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Pep's City or Arsenal's 'Invincibles'?

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: Mesut Ozil has a 'more determined attitude'

Despite constant criticism, former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires feels Arsene Wenger is still the right man for the job.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims Mesut Ozil has a "more determined attitude" since returning to form for the Gunners in recent weeks.

The German international impressed in Arsenal's north London derby victory over Tottenham on Saturday and netted in the 5-2 mauling of Everton at Goodison Park in October after his poor start to the season.

"Mesut Ozil has worked hard and he's extremely fit at the moment," Wenger told Sky Sports.

"That's why you see him sharp, the quality of his technical aspect is always there but he has added a more determined attitude and that's what you want from him.

"Football today is very demanding on the mental and the physical aspect. Mesut today is in a much better shape than he was before."

Despite Ozil's resurgence, problems are still mounting for the Gunners on and off the pitch as they lost 1-0 to Cologne in the Europa League on Thursday and Jack Wilshere hit out at Wenger over a lack of playing time.

Mesut Ozil has impressed for Arsenal in recent weeks.

Arsenal can, however, build on their north London triumph when they travel to Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.

But Wenger knows that coming away with three points at Turf Moor will be easier said than done.

"Of course they are the surprise package because if you asked before the season 100 people 'will Burnley have 22 points at this stage in the season?' Ninety would have said no and the 10 others would have been Burnley supporters," Wenger said.

"They benefit from the fact that Sean Dyche has done an outstanding job. The fact as well that they have stability in the team. They know each other well, they played together for years now and that's why they are a difficult opponent for anybody.

"You know they've won games with 30, 25 per cent possession -- that means they know what they want to do and are patient to have that killing instinct of a snake. They put you to that pace and suddenly they bite you."

Meanwhile, former Arsenal defender Gabriel has criticised his old club, claiming that he deserved "more of an opportunity" in the Premier League.

The 26-year-old, who moved to high-flying Valencia in the summer for a reported £10 million fee, made 46 appearances for the Gunners between 2015 and 2017.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Gabriel said: "I deserved more of an opportunity. Sometimes I played because my teammates were injured. I did play and sometimes even after playing well, I'd go home sad, given that I was only playing because my team-mate was injured. I don't think I deserved that.

"I think I had the ability to play and to start games because I deserved to do so, or because I did well in training, but that didn't happen.

"Sometimes I'd play three or four games and if Arsenal lost, I'd be dropped and everyone on the outside would say, 'It's Gabriel's fault.'

"I think I played in four or five games en route to the FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City and I played brilliantly in that game. I played really well and I received plenty of praise.

"Then I think we faced Tottenham away and lost, I gave away a penalty in that game and lost my place in the team. I didn't play again."

Gabriel's Valencia are second in La Liga and host league leaders Barcelona on Sunday.

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