Emery: Creating friction can improve players

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock (probably preferable in these uncertain times), you’ll probably know that Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil haven’t been signing off their Whatsapp messages to each other with the ‘face blowing a kiss’ emoji in recent weeks.

For a variety of reasons (sniffles, gammy knee, big boy opponents), the German’s game time has been severely limited since November.

Given he’s also retired from international football, our midfielder is basically spending a lot of time in the gym and then watching box sets at the weekend. All a bit odd given he’s the club’s most highly paid player by some distance.

Does Unai not like Mesut? Has someone at the club decided we need to force him out? Is the decision purely tactical? Or is it something else?

To date, the Spaniard has played a pretty straight bat when asked about the subject by the media, but now he’s hinted at a new reason for why he’s been benching the club’s star player – it’s a motivational tactic.

“At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers,” Emery told Sky Sports. 

“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.

“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.”

He added: “In the end, the main thing with any footballer is that their qualities are used to benefit the team. 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.

“We know that we have to put pressure on the players, to push them. So if a player is giving 70 per cent, he gives 80 per cent. Then if he is giving 80 per cent, he gives 90 per cent. There is always another step, another push. Psychology is an aspect which can help to find it.”

If Emery’s recent treatment of Ozil is a tactic to improve him, it’s certainly bold. In the aftermath of the player’s falling out with the German national team set-up, he insisted that the Arsenal family had Ozil’s back.

He appears to have decided that the softly, softly approach wasn’t working and subsequently changed tack. Time will tell whether things are about to improve between the pair. If there isn’t a thawing in the relationship, we have a massive problem on our hands.

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Goonerooni 48
Goonerooni 48

Playing psychological games with players can fail spectacularly. A manager can lose the whole team with such tactics. I have felt from the beginning that Emery was a bad appointment. Now I am sure of it.

karl
karl

Allowing payers to coast is the poor choice.

Goonerooni 48
Goonerooni 48

I have never advocated allowing players to coast. I advocate stopping psychological games with players, most especially friction creating psychological games. Other managers such as Klopp bring out the best from their players by other means. Emery should learn from them instead of following the philosophy of Jose Mourinho and his ilk.

Phil
Phil

Technically speaking a lack of friction would cause something (/someone) to coast! I think it’s important not to confuse provoking some friction in a squad with ‘psychological games’ as you put it, they are not the same thing…

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Ozil played his best football under mourinho…

Devlin
Devlin

Mourinho treated him like Ars ene did, maybe even better because he built his side in a way that Ozil’s weaknesses wouldn’t be as significant. He was rewarded with 28 goals and 87 assists in 159 games.

Ozil’s chances created for Ronaldo was recently surpassed in February. That means he created, in 3 seasons, more chances than anyone has created for Ronaldo, during his 9 year Madrid career. That includes Kroos, Modric, Isco, Dimaria, Bale and etc.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ozil’s job on the pitch is to create chances. It is like saying that a defender made more clearances than anybody else. Mourinho did have some problems with him at Real. Ozil said in his book that Mourinho once yelled at him during halftime : Do you think all you have to do on the pitch is to give two good passes ?

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Not honestly sure mourinho’s tactical set up is the best defence for Ozil really considering how other top managers seem to have moved beyond him too

Buzorog
Buzorog

Mourinho did not treat Ozil at all like Arsene. You should read Ozil’s biography. It was tough love.

Ourchildrensworld

Ozil plays his best football as a number 10. Modern football has evolved beyond having a player who doesn’t score 20+ goals a season only operating in an attacking position. Even goalscorers are required to press, work the channels and operate across the pitch.

Ozil is the best creator in world football, but is several years too late. What other team has a player who only operates behind the strikers? I cannot blame Ozil for this but I think as a club we have to decide to buck the trend and try to play with a number 10 or replace him in our starting 11 – a very expensive option.

It’s like Kolasnic or Xhaka. We can either moan when they struggle out of position or simply play them how they are supposed to be played.
Is Emery’s job to build his perfect footballing system or to get the most out of the players we currently have?

It cannot be both.

Devlin
Devlin

They said the same thing about the 442 and how ithad no place in modern football, until Atletico won the league with it. They said you can only thrive with a big man upfront, until Messi showed that you can even play away from the defence as a false nine and thrive. They said a defensive midfielder had to be big, strong, robust and uncompromising, until Sergio Busquets and Kante came along, neither looking like a traditional DM. They said defender had to be tall and strong, until canavaro won the ballon d’or.

Many teams might have moved on, but that does not mean a traditional 10 can’t still play. That is where a coach earns his wages, by coming up with a structure, system and philosophy that will get the most out of your best players. Tactics are not just the formation, the formation is just a structure within which tactics can be applied. Ozil is a challenge, I think he is a challenge that if you create the kind of environment he can thrive in, the team will be very good.

Homer
Homer

If I could give you 100 thumbs up, I would do so.
Bravo!!

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

If you create the kind of environment Xhaka needs, he can be a great DM. Same for Mustafi if he doesn’t have to do his slide-and-miss tackles.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Not that I disagree per se, but your examples are somewhat flawed.

Only the Atleti example fits the Ozil scenario; a method once thought outdated but shown it can still work in modern football.

All the other examples are evolutions of systems, styles and positions once to be a certain way but phased out; big man upfront evolved to messi, bruiser DM evolved to Busquets, burley defender evolved to ball-players, etc.
All those arguments actually point towards the other argument; that the idea of a maverick 10 has evolved beyond just wondering round and making chances.

Like I said, not that I agree that Ozil is past it, but that your argument actually lends weight towards it.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

442 is a weird example, it has come back in favour with some managers but it fell out of favour because managers couldn’t compete against the most successful teams of that time with the formation. The classic number 10 could be a similar example where, sure, maybe we see it again in future but right now you can’t compete against the top sides and for the biggest trophies with that set up.

Everything else you’ve listed is a case of someone like Messi changing the way the game is played more than an existing profile of player becoming redundant. In comparison to Kante or Busquets, Ozil would be the big traditional DM that those players replaced.

JB1
JB1

We’ve played our best football this season as 4-2-3-1 with Ozil as the 10

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Our best football, Fulham and Spurs, didn’t have Ozil involved.

A Different George
A Different George

Well-said.

Ourchildrensworld

I agree with you and maybe shouldn’t have suggested these things are set in stone. However our current playing staff are not equipped (in their best positions) to play how Emery wants. So where do we go from here?

Players can exist in a loose framework and roles change and adapt but a combination of our League position and the fact we are no longer an elite team means we cannot afford a luxury player like Ozil if he cannot adapt.

442 worked because they didn’t play as rigid as the 90s and Messi worked because he is significantly better than the defenders he was up against. I know there are exceptions to every rule but Arsenal don’t fit either example. We have to play to our strengths or get players who will play to our managers plan, and Emery seems convinced Ozil cannot or will not.

JazzAFC
JazzAFC

spot on, a great post buddy!

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Ozil is a wimp. No tactics or formations can make up for that.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

I think it depends on our ambitions. If all the top sides have moved beyond a number 10 we can either emulate them or hope that by continuing with a system that has seen them move further away from us we can somehow bridge the gap…

A Different George
A Different George

All of the top sides have moved beyond a number 10 only if you (a) define a number 10 in the most narrow and unhistorical way possible and (b) you then don’t count Man City, Barca, Juventus, PSG, and Madrid as top sides.

A Different George
A Different George

The main point you make is right: adapt you game to use the strengths of your best players. But it is not true that no one plays with a number 10–that is, a midfielder who is an attacker rather than box to box or holding, who generally plays in the centre of the pitch rather than the wings (or drifts to the centre even if he starts out wide), who tries to play between the opponent’s midfielders and their defenders, and whose most important asset is his passing and creation of scoring opportunities for others rather than scoring himself. That fits a number of important players today: Modric, the current holder of the Golden Ball, David Silva, both Verrati and Rabiot, Rakitic, Pjanic. They don’t play exactly alike, some score more goals than the others or are somewhat more defensive, but they all play the role we are talking about, Ozil’s role.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Odd selection, as almost all of them DON’T play like Ozil. Neither Modric or Silva play like that (anymore); they both play as a hybrid-8/10, ala Alli, KDB, etc.

The only high profile player that’s closest to Ozil would be Pogba, and in all honesty, even then he’s more box to box and scores more goals.

