Mesut Ozil says he fully respects Unai Emery’s decision to pick the squad he feels best for each game, but insists he’s fit and ready to play.
The German hasn’t been selected by the Arsenal boss since a Carabao Cup game on September 24th, with the Spaniard insisting that others deserved a place more than he did, but in an extensive interview with The Athletic, the 31 year old says he’s fit and doing extra training to make up for his lack of playing time.
Speaking about being left out for the games against Standard Liege, Man Utd and Bournemouth, he said, “It’s disappointing, of course, but as a professional footballer, I have to respect the decision of the coach. Not being involved, watching from home, makes me feel helpless.
“I want to be part of the side, I want to support my team-mates to succeed. I’m not training all the time just for the sake of it, I’m ready to play.
“This should not be about me or the coach, only the club. I have to give everything, be fit and focused, and I’m training hard to be ready.
“Pre-season went very well and although things were disrupted by the [moped] attack, since then I’ve been fully available and when the coach has selected me I’ve been ready, played and always tried to give my best.
“I’ve trained at the same level my whole career but because I’ve not had minutes recently, I’m doing extra work with the fitness coach and in the gym to get even fitter than normal.
“I know what is needed and believe in myself.”
His comments sees a little at odds with what Emery was insinuating when he spoke about leaving Ozil out of his squad, but the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
The rest of the interview makes for fascinating reading too, and to get a discount on a subscription if you don’t have one already, check out David’s Tweet below – or click here to subscribe.
MESUT OZIL EXCLUSIVE – Arsenal star breaks his silence to @TheAthleticUK:
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— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) October 17, 2019