Emery on Ozil: Mesut Ozil has been limited to time on the sidelines over the last few weeks under Unai Emery.
Arsenal have been shaky over the last few weeks. Their latest defeat to West Ham United has put a huge pressure on Unai Emery to preserve Arsenal’s position on the table.
Manchester United are level on points with Arsenal, but stay at sixth due to goal difference after their 1-0 win over Tottenham over the weekend.
Mesut Ozil’s absence in Arsenal’s games has been a big concern for the Arsenal fans. The midfielder was left out of the squad against West Ham, even when he was not on the injury list.
While Emery has often addressed tactical reasons for keeping Ozil out, he stated after the loss to West Ham that the players in the match-day squad ‘deserved’ to be in the team.
And now, in an exclusive interview with Sky, Unai Emery has seemingly dropped a huge hint over tensions in his relationship with the midfielder.
Emery on Ozil:
Unai Emery reflected on his time at Arsenal and the difficulties he has faced in leading the transition at the club.
He was also asked to comment on the issue with Mesut Ozil.
The midfielder has played for only 155 minutes in the Premier League since November 25. He missed five league games due to troubles with his back and knee during this time.
—Head of recruitment Sven Mislintat reportedly leaving
—No money to spend in January
—Mesut Ozil repeatedly left out of the squad
—Six points off fourth
—Chelsea on Saturday
Arsenal are fine 🔥🏠 pic.twitter.com/nLAFbwzaSm
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 15, 2019
Ian Wright on Mesut Ozil: “It’s really worrying, I know Unai Emery has had his problems with big players in the dressing room before and it seems like Ozil in this dressing room is the one he’s taking it out on”. pic.twitter.com/hTQhc6TiZp
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) January 14, 2019
However, he was not included in the game against West Ham despite being fit for contention in the game.
And in an interview with Sky Sports, he raised the curtains over keeping players who were the regular starters under Wenger (namely Ozil and Ramsey) on the bench.
“At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers,” Emery told Sky.
“From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside, a greater sense of ambition or maybe even a complaint – a complaint regarding the team can be positive.”
The Arsenal head coach revealed that the ‘friction’ could break a relationship, and initiate conversations which could be uncomfortable.
“As a manager, you have to be careful because that friction can break a relationship.
“But I believe in always looking for more, both individually and collectively, with conversations which are comfortable but also with conversations which are less comfortable.
“In the end, the main thing with any footballer is that their qualities are used to benefit the team.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 14, 2019
“As a manager, you have to get the maximum out of that player and at the same time make sure that he fits with the rest of the team so that everyone is better.”
However, whether Emery could get the most out of Mesut Ozil in the remainder of the season remains to be seen.