Friday, December 1, 2023

Arteta: Ozil must do ‘non-negotiables’ to play

Mikel Arteta has revealed that he used the Dubai trip to spend one-on-one time with Mesut Ozil reviewing his recent performances.

The German has started every Premier League game since the Spaniard took over in December but hasn’t recorded any assists or goals during that period.

With the Gunners still struggling to create chances as an attacking unit, fingers have been pointed at Ozil’s downturn in effectiveness.

Claiming Ozil has been unlucky that his teammates haven’t converted some of the chances he’s created, Arteta called for patience as he looks to get the 31-year-old back to his best after a frustrating couple of years.

“I reviewed that in the last week or so,” Arteta told Sky Sports when asked about Ozil’s form.

“He has been unlucky with some of the times that he has put people through and they have not scored. Things like that would have made stats a little bit different.

“But you don’t go from where he was to where he can be in five weeks, I’m sorry.

“Even when you really want to do it, it doesn’t always go that way. You have to be so constant. But he is trying so hard and he is very willing.”

It’s quite obvious that Ozil is suffering from a dearth of confidence at the moment. Arteta maintains that while the midfielder pulls his weight, he’s open to setting up the team to accommodate his unique talent.

“I think it goes both ways,” says Arteta. “The team cannot have the right structure to support him if he doesn’t do some of those non-negotiables.

“If he does them, then the team can afford to have someone like him to make the difference.

In some moments, he has come very close to what I would like to see from him on the pitch.”

While Joe Willock offers an alternative to Ozil, it’s fair to say that competition for that number 10 role at Arsenal is not what it used to be.

Once upon a time Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky were all chomping at the bit for a chance behind the strikers. It definitely feels like an area of the pitch that Arsenal will look to strengthen in the summer.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Ozil…our white elephant project.

Personally, I think Ozil should be sold.

The fact that he has constantly been a subject of scrutiny both fairly and unfairly, in both Emery’s and Freddie’s reign is enough reason to bin him and move on. Some say he’s the icing on the cake kind of player, well, we haven’t baked the cake, so we don’t need the icing just yet.

Despite being our most paid player, yet, most arsenal fans want him off the pitch after the 50th minute. Not good enough in my opinion. Enough of the Ozil squabbles already.


But who will we talk about when we sell Ozil? Personally I wish his presence wouldn’t constantly overshadow everything that happens at our club. It’s not necessarily his fault but everything that happens at Arsenal seems to always be fed through the prism of Mesut Ozil. I’ll be glad once that’s over. I don’t remember Bergkamp or Henry overshadowing our club in the way that Mesut does.


They were fortunate enough to have never gone through a patch where the team was this low.


Today, the term ‘white elephant‘ denotes any burdensome, expensive and useless possession that is much more trouble than it is worth. Bit ott


Burdensome and expensive… Definitely!

Useless… I’ll live that one for you to decide.

Cultured determination

The number 10 position ia outdated and burdensome.

We should play 2 athletic number 8s, or we can call them 8.5s.


Agreed. We would do so much better with 12 men in the field

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Yeah, we’d draw 5-5 instead of 1-1



City and Liverpool have had a lot of success playing the way you’ve described so there’s a strong argument for it, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. In the right set up a top 10 would be great, the problem is that Ozil hasn’t consistently played like one for years. What’s interesting is that team is probably more set up than ever to take advantage of Ozil’s talents. For years we were told his scoring and defensive deficiency was down to his teammates as it was just his job to create only. He needed two solid… Read more »


If the manager is standing by him, then that is good enough for me. Hopefully he can start performing at his best ASAP.

Dave M

I hope that list of “non-negotiables” involves him making a tackle – even once a game would be an infinite improvement. Watch him hover around players and let them do what they like and literally withdraw his presence of someone challenges him for a header is plain embarrassing. That in itself sums up a lot of the rot that has infested this team. Artetas job is to weed it out and only accept 100% effort whenever players are on the pitch on and off the ball. It couldnt be clearer that Özil is one of those weeds that needs removing… Read more »


He got booked in the last match for a foul after making a tackle.


How dare you expose us to a true statement Martin!


His first booking of the season. Not quite sure if that fact supports your point, mate.


Agreed on that part of his game. That needs to be non-negotiable, but it also seems pretty clear that it is easy to shut down Ozil when we don’t have any other play making mid-fielder on the pitch with him.


Agree completely. Ozil’s contract is preposterous. He was already declining sharply when it was offered him. And now it makes it virtually impossible to sell him. It will take much time and patience to do what needs to be done to get back to winning ways.


Aaron Ramsey was a disaster in the number 10 position the season we sold Cesc and Nasri. It took Yossi Benayoun getting more playing time and Rosicky returning from injury in January for us to turn that season around and claw back that massive double figure points gap to spurs.

Rambo was a very good number 8 for us though. Ironically Jack also played his best games for us in the number 8 position.


Ramsey was also like what, 20 years old? And just back from a horrific injury, in a team that had just sold its talisman in Cesc, it was a ludicrous position to put him in.


And Van Persie still didn’t have any trouble scoring over 30 goals that season even without a proper number 10 behind him, sweet memories 🙂


Even before he got injured he was impressive in the number eight position. His energy and late runs in the box were already evident. I will always remember that game he won us against united at home.
Point is even now he doesn’t possess the tools to unlock a parked defence or thread through inch perfect passes. But as a number eight he’s very good and was very decent before the injury.

