Soccer

Unai Emery’s honest Mesut Ozil admission will strike a chord with Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta vowed to build his team around Mesut Ozil when he took over from Unai Emery at Arsenal in December 2019.

In his first press conference as Gunners boss, Arteta discussed his bold plans for Ozil, and it spoke volumes that the World Cup winner was the only Arsenal player he name-dropped in the interview.

"[Ozil's] a massive player for this football club," said Arteta in 2019. "As I said before, what I want is to understand how they are feeling and what they need. It's not so much about what I need. You have to understand them.

"Sometimes with conversation, you get to understand a point. When you understand them, I can take the excuses out of them and focus on the things that are relevant and have an impact on the team on and off the pitch.

"Of course he's a massive player. I work with him and I know when he clicks, what he can bring to the team. It's my job to get the best out of him, of course."

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Initially Ozil was a key part of Arteta's squad.

He was brought in from the cold and the Spaniard made a concerted effort to build his new-look Gunners side around him.

It wasn't long though before the same problems arose. Problems both Emery, and Arsene Wenger for that matter, experienced with Ozil.

And suddenly Ozil was no longer the cock of the walk. He was once again out in the cold in north London, so much so in fact that he was left out of Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League teams this season.

Villarreal manager Emery was recently asked about Ozil, and the problems Arteta is having with the German back at Arsenal.

He didn't give much away, but suggested it was Ozil's fault things didn't work out for him when he was in charge, and that it's likely Arteta has experienced the same thing.

"I worked for one and a half years with Mesut and tried to help him, support him and achieve the performances for the team with him," Emery told football.london.

"Now I don't know what the problems are as I am very concentrated and focused with Villarreal. I follow every Arsenal match but I don't know what the problems are with the team or the players.

"I can only speak about Mesut Ozil when I was with him there and I tried to achieve the best performances with him."

Gunners boss Arteta has never truly opened up on his problems with Ozil, nor explained his reasons for shutting him out entirely at Arsenal.

But he has previously revealed what he wants to see from his Arsenal players, and that he is always on hand to guide them.

And it seems that Ozil failing to buy into Arteta and Emery's respective philosophies, despite support from both bosses, has ultimately resulted in lightning striking twice.

"I have my ideas that I would like to keep to myself because I have to corroborate them when I see them act, when I see them behave, when I see them live together," Arteta said in 2019.

"I want to do things my way but by convincing them that's it's the right way for everybody to live better. Everybody has to respect each other first of all, and I want people who are accountable for what I'm asking for them to do.

"I don't want them hiding, I want people to take responsibility for their jobs and I want people who deliver passion and energy in the football club.

"Anyone who doesn't buy into this, or that has a negative effect or whatever, is not good enough for this environment or this culture. There are things to change, absolutely, because they're not performing at the level that we expect them to.

"I will have to help them and to help them I need to know what's happening, I need to understand how they're feeling, what they're lacking. If I get to reach that point, then I can help them. Then they will trust me and then they will follow me."

Will Mesut Ozil leave Arsenal this January transfer window? Have your say here.

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