Emery: That’s what we want from Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil BATE Borisov

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.”

For more on Ozil and his return, check out the brand new Arsecast Extra


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Reading between the lines, it sounds like Emery confirmed Mesut has been skipping out on several training sessions with the team and not putting in the equal amount of work as the others. I can get behind that and Emery. I mean, I known of Brazilian striker Ronaldo missing training sessions then showing up on the pitch and scoring fantastic goals. Mesut, on the other hand, never really shows up on the pitch on those big games. Ever. Let’s hope Mesut decides to show up and train like the others and prove all his doubters wrong!


What I find crazy about this whole thing is how many people complained about the preferential treatment Wenger showed to certain players and how we needed to operate on a merit based system who are now complaining that Emery isn’t showing Ozil preferential treatment. In his 5 years at Arsenal, Ozil has missed over 100 games through illness/injury/or not being selected – that’s 20 year a year so it’s pretty clear the illness/injury issues Emery has been talking about have been going on for quite awhile now. If Ozil were consistently performing at a world class level then maybe Emery… Read more »


Ramsey reached that figure last season. And before you jump on me, its counting from when Mesut arrived. Koscielny is one game away from that figure since Ozil arrived. Ozil has actually played more games in all competitions than most of our players in the period he has been at Arsenal.

Just a little context before this narrative becomes a stick to beat him with.


@devlin – is that over the last 5 years for both Ramsey & Kos or are you counting over the decade Ramsey has been here & close to that for Kos? If you look back at it Ramsey & Kos both have had a lot more documented longer term injuries (hamstrings, broken leg, achilles tear etc.) whereas Ozil really hasn’t suffered a lot of documented major injuries – it’s been much more miss a game here or there b/c he’s sick or knee hurts etc. My point though is a lot of the stuff that people are complaining about are… Read more »


@atom, that is one of the most bullshit stats I’ve ever heard. First of all those 100 games that he’s missed include games missed through both injuries and not being selected. Second, those are games in all competitions. So, Ozil not being selected for Carabao cup, early FA cup and Europa league round games all count towards that 100 total. So, if he’s not selected for 4 FA, 3 Carabao, and 3 Europe league games per season, that alone makes it 10 games ‘missed’ per season because he was not selected. Compare Ozil’s minutes played to any other player in… Read more »


@ballz – first of all there’s simply no way an employer could verify Ozil isn’t sick if he claims he has a headache etc. BUT there are players in sports who play through anything (Michael Jordan in basketball for instance) and those who won’t play if they feel the least bit off (Daniel Sturridge for instance). Some people are just a lot tougher than others (physically and mentally) and I suspect Ozil falls into the 2nd category. He has a pretty well documented history of missing games through illness- that’s not a controversial statement at all. To be clear I’m… Read more »


@atom, your claim that he makes up illnesses to miss games is based on your perception of him and not facts. Facts show that he has some of the highest minutes played per season in our entire squad!! Him, Xhaka, and Sanchez were selected by Wenger almost anytime they were available. He has no ‘well documented history of missing games through illness’. The little injuries and illness started last season. Before that, he was almost always available.

You can complain about his performances, but that’s another topic all together.


So to be clear you’re arguing he’s making up illness or just not willing to tough it out (my argument) but only that he’s been doing it for 18 months only. Hmm


@atom, I’m completely debunking your conspiracy that he’s not willing to tough it out, whatever that means. He’s played among the highest number of games in our entire squad. If he’s ‘not willing to tough it out’, then that says a lot about the rest of our team since his weak self still plays more minutes per season than most of them.



There’s not a serious injury on here since the knee ligament in 2015.


@atom What exactly is this supposed to prove? That he doesn’t get injured often? Why don’t you compare his minutes played to those of everyone else in our squad and test if your ‘he’s not willing to tough it out’ narrative is supported?


how many games has he missed with ill/ or my knee hurts vs. others who have had actual injuries such as an achilles tear or hamstring? you can’t just look at minutes played for that reason. It literally tells us nothing about why the others were out.


the best part about stats by the way is anyone can find a stat to support their narrative. Ozil is the most creative player in the PL over the past 5 years in terms of chances created. By the way he’s also pretty much the only number 10 in the entire PL with no defensive responsibilities & who also takes free kicks etc.


So you’re saying despite the fact that he plays more than the vast majority of our squad (except this season) it’s not enough because he sometimes has a back ache or the flu? You went from he misses too many games because of fake injuries, to ‘he’s not willing to tough it out like MJ’, to yeah he plays a lot of games, more than most, but he needs to stop being such a wuss and play more minutes, even though he already plays more minutes than many of his teammates who are totally not whiners?



My contention is that most of the games that Ozil has missed are down to some pretty minor stuff – see the list.

It’s gotten to the point where both Emery and Wenger have publicly commented on it. Emery about him needing to consistently show up for training and Wenger has commented multiple times about how weak Ozil’s immune system seems to be problematic, etc.