Anders Limpar

Have you eaten the whole Football Manager tactics guide 😛


Name the last big game that Ozil had a significant positive influence on. Difficult isn’t it. For a player of his supposed stature and reward the question should be name the last big game Ozil didn’t have a significant influence on. He had no place in our team and hasn’t had for a very long tim


Liverpool away, 4-5
Man utd at home, 2-0


Your examples in a lot of ways demonstrate the issue however. Liverpool was a mid cup round featuring Liverpool’s reserve and youth players while Man U is an Europa league side.

Pat Jennings' fan club

So true. I can’t believe that Ozil keeps getting picked. Don’t people remember the awful display in the Europa league final? His heart is just not in it anymore. Please let’s stop picking him and definitely stop talking about him.


You get the feeling that this is last chance saloon for Mesut, if there’s not a fairly substantial improvement in the remaining months he’s on his way out! If we can get anyone to take him!!!

He can’t be “on his way out” if there aren’t any offers for him, and we know there just aren’t ANY. We’re stuck with his wages till the end of his contract.


Thought that was basically what I was saying?


He’s out either way, he simply can’t justify those wages and that’s that. No way we extend him unless he takes a massive cut which I don’t see happening either.


I don’t imagine it could be anything but. Even if our fortunes and his change greatly for the better those wages will not be on offer again. I hope nobody is under any illusion to the contrary.

It’s impossible for us to know the balance of the decisions between unscrupulous agent and the player, but two things are for sure: the club allowed itself to get put over a barrel, and Ozil’s agent and he pushed a deal that have practically ruined his career.

A cautionary tale that an opportunistic smash and grab has a short life span.


The tale is told. Don’t base contracts on commercial value without on field performance stipulations. That contract is a disaster.


Mikel understands and supports Mesut, so hopefully he can get back to his best. Funny how the management, staff and players seem to have no problem with him, and a lot of trust and respect for him, but for a certain section of the fanbase and media he can do no right. He hasn’t been at his best but there have been many reasons for that, he’s been happier and playing better with Mikel in charge.

Dave M

Please show the data that backs up his improvement under arteta? No goals, I don’t even think he has an assist since then and he puts zero physical effort in still under arteta on defense, its that last part especially that fans are sick of. He earns 350K power week and couldn’t be assed doing any physical lifting or effort on he pitch. And this comes from someone that once was a HUGE Özil fan. One of my favourite players earlier is his career and really arsenal years. Now he is a shell of his former self. 350K/week to stroll… Read more »


If you say that Ozil
is not putting in any physical effort you are either not watching the hard work he puts in or are totally biased

Dave M

Yes he runs around… Near players. That’s it. He never fully closed down his tackling is rarer than a rainy day in the Sahara and I’ve never seen anyone disappear quicker for an aerial ball when someone comes in to challenge than mesut Özil… EVER in all my watching of football…


Equally Arteta can’t come out and say, I think he’s lost it.
I really hope he finds some spark somewhere. Given the pace and ability around him getting him on form would be a tremendous thing, and as blogs has pointed out, we’re not bursting at the brim with natural replacements.
Sadly, IMHO, I think he has ‘lost it’. Either the big pay packet, or the disaster of a world cup, or a combination of the two seemed to ruin him mentally. fingers crossed I’m proven wrong over the next few months.


It’s not that interesting rehashing this point over and over. It’s time to collect 3pts and I dont care who sets up who or who scores, we just need some f#*k%^g 3pts and the relief will be felt by all. Coyg

tanned arse

It’s a dangerous game for arteta. The non negotiables message that is put out there HAS to be adhered to or his authority is drastically thinned. New standards are set. Fine, play Ozil but his impact HAS to be significant and it HAS to be now. Running and covering yards is not enough (it’s good) but there has to be the intensity or the others will see it and ‘ozil’ standards are re-set. In terms of attacking surely he has to be far more ambitious. I get the idea that if he creates opportunities or contributes heavily to a crucial… Read more »

Steve Vallins

Our forward line has changed so much , we’re playing a centre forward on the left hand side , a centre forward who comes away from the goal and not one midfield player who makes a run into the penalty area passed our forwards , no wonder Ozil is finds life difficult creating chances
Cant remember the last headed goal we scored from open play in the prem league

tanned arse

Certainly, what we’re doing from an attacking stand point isn’t working very well. I have my views on who would be best suited to play and how I’d like them to set up but I don’t care who is out there as long as it’s effective. But surely ozil has to be more ambitious in terms of getting into positions to hurt opponents. Either way, (with the current fitness of our squad) if individual players don’t do the business today then standards should dictate that they’re dropped otherwise the message is clear ‘THIS IS GOOD ENOUGH’

Dave M

This is all it is with Özil (and the team in general). Excuses as to why its not working out – oh its the forwards, oh its his defensive help, oh its this, oh its that. F-excuses. He’s been rubbish. If you think that’s good enough then welcome to mediocrity. Because our mid table position is a showing of us playing consistently at a mis table level. Mentally Soft and lacking talent in our supposed experienced group. Time to move on from them and embrace the youth now and address more holes in the summer.


Emile Smith Rowe.

Or bring back Ramsey on loan.


Ramsey is out most of the time with injuries


It’s interesting that Arteta tried to defend him by mentioning chances that weren’t finished. 7AMkickoff’s analysis suggests these changes are of low quality. We’ve gone from a 10 that didn’t work hard or score goals but was creative to a 10 that works hard enough but doesn’t score or make good chances. We’re essentially paying Jesse Lingard 350k a week. Can only hope Arteta can turn this around!


Says the same thing about Pepe, but Pepe gets benched despite having superior stats. Pepe has lots of potential, whereas Ozil is obviously in decline. I really hope Arteta has some magic up his sleeve, because this is bizarre.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x