A Different George
A Different George

You have missed the point: If you define a number 10 in the narrowest possible way, then no one uses one any more. If you define it according to the skills that Ozil brings to a side, and include the limitations those skills impose on your tactics if you play to take advantage of them, then the top teams in Europe use a 10. Does Silva play just like Ozil? Of course not–but he plays the same role as Ozil. Another important point that should be obvious: the role depends in part on who else is in the team. Silva doesn’t play the same when a fit De Bruyne is there; Iniesta’s role changed when Xabi left (as did Messi’s, by the way). I have no doubt that Juventus, PSG, Barca, and Madrid would all be better sides with Ozil. But not Arsenal?

Gee
Gee

Football tends to run in cycles between attack dominant teams and defense dominant teams, it’s not as simple as modern football doesn’t accommodate Ozil or players like him. Look at Mahrez, Neymar, twigs that should get snapped in a tackle. It’s up to the coach to find a system that accommodates the players he has. Not disregard the players for the system.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

In a team full of stars that got challenged in maybe 4 games per season.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

how does Klopp improve players who won’t give 100% ??
ok then what did Emery say about kola he when gave manu a free goal last month??
Evidently Emery is trying different approaches with different players.
And I’d rather blame him on his on-field tactics, because he was right when he said we should be able to beat the like Westham without Ozil.

YOLO Toure
YOLO Toure

He just gets rid a la Mama Sakho, Benteke, Balotelli…

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

We should do the same. We’ve seen everything there is to see from the lot. If only we had the resources to make an overhaul… 🙁

Goooooooner for life
Goooooooner for life

what are these “means” you talk about?
Its easy to say Klopp’s work is a success cause theyre top pf the league now, but not many were saying this when he arrived or for his first few years. Klopp would not have succeeded if he was appointed at Arsenal with the board we have.

Andy
Andy

didn’t klopp try the same thing with sturridge without any success? another very talented player with questionable motivation. i think it’s unfair to compare klopp to emery at this stage as he has had the time to reshape his squad and get the players in that he knows he can work with.

this all goes back to the preposterous decision to award ozil that contact. it was blindingly obvious at the start of last season we should have taken the 80-100m we could have for both sanchez and ozil and used that money to rebuild. the club has been poorly run for a long time now and emery is the poor sucker being tasked with cleaning up the mess while having no money to spend. the jury is still out on him for me. lets give him 2-3 seasons and see what he can do. his track record is excellent and am not sure we would be able to attract anyone better to the club.

at this stage i think we have to back the coach and get ozil off the books now, even if it’s only a loan for a half a season with his wages being subsidised. there is a huge rebuilding project to be undertaken and ozil is not going to be part of that so the sooner we pluck the thorn the better.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

All the thumbs up in the world Andy. Could have put Wilshere in there too for another 15-20M. Mismanagement at Arsenal over last few years has been staggering

Andy
Andy

sure dave. and i would probably have kept the ox and built a team around him, although that would have been a big risk.
i like emery’s style. folks that are on here crying about spiky management clearly know very little about how top level sports works behind the scenes. it’s a hyper competitive super pressurised environment and very few folks can handle it. that’s why the guys at the top get paid such huge bucks. ozil is clearly and never has been one of those guys.
i defended ozil for a long time because i love watching him play when he is on it. he is a real artist but an expensive luxury for a club in our position and the icing on the cake for a club like real/barca/bayern, especially as he enters the downward phase of his career.
i love auba too and we would be lost without him this season but i question the size of the investment in someone who will have little resale value in a couple of years.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Hard to imagine this comment being downvoted when Wenger was manager. Funny how sentiment can blow like the wind.

GYWE
GYWE

The friction seems to be taking a while to manifest seeing as this charade has been going on since November…

BigArse
BigArse

Exactly. Time to get him back on the field and see if this jedi mind trick has worked.

myrtle
myrtle

I can see it from Emery’s point of view. I think on a few occasions this season Ozil has let him down when he needed him most. I’m thinking woefully ineffectual displays at Palace, Wolves and Southampton away where instead of keeping the ball he tried a needless dummy in his own half and they scored directly from it. That even boiled my blood and it must have been a breatking point between them. Since then he was hooked at half time against Brighton and has not featured since.

Two of the best performances this season – Fulham and Spuds, came without Ozil even getting a minute. So I get his rationale that the team is capable without him, however the guys out there now look completely nackered after the festive period and really could do with some creative help from one of the best in the business. Overall I think Emery’s handling of squad rotation has been naively bad. Although both Guardiola and Klopp had exactly the same issue in their first seasons, that is no excuse.

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

Not speaking in total about Emery, but this particular philosophy is shared by just about every bad boss out there. To me, it shows a lack of creativity as a motivator and a reactionary view of “how the world works.” Dare to imagine that people can be properly motivated by something other than discomfort.

sambo
sambo

I don’t think we know exactly how he meant it. I doubt he’s saying ”i tear them down until they try to prove me wrong” its more ”i will tell the inconvenient truth to your face, and not ignore the elephants in the room” for instance put a tackle in and work hard Ozil…. We cant win when you get dispossessed and flail your arms in the air because you didn’t get a free kick from a strong shoulder barge while their player has all the time in the world to look up, posture and then spread a ball into the channel of their striker who’s been told to repeatedly just peal off into said channel for 90 mins waiting for a lucky break. Emery is asking for more, Ozil is trying to do the least….Thats the line in the sand. And i LOVE Ozil but he’s soft.

thw14
thw14

He didn’t say it’s the only way to motivate, he said at certain times it can be useful.

Ozil’s had the arm around shoulder for some three years and, decent stats notwithstanding, hasn’t proven himself the player to build an attack around in the way Bergkamp or even Fabregas were.

He’s somehow nevertheless got himself quite a raise, even by the mental current standards of the game. Expectations will follow.

I think Emery will die on this hill, but I think it’s a worthwhile one to die on. If he does go, it will say far more about the state of our club than it will about his ability as a manager.

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

My post didn’t mention Özil, just the philosophy. Of course friction can get “results,” but so do many odious forms of leadership—it doesn’t make them a net positive, though.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Elliot?

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Still not what Emery said though, especially if you read the full interview. He even made the point you have to remember players are, first of all, human beings and you have to treat people with respect. There’s nothing wrong with a boss who is frank and honest but gets results, it’s much better than a relaxed working environment where there’s no pressure from above

Possession
Possession

No player ever coasted when Tony was skipper , he would never allow it. We need a true leader on the park with the captains armband on to sort this type of shit out. Ask Dennis Bergkamp.

A Different George
A Different George

Oh for chrissake, you remind me of those commentators who say “in my day, that would have been a good tackle,” as someone like Ryan Shawcross slides in studs-first. Somehow, even after Adams was gone, Bergkamp played okay. Some would even say he played pretty well.

Double98
Double98

i don’t think managing a group of millionaire men lends itself to typical workplace motivation.

Money doesn’t motivate them – they have too much
non financial incentives don’t motivate them because they can afford anything the club can
Praise doesn’t motivate them because they have so much money they can afford an agent who gives them all the praise they need
Promotion (to captain) doesnt work because they already have a pecking order that you determined with the pay structure that you deployed
career progression – seeing arsenal as a stepping stone may motivate performances … but not when you came from real madrid and your next stop is galatasaray

There are boys who need a kick in the arse and boys who need an arm around the shoulder.
There are boys who need both at the same time.

Ozil has had the arm around the shoulder for so long i have pins and needles in my arm and my foot is itching to kick him in the arse.
He is outstanding in some games and out standing in others.

At least Emery isn’t admiring the problem – he is meeting the star player head on.
Ozil has to do what the manager wants and every week he sits in the stands tells the rest of the team who the boss is.

N10
N10

I would agree, but Emery’s experience and success suggests that he knows what he’s doing.

Ozil acted like a passenger long before Emery came on board. As Andrew said, Emery probably tried the patient supportive tack and it didn’t work.

My thinking is that the club are backing Emery. I couldn’t see him going on a suicide mission on this without hearing from Raul.

The best thing that could happen is that Ozil would step up and be a mature professional and do what the boss tells him to do.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Come on..nearly everyone needs a kick up the arse sometime

Jack
Jack

Emery, please play Ozil on Saturday. I beg you, I beg you!! Just once!

karl
karl

Okay, but if he is anonymous again in a big game, will the Ozil fans pipe down?