When both of your managers are commenting on it, it’s a big deal.


Gee, I guess Ozil should just tell his immune system to just toughen up then, shouldn’t he.

Face it, atom, your ‘100 matches’ stat doesn’t hold up to contextual scrutiny. And yes, context matters.


@mpls – when both of your past 2 managers are commenting on it, it’s an issue.


@ballz, you got cojones for putting atom in his small place. what’s with some arsenal fans and fickleness? so easily swayed by what they hear and begins to cast stones. just because we haven’t heard Ozil talk about the issue (smartly and rightly so) doesn’t make whatever Emery says true (same as the media). Do you think it’s by accident the team played better with Ozil return? some say he wasn’t our best player on the day but that’s the thing with Mesut, he can influence games without running like a headless chicken on the pitch. he knows when to… Read more »


Its dishonest to say he missed 100 matches in 5 years as the revord shows he is not dele ted for roughly 10 mstches per year dome efl cc and dome minor games under Wenger he was in every PL game do how can 100 sounds like missing he has played 169 games do the stats


@dennis – his PL record is relatively comparable to Ramsey’s since he has been here. 57 missed for Ramsey – 58 for Ozil. Keep in mind Ramsey is derided as constantly injured.

If we assume that Ozil/or the club was lying and he was dropped everytime he missed out this year then

46 for Ozil vs. 53 for Ramsey.


Football is a different sport. To compare basketball and football and say Jordan is great because he played through injuries or illness. You can control the pace of a bball game and possession based along with timeouts, tv timeouts, substitutions.

Don’t get me wrong here his illness suck but who is to say if it’s real or fake?

You should do that stat with just the prem games for better comparison


@caligunner, Baltz, Mpls

Since the 2013/14 season Ozil has missed 58 PL games, so an average of 25% of the season every year he’s been here.. He had one major injury that cost him about 10 games in 15/16.

Ramsey who often is derided as constantly injured missed 57 PL games during that same period.


You can’t include this season.


Sure. Then he’s missed 46 vs 53 for Ramsey.

PC Police

Then why did they hand him such a contract?


we are know to make stupid decisions. This was one.

Donald's Trump

How did you get that?

NC Gunner

You understand that to mean those things if you just want to believe it’s true. It clearly doesn’t say that, people just showing their bias against Ozil.


How the hell did you get “Mesut misses training” from the above quotes? For me reading between the lines shows Emery needs him so is trying to bring him back in on his own terms. Either way, if he’s playing we are better than if he’s not, so hope it continues 🙂

Irrational Gunner

Think about. One of the biggest games of the year, in the competition UE was brought in to win, and who does he call on to play? Ozil!

How is any of our players coming back from being out and playing up to the manager’s standards a negative? And especially in this particular case.


As a matter of fact, Emery is known to freeze players. I just read that Hatem Ben Arfa is suing him and PSG for £8 Miliion for the unfair treatment of of him by Emery when Emery was the manager for PSG. Now we are facing Rennes and Hatem Ben Arfa in the next round of Europa League.


Only players that don’t train and put in the hard yards.


Oh wow, do you even know the whole story there ?? or you just think he’s an evil manager who likes to freeze players for no reason??


Skipping training? Really? Then why did Iwobi said otherwise?

SB Still

I’m not one of Ozil’s fans but what Emery expects out of Ozil is applicable to Emery and the Arsenal team itself.

Emery has shown he can get performances like against the Spuds, Chelsea and Liverpool at home. We need him to do it on a consistent basis.

Despite the issues with the squad, a solid defensive is the minimum expected, while playing 3 at the back with a bunch of DMs!


We do need to be more consistent, because we have displays like that against the top teams… then go & lose to Southampton & West Ham!! ?‍♀️

A Different George

In terms of results, we have the same basic problem as last season: we are very good at home, poor away. Wenger often set up teams for away matches without sufficient defensive awareness–we were famously naive. But Emery seems to set us up for away matches as if in every match we were Sevilla facing Barca–even when our opponent was West Ham or Quarabag. Against big teams away, like Liverpool and Man City, we get the worst of both worlds–crap negative football, and humiliating results.


This is really our biggest controversy of the season – a coach asking a player to keep working and making himself available for selection? We’re getting soft at this club.

I miss the days when Cesc was throwing slices of pizzas at Fergie’s fat face, or the game where Wojciech got nabbed having a sneaky smoke in the showers, or that magical day of days… when we heard Lord Bendtner had tried to make a baby with a taxicab.


??? Bendtner trying to make a baby with a taxicab! Brilliant ??


The Greatest Taxi Shagger To Ever Live!


Little Lord Bendtley.


That’s from emerys perspective. If his mind is made up or Raul on ozil not being his type of player and trying to make his life at arsenal unbearable so he is willing to leave with minimal compensation. Isn’t that what you do. Bring up intangibles that are subjective? So any player in ozil situation has no idea what’s good enough?

