Unai Emery explains why he sidelined Mesut Ozil during his stay at Arsenal. The German midfielder was constantly linked with a move away from the Emirates.
When Unai Emery took over Arsenal 18 months ago, Mesut Ozil was their most creative player and perhaps the best even. However, Ozil’s status as the club’s most important player took a beating when the German began to find himself more on the bench than the field.
Unai Emery has now opened up on the reason behind the freezing out of Mesut Ozil during his tenure as Arsenal manager. The Spaniard has said that the playmaker had brilliant talent. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the necessary qualities for the pressing game he wanted to implement at the Emirates.
Unai Emery explains why he sidelined Mesut Ozil during his stay at Arsenal
I’ve had a lot of conversations with Mesut Ozil,” Emery told BBC Sport. “He’s a very important player for the team.
“There are games in which you see Mesut’s brilliance, linking with the attack. But also, I had to find players around him so he felt comfortable.
“Also, the team needed to feel solid. And when you, little by little, have to build a team that is aggressive, intense, as well as structured for good pressure, we also had to find a space for Mesut as he gives us an important part of the game, which is his brilliant talent.
“To do so I had to find the right connections between players, the right tactics. I was very motivated to try to find that. I wanted Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut to work together, each one of them with their own characteristics.
“But there were times when I had to leave one of them out of the XI. Ozil is a very important player if you can find a way to make it work with other players.
“He has talent that allows other players to be better, but when you want a bit more aggressive pressure, he does not have the best qualities for that.”
Unai Emery has since been replaced with Mikel Arteta as Arsenal manager. Ozil and Arteta have both played together at Arsenal itself. The German was one of the first to welcome him back to the club.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) December 20, 2019
Arteta will not take charge of the club in the match against Everton. The new manager understands the value of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal and has made his plans for the playmaker very clear.
“He is a massive player for this football club,” said Arteta. “I worked with him, I know when he ticks, what he can bring to the team. It’s my job to get the best out of him.”
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