Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has heaped praise on teammate Mathieu Flamini following the midfiedler's man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the Capital One Cup. The French international scored two goals to knock out the Gunners' arch rivals out of the competition.
The German midfielder believes that his friend and colleague deserved his time under the spotlight and is delighted to have him in the team. Flamini is in his second spell at the club after rejoining from AC Milan, the club that he left Arsenal for on a free transfer in 2008.
The 31-year-old midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at the club, with Francis Coquelin taking over the defensive midfield duties, and Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta all ahead of him for the second midfielder's role in Arsene Wenger's 4-2-3-1 formation. He made his first start of the season against Tottenham in the league cup, but suffered an injury in the next game against Chelsea, and is yet to recover from the knock.
However, Ozil has made it clear that everyone likes having him in the team, as he is 100% committed to it and gets along well with all the other players off the pitch as well. "He scored two wonderful goals [at White Hart Lane]. He's been rewarded for his strong showings and those goals were of course sensational," Ozil told Arsenal's official site.
"[Volleys like that] are really difficult. Sometimes when you see players connect with them, the goalkeepers save the shot or they miss the target. Mathieu caught his perfectly and scored a wonderful goal, especially because it was the winner."
"I have a really good understanding with Mathieu. He's a guy who always gives 100 per cent on the pitch but when he's off the pitch, he's a player who makes a lot of jokes and gets on well with a lot of his team-mates," the World Cup winning midfielder added. "He's just a great guy with whom I have a lot of fun. As I said, we're just pleased to have him in this team."