Stayn
Stayn

Better than not playing him and dealing in what-ifs

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Except we’ve seen it 1000 times before

Double98
Double98

haven’t – we have seen it 500 times before – the other 500 times he was class

Timsh
Timsh

Depends. If everyone else is shit too and we have very little posession of the ball, then no.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

with all the crying over him not playing, I expect nothing less than match-winnig performances week-in week-out.
his salary’s worth.

rohit
rohit

I don’t understand this logic at all. No, he isn’t supposed to be producing match-winning performances right now. Even if he plays just a little better than the next best alternative (enter the player you feel should play), he deserves his spot. His salary doesn’t matter because we have him in the club already. Whether he plays or not, he gets the money. So, why not see past it.

Irrational Gunner

Yes. Like it or not, the contract was signed last year and is sunk cost on the balance sheet. All this talk comparing him to other players on other teams is moot. His contribution to our performance needs to be compared to the perceived contribution of the alternate players available. Looking at it this way, with the injuries we have, and the others available, friction or not, I don’t understand why he is not on the bench at least.

A Fleeting Glimpse
A Fleeting Glimpse

You mean like he was in fa cup final against Chelsea. So many John Terry’s on this forum

Billymac
Billymac

Not really. He needs game time. Assuming Ozil does play and is subbed in the middle of the second half or so, would you judge him on 60-70 minutes of football after several weeks of not playing? Would you do the same for every other Arsenal player?

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

Ozil vs Kante? My money is on the Chelsea man

Chmackhyungpark
Chmackhyungpark

Playing your best players can improve your team and results*

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Playing Ozil away from home can be… frustrating

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Who are the best players?

sambo
sambo

Not Iwobi

Guerin fc
Guerin fc

A player with the talent that he has must be consistent and emery has too get that out of him being 30 years old its now or never and if this is wat it takes then so be it or else go play in china

Rich
Rich

It’s been abundantly clear for a very long time that Ozil is finished as a player, the sooner we get him off the wage bill and permanently out of the club the better, you can’t give hunger and desire to someone, they’ve either got it? Or they haven’t?
I’ve never seen reports about Ozil being unhappy about being out of the team, it’s always that he likes where he lives and doesn’t want to move, which says to me he’s lost any personal pride or ambition in his line of work, he’s had a fantastic career, but it would be best for all if he just went to the States for one final payday, where he’ll still be technically a cut above, he’ll get a comparative wage packet, and the lifestyle will be pretty great as well, which by the looks of it, is his main objective now

Mpls
Mpls

Quite a few baseless assumptions there.

Goonerink

Seem to know A lot about ozil don’t ya?

But don’t know he wants to retire in Turkey?

(also his current contract is better than anything he will get anywhere so why would he leave?)

Alex
Alex

The problem is to know with whom you can do it and with whom you cannot do it. Each person is different and reacts differently to that kind of treatment. But for now it seems more disrupting than anything else…

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

To be fair, Ozil played his best football under Jose Mourinho. I think, arguably, Wenger’s soft touch has seen Ozil decline in the last couple of seasons and at least fail to be consistent

Gee
Gee

His best football arguably [email protected] werder Bremen

Mistafi
Mistafi

From the looks of it, it sounds like he has been talking to Ozil and that is good. Comfortable conversations or otherwise as long as there is honest communication there is a chance for revival in the the relationship.

But, we have to take into account Ozil is 30 and we can’t build the team around him now he has to support and facilitate the younger newer players to shine. If this tactic is what gets Ozil there so be it. If it doesn’t we are missing a great couple of seasons that he could have contributed to but collectively between him and Emery they chose not to.

It would be stupid to blame just Emery for this situation or just Ozil. Whatever is happening is a product of both their egos and sensibilities.

Joe B
Joe B

Emery is a con artist.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Get a grip, Christ

Devlin
Devlin

That’s uncalled for Joe.

Assshavin
Assshavin

Cant believe a comment like this gets more upvotes than downvotes…. Really shows how fickle some of us become, when results arent going our way.

AFL
AFL

I believe the audience of ARSEBLOG has significantly risen in last year or so but unfortunately progress is only in numbers and not in quality of comments.
I have been following ASREBLOG for almost 10 years and was always glad that it had real, football-caring, a bit crazy but ultimately loyal fans that love the club.

This Emery-Out bullshit after 20-something games and after 22 years of Wenger, just adds on to the growing sense that this too has become platform for instant, never played a minute but know it all ilks.

Mpls
Mpls

I feel your sentiment, but let’s hope we’re not that far down the hole yet!

I think it’s like the social media outlets. Ignore the extreme outliers, or click your opinion, and move on. If it’s really unacceptable, blogs and the crew do an excellent job of even handed mediation.

Irrational Gunner

Absolutely. But I think it’s great that everyone can have a voice and the Blog to be inclusive. We all know who posts what is sincere and what is BS. And it beats yelling at the dog about the Gunners!

N10
N10

Excellent, thanks for that, my thoughts exactly.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

This comment section is starting to resemble something akin to the daily mail online

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes

Sounds like he’s ready to welcome Mesut back into the fold for Saturday.
Ozil will have to take his chance and shine for us. Now that Kante plays a bit higher up the pitch for Chelsea, I think it will be another goalfest, hopefully we come out on top

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

Oh now he plays that Mislintat.

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

*with

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

I can see such tactics working for a young player in his early twenties, but not for an established, World cup winner, highest-earner player in his final big contract at the age of 30.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Well said m’lord, especially when Mesut has had to endure the most difficult and upsetting summer of his career, been insulted and ripped to shreds by all and sundry, and felt that he had to leave the national team that he loves. To behave the way that Unai has is not psychology, it’s pure amateurish cuntery.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

I do blame the management mostly. If they hadn’t put him on such high wages, then at least the coach would have the option to put him for a transfer or play him in games.

Mpls
Mpls

I agree. The money is in the way of the whole situation both opinion-wise, and in club financial facts. That much money is out of line for any player, anywhere, and that includes Ozil. Especially since it so distorts the overall wage balance.

They had a very difficult decision – fans were toxic, Alexis was heading out, the play was a wreck. It would have been an extremely brave call to hold a wage line with Ozil due to the backlash of losing both of the most highly rated players, and what that would mean in trying to attract new players (“where’s their ambition??”).

But in hindsight, holding a harder line was probably the best call regardless of Ozil stay, or Ozil go.

Irrational Gunner

It would be difficult to believe the experience for him at the WC was not going to leave some marks. Not only all the scapegoating, but just the way they played and were ousted had to have some effect. Then when he comes into Arsenal from the break, all we heard is “we need more from Ozil” right from the get go. Not sure if I am with UE on this one.

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

He could have reacted with more fight..like fuck it I will show everyone how good I am! Did it for 15 minutes against Leicester and a decent game against Burnley. Thats it, no more..
Ozil is the Emperor’s new clothes

Mpls
Mpls

Liverpool at the Emirates?

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

Not sure. Sounds like he’s given more of the arm around the shoulder treatment to Iwobi and that’s working well for him. I doubt young players need much motivation but Ozil has played for Real Madrid, won la liga, won the World Cup, retired from international football and is hugely well paid so motivation could be more of an issue for him than a player at the start of their career.

That’s not a dig at Ozil either, remember how mertesacker spoke of struggles for motivation after winning the World Cup and towards the end of his career?

N10
N10

If you’re treating a star like a novice, that’s not gonna work. As I was saying above though, I’m giving Emery the benefit of the doubt that with his years of experience and track record of success, he knows what he’s doing. We’ll see.

Ozil has long drawn criticism for his attitude and inconsistency, it’s barely worth even mentioning. Remember Keown’s rant last year, there are many examples.

Ozil’s played enough this season for us to get a sense that he hasn’t made the most of his playing time: 4 goals and 2 assists in all comps. For 350K a week. No thanks.

If it’s Emery or Ozil performing like this, easy decision for me, Emery all the way.

Devlin
Devlin

Why would you use friction on a player whose entire country has basically turned him into persona non grata, a player who only has his club as his only football playing option and most importantly, a player who has never had confrontations at the club he has played for and his national team?

