COLOGNE, Germany, October 11 – Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has said he is loving life in London as he prepares to help Germany secure their World Cup berth against Republic of Ireland in Friday’s qualifier.
Ozil joined the Gunners from Real Madrid for 50 million euros (£43 million) in September and is enjoying life in the English capital — even if it means driving on the other side of the road, albeit with help from Germany team-mate Per Mertesacker.
“I am really happy at Arsenal and feel really well there,” Ozil said in Thursday’s press conference in Cologne.
“The coach trusts me and the team are fully behind me, which is really important for me.
“I really like London, it’s an interesting city and I have even got used to driving on the left.
“I thought it would be much more difficult than it really is, but (Arsenal defender) Per Mertesacker gave me some ‘driving lessons’ and they helped me, so I can drive there.”
Ozil’s Gunners initiation included the traditional singing in front of his team-mates, something he admits embarrassed him.
“I sang a Turkish song, which of course they didn’t understand,” he said.
“I wouldn’t want to do that again. I don’t think my voice is very good.”
With a five-point lead in Group C, Germany need just one point against the Republic of Ireland in Cologne to secure their berth at the 2014 World Cup.
“We are really well prepared and we’ll give our all to win the game,” said Ozil, who will make his 50th international appearance.
“We know that the Irish always fight hard until the last minute and give their all.
“But if we play our own game I am convinced we will win.”
English Ozil’s former Real team-mate Sami Khedira says the Spanish giants are poorer without the German play-maker, who was sold to make way for the arrival of Welshman Gareth Bale for a world-record fee.
“When you dispense with the quality of someone like Mesut Ozil, it would damage any team in the world,” said Khedira.
“But Mesut is happy and that’s what’s most important, I am happy for him.”