Marko Marin was pleased to earn his first 20 minutes in a Chelsea shirt on Tuesday night, and now has his sights set on Arsenal at the weekend.
After a frustrating hamstring injury prevented him from participation after our first couple of pre-season friendlies on tour in America over the summer, the German international was finally able to make his bow as a substitute in the Capital One Cup victory over Wolves, and quickly showed what he could do as he played a part in our sixth and final goal.
‘It was a hard time doing the whole pre-season and then the US tour, then the injury, but it’s football and it happens. Now I’m happy to be back and I played my first 20 minutes,’ said the 23-year-old.
‘Of course it’s not nice, for any player, there is never a good situation to be injured but now I feel good and can forget that time, it’s in the past and I look to the future.
‘I have no targets, of course I want to play as much as possible and now I am nearly 100 per cent fit again, it makes me happy and I want to play. The injury is done.’
Attention now turns to a London derby with both sides expecting to be near the top of the Barclays Premier League come the end of the season. Arsenal finished third last season while we languished in sixth, lifting the FA Cup and Champions League. Marin is keen to emerge on top in the bread and butter of league football.
‘Last year to this year we changed a lot, now we have more creative and offensive players and I hope we can help the success like last year,’ he explained.
‘We hope there are lots of goals in this team, because then it is hard for teams to play against us, when not only one or two players can make the difference.
‘Arsenal have a good team of course but they lost Robin van Persie, who was the best scorer last year, and is at the top again, so it is interesting to see how they do.’
One of Van Persie’s replacements is Marin’s compatriot Lukas Podolski, who is starting to hit the form that has seen him earn more than 100 international caps.
‘At the beginning it was a bit new for him but now he is doing very well and has scored a few goals,’ Marin said of Podolski, who has been occupying the left flank. ‘I haven’t talked to him. We know each other from the national team but we are not really friends, I talk more with Per Mertesacker because we played together at Bremen.
‘There are two German players to play against and I hope I am with the team. The important thing is to win and keep our position in the Premier League.
‘We have a very good defence, so it will be very hard for Lucas to play against us. I’m not sure they have played against a team so good so it will be harder for him and I know Branislav Ivanovic very well, he is one of the best defenders in the world so I am not scared.’