Mesut Ozil has revealed that his change in diet and a full pre-season have improved his fitness levels, resulting in the midfielder returning to top form for Arsenal this season. The German World Cup winner is having his best season in the Premier League yet following his arrival at the Emirates Stadium in 2013 from Real Madrid.
The 25-year-old German international has been the north London club's top performer this campaign with 18 assists and six goals in the league and is just three short of breaking Thierry Henry's record of 20 assists in a season. He has been influential throughout the campaign as Arsenal chase their first Premier League title in over a decade.
The Gunners' challenge has faltered in recent weeks and they are falling away from the race, but the midfielder still has hopes that they can make up ground on the teams above them and it starts when they face Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (2 April). Arsene Wenger's team are currently 11 points behind leaders Leicester City with eight games remaining until the end of the campaign.
Ozil believes the first two seasons were ruined firstly due to lack of preparation as he joined Arsenal on transfer deadline day in 2013, while the following season saw him miss over three months through injury. The start of the 2015/16 campaign saw the midfielder complete a full pre-season. He believes that this and change in diet are the reasons for his improved performance and lack of injuries during the course of the season.
"In my first year, it is to me at first was not easy, used to it in the new league and the new environment. The transfer to FC Arsenal took place very late, the preparation was already well advanced," Ozil told German sports website Spox.
"The following year I was injured for the first time in my career long. Maybe that was also important for my development. After the injury, I decided to switch some things and to do things differently," he explained.
"Now everything comes together positive and I could first complete all the preparation with the team and make the most of it, which I have changed a lot. Since it runs much better and I have again a lot of fun playing football."
"During my injury I realised how much I miss the football and I wanted to avoid at all costs, again over so having to watch a period. That's why I changed my diet. I used ever allowed myself a Coke, now I drink a lot more water. I eat today significantly less bread than even a few years ago. And I'm much more in the weight room, I put on muscle mass and feel in top shape. A good fitness also prevents injuries," the German international added.