Doesn’t a player’s personality come into account when deciding how to motivate him/her? Isn’t it paramount to consider the attitude of a player before such tactics can be applied? Not everyone reacts to things the same and this method that blogs likes so much, can end up painting a coach as a bully.

We know Ozil at his best. Emery found Ozil when he was going through trying times and he used Arsenal as his escape. Emery then goes and turns Ozil’s safe place into a nightmare and then we should be surprised that Ozil might act up. I would act up too. Emery had Ozil in his hands, Ozil just needed to be handled with respect, which he didn’t get in Germany, and he would have owed Emery some really good performances.

Horrible by Emery. He took a risk and it failed, now he has to accept that it didn’t work. He needs to work on his man management, or we won’t ever be a home for top players with him in charge.

atom
atom

I get you’re a huge Ozil fan (from all of your comments) but it’s really not clear that somehow Emery has mismanaged him. By all accounts (even Ramsey has publicly said so), the rules simply did not apply to Ozil when Wenger was in charge. If Ozil is acting up b/c he’s been told he’s just another player and he has to follow the same rules everyone else does now that Wenger’s gone, I don’t really have an issue with Emery.

Devlin
Devlin

Ok, let me make it clear. I do not mind if Ozil is sold, to facilitate a new philosophy or direction for the club. I don’t think a manager/coach should sacrifice the team for one player. I support Arsenal and I would like to see us thrive, whether it is with Ozil or without.

But, in having said that, I am ignorant to the fact that Ozil is an amazing player. Ozil, at average, is better than everyone at the club at creating chances. I think this is Ozil’s worst season with us, and yet he is still our leading chance creator and has the best key passes per90.

He might not have great games all the time, but I fail to see anyone starting ahead of him who is more consistent than this average Ozil. I don’t care about his wages, body language or personality, I just want to see the team in the best shape, mentally, physically and tactically.

I would never try to even insinuate that we are amazing with Ozil in the side and in his right frame of mind because it is a team sport, but I am not blind to the fact that an average Ozil has done more creatively in this side than all our attacking players.

So do I like Mesut? Absolutely yes, he is a player that has taught me more tactically than any other, outside of Xavi, Busquets, Arteta, Mertesaker and Fernandinho. On top of that, he is a delight to watch. It’s not wrong to like Ozil is it?

Devlin
Devlin

I meant not ignorant.

And on this whole Ramsey calling Mesut the teachers pet because Mesut was constantly talking to Ars ene and that he had extra days off, is really painting Ozil and Arsene unfairly.

Firstly, we all were concerned about how many games Sanchez played non-stop for club and country. I wished he would take some days off, but he wouldn’t. Now, Ozil is the only player in that same period who played the most games overall after Sanchez. Ramsey has never spent a full season without missing a considerable amount of time. So if Mesut gets more rest days than anyone, isn’t it warranted? People also forget that Mesut has been a key player for many teams and managers.

The Ramsey interview is wierd because a teacher’s pet isn’t the guy who gets leeway, it’s the guy seeking the attention of the manager right? The players who got really abnormal treatment considering their performances and injury records were Ramsey and Wilshere. These two played, no matter what form, attitude or even physical condition they were in.

Wilshere was told that he just needs to get himself fit and he will play. Ramsey has been played into form, gone off form and remained. Ramsey played, regardless of Arsene’s assertion that he needs to go back to basics, game in and game out.

This is a new regime and I am not surprised that Ramsey and Wilshere are the players who have or are leaving.

atom
atom

Liking Ozil is A-ok – the vast majority of the people on here would love to see him performing at his top week in and week out. Pretending that he’s consistently performing at a world class level since he’s been here and somehow he’s being martyred by Emery, not so much.

The fact is Ozil has been wildly inconsistent since he joined Arsenal. He’s gone through a few spurts like fall of 17 before he got the new contract where he was playing up to his potential. But he also goes through long periods of being very average- and that’s not solely down to who he’s playing with either.

He also doesn’t clearly fit what modern football does – i.e. you would be very hard pressed to find a top team in European club football who plays with a true number 10 devoid of any defensive duties. Especially one that really doesn’t score himself all that much. If Emery thinks he doesn’t fit where he wants the team to head then I’m ok with him leaving Ozil out. One of the biggest problems I had with the later Wenger years was the club did not appear to be run as a meritocracy. You always knew Jack would play as soon as he came back from injury – ditto Ramsey regardless of form or what it did to team shape. etc. I’m tired of seeing players play simply b/c they have big names.

Devlin
Devlin

You don’t get to be the fastest player to 50 assists in EPL history with spurts. You do not become the second highest creator of chances in Europe over the last 5 years in spurts.

I get that he is not everyone’s cup of tea, but nobody said he performs at a world class level on a weekly basis, he’ll not even a monthly basis. Ozil is not some sort of deity. Ozil isn’t even our best player over the last 10 years. He isn’t the end all, be all of Arsenal.

But on the inconsistency point, you are all lying to yourselves. If I ask you what an average (7/10) performance by Ozil looks like or even his stats in such a game, you wouldn’t know. Ozil is consistent, you just don’t notice him unless we lose, where you will ask why he didn’t singlehandedly win us the game, or when he puts on those once in a season performances, where you use it as a stick to beat him with by asking him to perform like that every game.

Everyone references that Leicester game as Ozil’s one good game this season and the rest are apparently crap. Can you tell me of any world class player in the EPL who has put on a performance that good, this season?

Just admit that Ozil has to put in incredible performances for anyone to notice him on the pitch, while nobody notices the many clear chances his teammates have missed from him. Now you see why Arsenal were such an attacking side and why people were not worried about chances being created until a sustained period with Ozil.

atom
atom

Ozil has lagged Erickson & DeBruyne in assists/chances created and in goals (significantly) the past several years yet makes at least 150k a week more than either of those players. The truly top players in the world are able to consistently perform at a very high level even if they aren’t always putting in world class performances (Modric, Messi, Ronaldo). It would be one thing if Ozil were occasionally putting in the 10 out 10 Leceister game and otherwise performing at 8 or 9 /10 as world class players do, but he’s not. He’s either a 9/10 or a 5/10. That simply doesn’t cut it for one of the top 10 highest paid players in all of Europe.

atom
atom

If you look at the past several years, Erickson and Debruyne have both significantly outperformed Ozil in terms of goals, assists and chances created despite making over 150k less a week than he does. That difference is a big deal when we’re talking about a self-sustaining business model.

The real issue is his inconsistency. The truly top players consistently put up 8 or 9 out of 10 with the occasional Leceister type game (modric, messi, Ronaldo etc.). The issue with Ozil is he’s almost always either a 9 /10 or a 4/5 out of 10. He simply does not have the consistency he needs for someone who is in the top 10 in Europe in terms of pay. We pay him like a world class player but only occasionally get that from him.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@ Devlin

“You don’t get to be the fastest player to 50 assists in EPL history with spurts. You do not become the second highest creator of chances in Europe over the last 5 years in spurts.”

No but maybe you do get there by being perhaps the only player at a top team that’s only asked to create chances, take set pieces and literally nothing else (pressing, tracking back, scoring goals). These are also oddly specific stats, surely his performances over the last 2 or 3 years would be more relevant?

The strange thing about Ozil is that the worse his performances have gotten, the more an extremely vocal subset of fans seem pressed to defend him. And the more outrageous those fans’ statements become, the greater scrutiny his performances and statistics have come under.

I’m reposting a snippet of something I wrote yesterday under the Sokratis article while doing some digging, after someone claimed that Ozil had “smoked” most creative players in the premier league with assists and chances created. I’m using KdB, Alli and Erikesn for comparison. Stats are from premierleague.com/stats:

2017/2018

Big Chances Created
1. Kdb – 19
2. Alli – 16
4. Eriksen – 15
8. Ozil – 13

Assists
1. KdB – 16
5. Alli – 10
5. Eriksen – 10
11. Ozil – 8 (Joint with Ramsey, one behind Mkhi!)

2016/2017

Big Chances Created
1. Kdb – 24
2. Eriksen – 16
9. Ozil – 9 (Joint with Chamberlain! One behind Sanchez)
Alli not in the top 20

Assists
1.KdB – 18
2. Eriksen – 15
6. Ozil – 9 (One behind Sanchez)
12. Alli – 7 (Joint with Chamberlain!)

