runs". We had quite a strong bench tonight.

"We defended well with numbers, and we were also good on counter-attacks".

With Ozil's future yet to be decided, Wenger believes the German was mentally affected by their last-16 exit at the hands of Bayern and deserves credit for responding to critics with his performance on Wednesday evening.

'We are talking about the magic number of 40, ' he said. "We don't have to hide it". We have to be realistic, it's not being negative it's being realistic.

"Diafra is available and when you talk to him, he is ready and can't wait, but it is not like he has been out with a hamstring injury".

"We need to re-group quickly, have a couple of good days' training and then make sure we get those three points on Saturday". We have to leave our egos in our beds at home and be as one, totally.

It was only a matter of time before a goal went in for the home side, we somehow held on till half-time and went in 0-0 at the break.

"Let's try and get players like him and Mesut into spots where they are unsafe, behind the lines, where they are able to make a telling contribution".

  • Lila Blake