Mesut Ozil made just his second start of 2019 in last night’s Europa League win over BATE Borisov.
The German’s presence in the team helped add some cohesion to our attack, with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan the main beneficiaries, and afterwards Unai Emery declared himself happy with what he saw from the 30 year old – with whom he’s had a difficult relationship so far this season.
Asked what he’d said to Ozil in the wake of the game, the Spaniard replied, “I said to him to carry on and be available like today and the last two weeks to continue training and helping us.
“Today I am happy and this is the way we want with him.”
However, he warned that for certain games Ozil won’t be considered an automatic starter, but called on one his captains to focus as and when he is selected.
“He needs to be available and carry on,” he continued. “He wants to do this and today he showed what he wants.
“If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us.
“His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, like with Guendouzi and Micki and Iwobi in the attacking third.
“I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.”