“You actually have to go all the way back to 2015/2016 to find a time where Ozil has “smoked” anyone, with 19 assists and 28 big chances created. He’s not in the top 20 of either list for 2014/2015. And in his first season he was fifth for assists and not in the top 20 for big chances created.”

Mpls
Mpls

And I’ll repeat another part of that conversation. We sucked on every part of the pitch over the two seasons you cite. Do you expect high chance creation numbers if we’re a shambles across the pitch and have no control of the matches? Most of the matches those seasons we didn’t or were playing at the level of mid-table clubs.

You can’t separate an individual’s performances from those of the entire squad over the course of a season.

Kdb, Alli, and Ericksen played in teams vying for top of the league or solidly in the top three while we were floundering down in 6th. They’re going to be on the front foot, attacking, dominating. They had more stable defensive and midfield foundations to build their attacks from and control matches. We were chasing around the strikers of bottom half clubs.

Singling out our two worst seasons in 20 years with terrible goals conceded records to say our most creative player is the liability is in the very least a bit unfair.

As for your ‘extremely vocal subset’ comment, I don’t suppose there are any of those constantly attacking Ozil after every match, whether or not he plays, day in, day out, week in, week out, are there?

Consider that perhaps there are people that see both sides of the situation, but are simply quite fucking tired of seeing the abuse.

But I know, it’s de rigueur at the Arsenal to eat our own.
That’s the saddest part of following this club.

Devlin
Devlin

I think those who defend him the way you say, do that because he is a player that does not get credit for what he does. People will defend someone who is scapegoated. If people do not think he is that good, why have such high expectations of him. Blogs constantly talks about Ozil at his best as the player we need, now if he isn’t that good then why is he to blame for our failures? Average Ozil is better than what we have in our side right now.

Like I said before, I do not think Ozil is the greatest player ever. He isn’t, to me, the best Arsenal player of the last 10 or even 5 years. But let’s not criticize him for not being KDB, Alli or Eriksen, let’s hold up the fact that we have this unique record breaker on our books.

I will never proclaim him to never have off days or to even have a bad season. I know what Ozil did when we had a solid team and proper backing. It just shows that people have basically ignored what they saw previously to then judge him harshly. If you saw his first 3 seasons you should notice the differences that caused the decline.

But lets not get it twisted, average Ozil has still done more than all the players currently in our side. This season or the last 2. That’s the point I am trying to make. We do not have a KDB to play in our side, or Eriksen, or Alli. We have Ozil who is better than the creative players we have why not play him?

That’s all I am saying. Why shouldn’t he be playing for us?

atom
atom

@Devlin

If we supported a club where wages are irrelevant – Man City, United, Liverpool, Chelsea etc. then it really wouldn’t be a big deal that Ozil hasn’t consistently produced at the level his reputation or contract suggests he should be. See Sanchez at Man U.

However we support a club where the owner refuses to put in any money and b/c so much money has been spent badly we simply can’t afford to have our top player be on the 2nd highest contract in the PL and not consistently play like a top player.

Bob
Bob

You realise Ozil gets laid if he plays or not right? It’s a stupid situation that we are not using him. He at least consistenly plays better than those in the starting 11 right now. Why wouldn’t we play him? It’s on Emery to figure this one out, and a black mark on his record so far that he hasn’t created a situation where we can use Ozil. This is what Emery is paid to do (and very handsomely I would add), to manage the players we have. And we got Mesut Ozil. Play him.

Bob
Bob

That’s a fun typo… Paid, not laid 😂

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@ Mpls

You may think it’s unfair to single out our two worst seasons in 20 years, but they also happen to be our last two seasons and thus are the most relevant to our current situation.

And it is true that KdB, Alli, Eriksen and others have been playing for better and more successful teams (in terms of premier league position) over the last couple of seasons. But the point I was trying to make is that there’s been some incredible hyperbole (and very dodgy statistics) from those seeking to defend Ozil from criticism of his performances. In your case you claimed Ozil was outperforming his peers, when in reality this hasn’t been happening at all for quite some time now.

Now whether that’s down to the manager/style, the team around him or just his own motivation/temperament/fitness is up for debate. An argument can be made for either or all of the above. But what isn’t up for debate is this; Ozil is a player in decline and he hasn’t been consistently world class for 3 years. Whether Emery can reverse that and get him back up to the lofty heights of 2015/2016 remains to be seen. For Arsenal’s sake I really hope he pulls it off. But it appears that the time for pats on the back and arms round the shoulder (and spurious claims about chance creation!) are over.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@Bob, yes I did realise Ozil’s luck with the ladies didn’t depend on whether he’s playing for Arsenal. It’s actually inversely proportional to how well he’s doing at fortnite 😉

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@ Devlin

I don’t have a problem with people defending Ozil per se, but please let’s try and be objective about his performances, especially as compared to his peers. We do him or ourselves no good when we claim he’s the bestest, most creative player in the world ever, when he’s not even the best AM in the league (and Emery seems to think he might not even be the best at the club!).

Has he been scapegoated? Perhaps at times he has been, same as others who have gotten as much stick if not more. Doesn’t make it right but that’s what happens when you’re underperforming. And it’s not scapegoating to point out he’s not lived up to his star billing over the last few years, that he’s not worth his astronomical wages, or that he doesn’t suit a system that’s meant to make us more competitive in the long run.

One of the strangest things about the whole situation is that, now more than ever, this team is actually built for Ozil. For years his defenders have said that he doesn’t have a pacy striker in front of him and that he doesn’t have a solid midfield base behind him, especially because Ramsey was playing. All these issues have been somewhat resolved yet it’s now that he’s at his lowest ebb.

Do I think Ozil should be playing for us? Of course! How can you not think that, looking at the starting line up that faced West Ham. But at the same time Emery is trying to get more out of him and I back that as well. He should have bloody played though!

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

@ loose_cannon

Some fair points (nice spot with the big chance stats). I think many people would agree that Ozil only really hit his best form for Arsenal in 2015-16, and hasn’t quite produced the results we might have hoped for since then. That said, it’s worth putting the numbers you list in broader context.

Consider the overall key pass p/game and total chances created stats for 2016-17 and 2017-18 (which you suggest, reasonably enough, are seasons when Ozil has arguably underperformed relative to other key creative players at top 6 clubs):

2016-17 (KPs p/game top 5)

1. Eriksen 3.1 (112 KPs in 36 apps)
2. Ozil 3 (100 KPs in 33 apps)
3. De Bruyne 2.9 (103 KPs in 36 apps)
4. Hazard 2.4 (88 KPs in 36 apps)
5. D. Silva 2.4 (82 KPs in 34 apps)

2017-18 (KPs p/game top 5)

1. Ozil 3.2 (84 KPs in 26 apps)
2. De Bruyne 2.9 (106 KPs in 37 apps)
3. Cesc 2.8 (91 KPs in 32 apps)
4. Sanchez 2.7 (51 KPs in 19 apps)
5. Eriksen 2.6 (95 KPs in 37 apps)

For a player whose main job, as you say, is to create chances, 184 key passes/shots created in 59 games during two seasons when he wasn’t at his best is pretty decent. That makes Ozil the most productive player in the league in this category over that period (and a more consistent chance creator than either Eriksen or De Bruyne), even though he was well below the heights of 2015-16.

The big chance stats you posted do raise some questions (would be interesting to see if Ozil had significantly better numbers at RM). However, when you look at them in the context of overall appearances, the picture is a bit different. True, 2016-17 was a fallow year for Ozil in terms of big chances, but in 2017-18 he was actually creating them at a better rate (13 in 26, 0.5 p/game) than Eriksen (15 in 37, 0.4 p/game) and was just behind De Bruyne (19 in 37, 0.51 p/game).

Also, while Ozil was fairly low down in the assist table for those two seasons, it should be noted that in 2016-17 he did manage more assists than Hazard (5) and David Silva (7), while in 2017-18 he had more assists than Cesc (4) and was again ahead of Hazard (4). So although his assist numbers are well behind Eriksen and De Bruyne over this period, Ozil is still ahead of some of the most highly rated creative players in the league.

Not bad output for someone who is so often accused of being too inconsistent and failing to match the efforts of similar creative players at other top 6 clubs.