Ya gooner

I want nothing more than for both to succeed, at the same time both of them aren’t beyond criticism. Hopefully ozil can help emery realise his philosophy, as well as the rest of the team. Let’s hope we pick the bogey that is southampton and are in that 4th spot come the end of the weekend.


It won’t be an easy game but we managed to beat them at home last season…admittedly Mark Hughes was the manager then and so far “Not Mark Hughes” has done OKish although they currently sit in the relegation zone so will be fighting for their PL lives.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Here we go again. A positive display, a win, a team clearly benefitted by Ozil’s presence and he’s already talking of benching him at times. Feels to me Emery is out of his depth more and more.


You just know Ozil isn’t going to get a run in the team……


Emery is not out of his depth but your comments display how much out of your depth you are about commenting on this subject. Emery is just asking for commitment from Ozil and that’s not too much to ask for even if he wasn’t on £350k a week (allegedly).

PC Police

It’s bad form to give your own comment a thumbs up.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Sad for you to go attacking me personally. Is life really that bad for you?


lol he used your own words. or is it ok to attack club personnel personally??


Maybe emery just doesn’t want him here. Trying to force him out. How does ozil know what is good enough?

Are we going to assume everyone else on the squad is training the way emery needs to be considered available? I find it hard to believe ozil is the only one. Not one player besides ozil is acting up.


Is he blaming him for being injured? What the f**k is wrong with him? Ozil has played more games for us since he’s been here than many starters who’ve been around longer. The narrative that he’s missing training or faking injuries and illness is absolutely bullshit as the club can sue him and dock his pay for such antics. And why, all of a sudden does a player in his 30s completely change into a whiny diva when he’s been in the game for decades and never faced such complaints from anyone? Also, if he demands that Ozil always puts… Read more »


Drives me mad how it doesn’t matter if everyone else is sick, injured, not selected, play awful, go on holiday that’s fine. But when Ozil does any of these, there’s a problem…… double standards UE

NC Gunner

I can’t agree enough with this. If you hold Ozil to a standard that you clearly don’t apply to the rest of the team, it shows you have a negative perception of that player for some reason. Lichsteiner in particular has not had one good match IMO yet he plays more that Ozil. It makes no sense.


A typical simplistic and angry view from the outside. You assume too much, and you don’t know ANYTHING that goes in the club.
When is Ozil training?? How is he training?? if he buys into the system …etc

Then calling the coach a coward. Toxicity level one hundred.


Is Ramsey not buying in that’s why he is in the bench and onlybused as a super sub?

Ozil and Ramsey the only players struggling to adapt to emery?

Lord Bendnter

I think the board has demanded Emery plays Ozil more often.
I don’t buy into the Ozil wasn’t being available crap

Lord Bendnter

I’m not complaining. Whatever it takes for us to actually start or play an actual attack minded player


On the contrary, the Board might have instructed Emery to get rid of Ozil for cost-saving once they learnt that Kronke wants Arsenal to operate in self-sustaining way.


Probably about to rant a bit here, but this article as well as something James mentioned in his ‘on the whistle’ video last night has me a little concerned. James was saying how he was pretty sure that Ozil wouldn’t be starting against Tottenham or United, but that his use was these kind of games. Seriously, why is this just a common acceptance now? I’m worried that we’re now witnessing a situation where our most naturally talented player is seen as this light-weight sick note only capable of turning up for straight forward home games, and I have to say,… Read more »


It’s really amazing how people accept these kinds of narratives!! Ozil was our star man when we demolished Chelsea 3-2, when we beat City 3-0, when we beat Bayern 2-0, Spurs 2-0. He was incredible in all those games. Saying that he can’t single handedly win big games for us and he’s therefore ‘not world class’ sounds stupid to me. Chelsea have lost to us, got destroyed by city, lost to United, and have been crap in many games this season. Does that mean Hazard and Kante are useless now? They were useless in all those games, but so was… Read more »


Özil is a delightful footballer to watch. I would like to see him play every game.


The Ozil hype train going into overdrive again. What exactly did he do last night vs. BATE? He had Arsenal’s second worst rating on statistics-based whoscored.com.

Big Dave

He’ll play like that all day long against someone shit. Put him in the starting line up against anyone in the top six and he’ll go missing for 90 minutes and give up.


That comment is lazy and false.


Conveniently forgetting games vs Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Bayern, Spurs last year where he was motm

Drew Dewsall

I have a feeling there is a lot more to this than we get told. I find myself more and more convinced the issue with Ozil maybe mental. We have no idea what his personal struggles are, he may suffer with Bi-polar for all we know. Maybe before we all castigate him for missing games, training etc we should just think about what this truly means. Had he been dropping out of training because he couldn’t be bothered we would have heard, and he would have been fined or sold by the club. I find it ludicrous that a player… Read more »