Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil describes hectic fixture schedule as 'out of the ordinary'

The German has enjoyed the busy Christmas period

Mesut Ozil admits Arsenal's recent hectic schedule was “out of the ordinary” - but the German playmaker now feels settled and ready for the drive towards a successful end to the season.

Ozil, 25, has just recovered from a shoulder problem which saw the Gunners' record signing miss two matches over the Christmas period.

The former Real Madrid star, however, cannot wait for another chance to throw himself into the hustle and bustle of English top-flight action, with Arsenal out to sustain their place at the head of the Barclays Premier League when they travel to Aston Villa on Monday night.

"Of course it is out of the ordinary because I have always had a winter break in previous years. In the Premier League, you play every few days - you don't get a week to relax," Ozil said on Arsenal Player.

"I am very pleased that I am in this league because you go from game to game very quickly.

"You play every two or three days and for me it is better to play more games than train because I love a challenge and here that is perfect."

Ozil continued: "I feel comfortable here. You can see on the pitch when we play together that we have a very good understanding.

"The team is great and for me it's been very easy to settle - the German players here have helped me to establish myself quicker than I perhaps would have done were they not here.

"But ultimately I feel pleased. The people are very friendly and welcoming."

Ozil has produced some fine displays since hitting the headlines with his £43million switch on transfer deadline day in September, but also drawn criticism for not maintaining his own high standards on a consistent basis.

The German midfielder is in now doubt he can continue to grow at Arsenal.

"I know what I can do and a footballer always strives for more success," he said.

"My aim is to develop and improve my game here - but the most important thing is that we play successful football as a team and that, at the end of the season, we win trophies.

"You have personal goals - you want to remain healthy and want to play successful football, but like I said, the most important thing is to be successful with this team."

PA

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