Atom
Atom

The flip side of this is all the other players you listed either score significantly more goals (virtually everyone on this list does) and except hazard all of have had much more defensive duties than Ozil – particularly under Wenger

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

@ atom & loose_cannon

Fair points – especially about defensive responsibilities. Ozil’s overall EPL goals record doesn’t compare too badly to most of those players, though (Hazard & Alli aside, obviously):

Ozil 30 in 155 apps (0.19 p/game)
Eriksen 45 in 195 apps (0.23 p/game)
De Bruyne 38 in 154 apps (0.24 p/game)
Silva 54 in 267 apps (0.2 p/game)

Anyway. I don’t disagree much with the overall assessment – my point is more that the quality & output gap between Ozil & those other players isn’t quite as big as is sometimes suggested (well, as long as you’re not looking at the lack of big chances he created in 2016-17 ^__^).

Too bad Wenger never quite succeeded at trying to convince Ozil to become a more consistent goalscorer (Emery did manage to get him to complete 4 tackles in a game vs Newcastle, though!).

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

That’s a really good analysis as well, though I tend to shy away from using key passes because, as per Opta, it’s just a pass, cross or set piece that leads to a shot. Big chances created created is generally a greater indicator of quality, but of course no stat is perfect. The big chances created per game is interesting but again, it doesn’t show Ozil “smoking” other top players in the league, he’s in the mix but he’s not way out in front.

And without wanting to move the goalposts too much, part of the original conversation I had with Mpls was around the fact that while Ozil’s only responsibility is to create, his peers are expected to either muck in more defensively (Erikesen, Alli, KdB, Silva, Fabregas) and/or score more goals (Hazard, Alli). The modern creative player is expected to do the whole lot and the real question is can Ozil adapt his game to do that.

“Not bad output for someone who is so often accused of being too inconsistent and failing to match the efforts of similar creative players at other top 6 clubs.”

But here’s the thing; people very rarely criticise Ozil for his creative output (I have just now but i’m an outlier :)). His inconsistency is born from (a) his limitations as a player vs his peers and (b) the fact that he’s been unable to make his mark in many of our biggest games, unlike his peers.

atom
atom

@loose_cannon
I’m with you in that Ozil really has been a player in decline the past few years and a lot of the support around him just tries to pretend that’s not the case.

The difficult issue now that we’ve tied ourselves to him for better or worse via that contract is whether the team is better off with him in it (yes when he’s playing well) or if what we give up in terms of defensive/ goals isn’t worth the cost. That seems to be Emery’s conclusion when playing bigger teams. While I really hope Ozil finds a way to regain his best form – he really hasn’t been a consistently world class players in several years now and people need to recognize that fact.

Mpls
Mpls

@loose-cannon

You continue to take condescending shots at people about ‘incredible hyperbole’ or ‘very dodgy statistics’ yet want to cherry pick the stats that suit you and pan the ones that don’t fit your narrative.

And you also show your bias in refusing to actually acknowledge the context of the last two seasons. Wrigglesworth’s nice work above illustrates another very key part of Ozil’s game, and we all know it.

So in Arsenal’s worst league showings in 20 years, he still was at the top of the charts for Key Passes, and top ten Big Chances and Assists every time. I’m sure you’ll make up your own criteria, but that’s pretty consistent in my book.

So you like to poke a stick at one moment of loose wording over and over again. Good for you, hope it makes you happy.

But if you’re going to cast accusations of hyperbole, you might want to be careful about making claims that you are the authority on ‘what’s not up for debate’ and what real statistics have validity.

Alexis didn’t keep us from being shit, Ramsey didn’t those last two seasons, what makes you think swapping Ozil for any one of those other players would have made a significant difference? Opinion, nothing more.

Mpls
Mpls

One last thing.

I’ve clearly acknowledged Ozil has not been on his best form, and that he may very well not fit Emery’s system (whatever that turns out to be).

So don’t try to attribute any of your barbed ‘thinks he’s he bestest mostest’ condescension to me.

I’m just sick and tired of an ‘extremely vocal subset’ of this support cutting into their players year upon year.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

@Mpls

This is the last I’ll say on this here. I didn’t mean to cause any offence and if I have done so, I’m sorry. And you may not want me to attribute some of the hyperbole around Ozil to you but it was your “interesting” comment that made me want to do some digging in the first place.

The truth is there has been much hyperbole and exaggeration when it comes to Ozil’s performances from people trying to defend them on here. I urge you to look more critically about what his defenders have been saying about him here, including yourself.

And you say I’m showing my bias but you’re here accepting Wrigglesworth’s analysis and not my own, not because it’s more legitimate but presumably because it suits your own narrative more. Saying I’ve cherry picked stats is frankly also ridiculous; I’ve taken the most relevant stats (assists and big chances created), from the most relevant seasons (the last two), in the most relevant competition (the premier league). If you don’t like that, I can’t help you!

Finally, he was 11th in assists last year soo…. yeah, not top 10 😉 .

P.S: if you’re “sick and tired of an ‘extremely vocal subset’ of this support cutting into their players year upon year.” then perhaps spare a thought for some of our OTHER players…

Mpls
Mpls

Did I claim your stats are false? Not once. And you say it yourself – in your opinion the ones you’ve used are the “most relevant” – choosing two. From the years that are “most relevant” – our worst in the last 20 years. Your opinions. The narrower the set of stats, the less of the picture you understand.

You totally pan a key stat in creative play – Key Passes. And you totally pan the condition of our team over those Most Relevant seasons.

The most relevant feature of those seasons is we were shit across the whole pitch. And that affects every single player and their stats on the season.

And your PS is the perfect example of the condescending shit attitude that riled me up in the first place – trying to paint me as some kind of a fanboy. I support Arsenal. I support all of our players. People who have been around here a while know that I have defended many a player who has been subjected to the keyboard warrior treatment.

Nice way to end a comment where you claimed not to try to cause offense. I guess you know what you can do.

Like I said, the hardest part of supporting this club is watching us eat our own.

Ragster
Ragster

This is an interesting piece of conversation with all kinds of stats.

In my mind, there are just 4 questions I need to ask myself?

1. Do Alli, Eriksen, D Silva or Hazard play for us or can we get them?

A. No

2. Can we move Ozil out to some other team?

A. No, because of his wages.

3. Are Ozil’s attacking stats better than the rest of our attackers?

A. In most instances, yes but maybe he can try to score more

4. Can Ozil play better than he has been playing?

A. Of course yes. But what is the number of Arsenal players for whom you’d answer No to this question

Based on 4, Emery is well within his rights to demand a better performance. More defensive tracking, more goal scoring whatever

But based on 1, 2 and 3, if he’s not playing Ozil when he’s available, we are just wasting 350k a week and that’s not on Ozil.

N10
N10

THIS

N10
N10

Pure speculation and pretty unfair to Emery.

atom
atom

The Ozil situation has reached the point of truly absurd as every comment from Emery is now read as relating specifically to Ozil or he’s constantly being asked about him. Emery really doesn’t have the Mourihno type history with star names – he got along with pretty much all of PSG except Neymar who constantly went over his head. Keep in mind PSG is chock full of big name players, pretty much any of whom would instantly be the biggest star at Arsenal (Mbappe, DiMaria, Draxler, Veratti, Silva, etc.).

It really appears to be a case of Sanhelli,Sven and Ivan had to make a decision on Ozil last year prior to knowing who the new coach would be and the new coach (Emery) has decided that Ozil simply doesn’t fit. That makes some sense in that Ozil hasn’t been playing particularly well (bar the odd game) and if he wants to quickly win the ball back and transition then Ozil really doesn’t aid a whole lot in that (not his game).

Ozil has an absolute PR machine that keeps him looking good but there are stories floating out (Blogs has referenced them multiple times) that there might be some issues on his side in terms of throwing fits, getting “injured” whenever he’s going to miss a big game as well.

Quite frankly it’s bordering on a disaster as a club that is self-financing committed 20% of our wage big to 3 players with little to no resale value due to age (Ozil, Mik, Auba) and only one of them is pulling their weight.

Vonnie
Vonnie

There might be some issues, but Bloggs is setting an agenda of uncertainty by constantly referencing unproven stuff and continuous little digs. Do you honestly think Adidas signed a huge contract with us because they wanted someone like Guendouzi as the poster boy? Mesut has millions of followers for a reason, he gives us moments of joy and is a good person, and it’s getting to the point where he’s damned whatever he does. I f he doesn’t start it’s because he’s faking an injury or throwing a tantrum, if he starts and we win then it’s because the opposition was crap, if he starts and we lose it’s because it proves that he’s useless whatever the set up and performance of the team on the day. Get over the salary (which includes the signing on bonus) and focus on why he got it in the first place. A confident Mesut will make any team better.

Atom
Atom

I like Ozil but I see a player who is wildly inconsistent and who really doesn’t necessarily fit in at the top level of European club football due to the way the game has evolved. And one who is on such a high contract that it’s impacting our ability to sign other players. I’m also not crazy about the Ozil crowd spinning this narrative that somehow emery is the new Mourinho and is intentionally picking on him. Just doesn’t fit with his history

Vonnie
Vonnie

If fits in with everything in his history. Unai Emery is not a psychologist, he’s read a few books, thinks he knows it all, and has a long history of alienating intelligent and creative players.

Devlin
Devlin

I always said that he warrants the wage, if we look at it as a signing in January.

Here is a player who has put up his stats.
He went to a team that had gone 9 years with no trophy and won 3 FA Cups and 3 Community shields.
He has a considerable following globally for his football ability, and not modelling or social life.
He is a consummate professional and he has been backed by Mourinho and Leow.

If we gave him 350k p/w and it seems like a lot, it really isn’t.

If we allocate 150k to his wage according to performances, which is small, that leaves us with 200k.
If we put 50k to his stature in terms of social media presence and any other intangibles, like players wanting to play alongside him (Torreira and Aubameyang), we remain with 150k.

150k p/w over 3 years is 23.4 million.

So is there a player of Mesuts calibre who give us all the intangibles, doesn’t have to adjust to the league, already has a camaraderie with the existing players who we could have signed for 23.4 million and paid 200k p/w?

Consider that Thomas Lamar went for 70 million, Naby Keita went for 60 million, even Lucas Maura cost 28.5 million.

So is Ozil really paid too much? He might be our highest paid player, but Jesse lingard is earning more than Chiellini and Bonucci. Life is not fair, but we paid fair price for a player like Ozil. He would have earned the same amount or even more if he left on a free.

Atom
Atom

What’s Ozil resale value? Negative as we are going to have to subsidize his wages if we want him to leave. You would get most of your money back if not more on the other players. We’re also self sustaining which Liverpool etc aren’t

Devlin
Devlin

Why sell Ozil? Why not build from his signing and try to improve with him in the side? Why is everyone so intent on selling such a good player?

I mean if we were playing without him and creating chances, while our attack looked fluid and we could transition well, then sell him. But right now when what he is good at is one of the things we are missing, the other being defensive organization, why sell? To buy a worser creative player to replace a better creative player?

atom
atom

The market for him was pretty weak to begin with. If you notice even on a free he wasn’t being linked with any top clubs other than Man U. Unlike Ramsey you weren’t hearing noises of Madrid, Barcelona, PSG etc. On his current contract he’s totally unsellable unless China would take him.

Devlin
Devlin

Rumours are one thing and concrete interest is another. Ozil is not a Ramsey type of player, Ozil is bigger in talent, stats and prestige.

Going out in public to register your interest is a bad move for top clubs because it can raise expectations from fans and also the price from the seller. People forget how we signed him and also how Real signed him. No mention was ever really made of Ozil when he moved from Werder or Real, and now you’re suprised nothing came up at Arsenal?

Ramsey is only being publicly clamoured for because the club made it clear months ago that they were willing to let him go. There are so many good players in the last year of their contracts whose dealings remain a secret, especially if the club is still trying to get them to sign.

Mousa Dembele just got a surprise transfer now, but it was probably being negotiated behind closed doors for a while now. Even Diego Godin has had no real rumours attached to him like Ramsey has had. Im sure the agent might even be behjnd most of this reported interest stories coming out because of his fuck up in negotiating his client’s contract.

atom
atom

Ozil has gams where he is world class but lacks the consistency you find in the truly top players. The modrics, hazards, messis, ronaldos of the world consistently produce 8 or 9/10 with the occasional Leceister type game. For the majority of his Arsenal career, Ozil has either been a 4/5 out of 10 or a 9/10 out of 10. If you look at the past several years, Erickson and DeBruyne have significantly outperformed Ozil in terms of goals, assists and chances created despite making 150-200k less a week than he does. Both also have more defensive responsibilities than Ozil does. That’s a big deal when we are self-sustaining club. Ozil is paid in the top tier bracket but doesn’t consistently perform like it.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Saying Ramsey’s agent is behind the rumours is comical and desperate when even Juve’s sporting director basically admitted that they’re after him.

https://arseblog.news/2019/01/juventus-its-our-duty-to-track-ramsey/

As for Ozil, it’s clear why no one came in for him. Every top team now expects more from their creative players, either scoring goals and/or doing more defensively and/or positional flexibility. He’s also 30 (no resale value) on a massive wage and has a now flaky appearance record. Rumours of diva behaviour won’t help either.

To focus on his creative record (which hasn’t been all that for the last couple of seasons btw) is to miss the big picture. Does he fit the playing style of the other top clubs in Europe? Does he fit their transfer strategy (yes, other clubs actually have these!)? Does he fit their wage bill? I think the answer to those questions should be obvious.

For the record I hope Emery can get the best out of Ozil, we desperately need more talent considering our starting line up against West Ham. But let’s not pretend that Emery is wrong to want a bit more out of him, when every other top coach would ask the same.

Devlin
Devlin

Of course the Juventus sporting director did, but who else? I did say rumours of all these sides, not the one side that has finally gotten him.

So who else came out and expressed an interest the way the Juventus sporting director did?

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Juventus are the only ones that have gone public with their interest (he’s also been heavily linked with PSG, Bayern and Liverpool) but you’d think that the endorsement of the perennial Italian champions and CL semi-finalists would be enough 😉

m1Ö
m1Ö

the thing is…does the team quickly transition from defence to attack without ozil? does the team play fluid attacking football without him? do they create as many chances? do they find key passes only ozil can find in the entire team? etc etc
we have played some of our best football so far with him on the pitch. most/all of our disastrous showings so far has been when he’s not on the pitch.
let’s not be too fooled by emery into thinking that ozil does not pull his weight. this hard running style got us destroyed at anfield. same style at west ham. so far, lets just say ozil has been very much missed n emery is wrong to treat him the way he does.

Atom
Atom

By far our best game came without him – [email protected] Not even close

Devlin
Devlin

We performed better against Sp*rs last season with him playing incredibly.

PFo
PFo

Your claim that Emery didn’t fall out with other players at PSG is outright false. Read the chaps at GFFN who claimed just the opposite the other day.

Dan
Dan

I just don’t know what to think any more 😭

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

I support Emery (because well, he’s our manager), but I remember how happy I was when Ozil signed his new contract. So, if they can’t co-exist, it’s clear to me who I’d rather see go. Now, I know that might not be the most sensible and logical solution; it’s just what my gut tells me. All in all, I’ve been underwhelmed by the impact Emery’s had. Let’s hope the Ozil situation gets resolved quick and we turn over a new leaf.

m1Ö
m1Ö

i agree

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

He makes sense. you can’t allow a player giving 70% of his effort a free reign.
but according to arsenal fans not playing Ozil, the player who is constantly performing to his potential, and not who somehow did not save us from 6th and 5th places last 2 season, yes him is root cause for everything and why emery needs to go.
it’s not like this punch of ballers have ever failed before, and it’s emery’s fault for not making them all better than their true level. And because we all know they are not the best 6th squad in the league, hence we should expect them to beat (not) better and more balanced teams, because we’ve got M-efffing-Ozil in the ranks.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

long story short, Emery made mistakes, but this squad is not good enough regardless. AND what’s worse is that our true problem are being shadowed by this feud over a player not worth the fuss, and won’t change our reality even if he played every week, of course at 70%.

Dobby the house elf
Dobby the house elf

The funniest thing to me is that Ozil has always been a liability in big games away against the top 6 but now people are crying out for him to start against chelsea. Even Wenger dropped Ozil for the chelsea game last season in favour of welbeck and Iwobi and was praised for our increased competitiveness and those two doing so much good work off the ball

stranger
stranger

AlWAYS, it makes me angry reading your comment. Look at how özil is treated. Im 100% sure he trains hard to impress ervery game. But he is not the type most of Arsenal fans want him to be. özil was always a liability in big away games. Bullshit! If the player is not given a chance to prove himself….

Jack
Jack

I was watching a compilation of our goals this season on YouTube and at the start of the season Ozil was involved in a lot of them (not necessarily assisting but definitely in terms of build up play) and he was scoring too. There’s only a few where he had a complete stinker (like the Southampton sub appearance) – even in the Brighton game he got subbed at half time but it was his flick that got the ball to Laca to assist Auba. Although people have high expectations because of his wage, he wasn’t having a particularly poor season until Emery started all of this..

PFo
PFo

And remember too the first several games of the season he was mostly shunted out to the right and seeing vet little of the ball.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

lol. Since we have no player like Messi or something, who can dribble past entire defenses, then chances are most of our players are involved in goals.
which is not a good standard of measure the influence of a player.
stick to his stat, just throw it around out of context like all do.

m1Ö
m1Ö

ozil can change a game with one pass…he is a better finisher than iwobi. more composure too. iwobi runs hard but all in all lacks what mesut has in abundance. pure class and quality. if i was ozil n iwobi was keeping me out…i would be mad at the coach too.

BigArse
BigArse

OK Yoda, time to get Skywalker back on the pitch.

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

Let’s just hope these mind games have affected Ozil and Unai unleashes him against Chelsea then Ozil rules the field to get Arsenal back on track on winning ways!

Come on the Arsenal!!! COYG!

Billymac
Billymac

Yes, that’s EXACTLY the right strategy to get Ozil psyched up to play a brilliant game against Chelsea!

Albert48
Albert48

Really? How many of us have enjoyed going to work more and improved our performance because our manager created a bit of “friction”? Ok, coming back from an injury, away to West Ham, I am going to start you on the bench might be considered creating a bit of friction. But leaving you out of the squad and my bench is Ramsey, Torreira, Bellerin, Cech, Lichtsteiner, Monreal & Nketiah is nothing short of either vindictiveness or sheer bloody mindedness and does no favours for anyone or the club. I have said it on here before but I have a nasty feeling Mr Emery is a bit too clever for his own boots. Sort out your system, play your best players in their best position and stop being an idiot!

Ealing
Ealing

I’d say if a player comes back from injury he goes on the bench to start with. Maybe Ozil refused the bench…

Devlin
Devlin

If any player who refuses to be on the bench, it should be let known because such a player is not committed to the club itself, let alone the manager. Let the fans know because by his behaviour, he will be neglecting us as fans who make it possible for him/her to play at the Arsenal. Such a player is not worth protecting because once you put your ego or personal issues above your duty as a player to the club and the fans, you can never be trusted to ever do so in the future.

If Ozil is upset at a role on the bench or out of the team, then that is fine, but denying a role on the bench is neglecting your duty and purpose, an honestly spitting in the faces of the fans.

I hope that is not what he is doing.

Irrational Gunner

This whole refusing to be on the bench and refusing to do what the club wants argument seems to be a bit unrealistic. Arsenal has a contract with Ozil that certainly has some stipulations about attending games and being available to play. One would think any player would be in breach of the contract(and no payable) if they just did whatever they wanted in the face of club demands. If the contract does not include that type of language(???), then we are even dumber than I thought.

Vonnie
Vonnie

And maybe he didn’t.

Nordin
Nordin

He didnt. If not, he would have been fined already and Emery will be the first to announce it. He wants to play. But this manager with a BIG EGO is not picking him even for the bench. What can he do? The club cant find him (and that has happened so far) because he didnt breach any contract matters.

Monkey G
Monkey G

Get this slimy tool out asap before he wrecks this club. There is no place in Arsenal for boneheaded medieval coaching. #EmeryOut

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Toxic fans.
You deserve Wenger back to finish the job of destroying AFC, and with it the interest of most of the fanbase in watch their club.
#FICKLE

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Monkey G, firstly congratulations on getting your hashtag spelt correctly this time. Calling our new coach a “slimy tool” is just so poor imo.

Junichi B
Junichi B

Well, for me, as a French guy who has seen Emery at Paris, this is a familiar pattern. The guy is a “professor”, he wants to teach players with a lot of naive ideas about human being. It is so romantic the fact he considers that in a team all the players have the same value. This is the guy who tried to tell us that Neymar is just a player like the others. Who benched Thiago Silva, the club captain and most respected player in the dressing room at Madrid. The pattern is Emery failed at Paris not because of his tactical credentials but because of the way he manages ego. Same here. Fortunately for him, Paris can walk in the Ligue 1 and basically any decent coach (Wenger included) would champion et win all local trophies.

I do agree that sometimes Ozil is shit. But even then, we don’t have a replacement. And if we loose with him, I have some proof that with him we can be better, no the other way round. And you thought Wenger was stubborn… Funny.

Homer
Homer

There is a ton of second-guessing and hand-waving “assessments” (if I describe the knuckle-headed blathering, below, most charitably) of Emery’s comments about man management.

So this:

“But could there be a broader strategy at play? Emery, a keen student of psychology who even co-authored a book on the subject, Mentalidad Ganadora (Winning Mentality), during his time in charge of Valencia, clenches his fists and rubs his knuckles together. ‘At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers,’ he says.” From the actual Sky article, here:
https://www.skysports.com/unaiemery?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

So to all the arm chair psychologists on here (Blogs, that includes you, I’m afraid), I ask this:
How many of you have written books on sports psychology? A big fat NONE, I’d wager.

It does appear, however, management at the club level is all over the place. That is very worrying, as is the pending loss of Sven.

But bright side, people: Emery had a 22 game unbeaten run this year already. There is A LOT of football left to play. And we always knew this was going to be a difficult transition.

So I’d offer MY OWN armchair assessment: Everybody chill the fuck out and give the man some time.

Victory Through Harmony.

N10
N10

Amen to all that.

santori
santori

We need competition in every position.

At the moment, we are in need of a couple of players for the wide positions :

In a nominal 4-2-3-1

………………………….Auba/Laca……………………………….
Iwobi/(?)………………Ozil/Ramsey……………Mhki/(Nelson)
……………..Granit/Elneny….Torreira/Guendouzi…………….
Kola/Monreal………………………………………..Bellerin/AMN
…………Koscielny/(Holding)…..Sokratis/Mustafi…………….
………………………….Leno/Cech……………………………….

This discounts younger Academy hopefuls (Nketiah, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Willock, Bielik) and Mavropanos (who is probably better off on a strong loan to expedite development)

Come summer, Koscielny will step down and Lichsteiner. We should sell Elneny for an upgrade (if of course we find a taker for Elneny). Nelson hopefully back in from loan.

One of Ramsey, Ozil or Mhki also should be sold.

Cech I feel we should convince to stay another year if we should not find requisite quality to replace and compete against Leno (This includes Ospina and Martinez)

There is currently an outstanding need for at least one more wide player even with view of Nelson returning into squad for next season.

With Welbeck sold, I think Auba and Lac should vie for the lead role with occasion to play them in tandem only when necessary. Of the two, I much prefer Laca for his overall play.

Fergal
Fergal

I’ve been depressed about the unceremonious removal of “the art” from the way we play. But if he can get the most out of Ozil this way then so be it. Bring it to Chelsea at the weekend please! Give the new manager time, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took Arsène seven years to get the Invincible season.

JunichiB
JunichiB

Today in the daily L’Equipe. Thiago Silva speaking of Tuchel, and the differences with Emery without naming him.

“Neymar is better this year. Did he understand the message?”

Of course. He understood as everybody did because he’s told directly. You should not tell behind his back “you have to do this”, and then in front of the player you don’t say anything. No, no… Being respectful is talking directly to the player, and the coach does that very, very well. He’s really strong on the technical part but moreover on the management to deal with those who don’t play. He tries to motivate everybody, and that’s the difference.

Here’s the linf to read the full interview:

https://www.lequipe.fr/Football/Actualites/Thiago-silva-psg-dans-la-meilleure-forme-de-sa-carriere/977531

LongRoadtoRuin
LongRoadtoRuin

Dumbest thing I’ve heard

Dave Cee
Dave Cee

We had a massive problem on our hands the moment Ozil was given that contract