Ozil praises Arteta impact and sets sights on UCL return

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Mesut Ozil insists Arsenal haven’t given up hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and says he and his teammates have a clearer idea of tactics since Mikel Arteta took over as head coach.

The German has been a regular in the starting lineup since the Spaniard returned to the Emirates in December but has some way to go if he’s to arrest a downturn in form that followed the signing of his contract extension two years ago.

The Gunners are currently 10th in the Premier League table and 10 points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea. It seems very unlikely that we’ll return to Europe’s top table via our 13 remaining games in the league, but Ozil isn’t giving up hope.

“Our goal is to be in Champions League. This year we had difficult times, but I think we’re in a good way,” he told Dubai-based publication The National.

Ozil seemed to suggest his confidence is based on better communication from the coaching staff.

“Even the players – let’s say that after 60 or 70 minutes, if that player’s changing, everyone knows now in which position they have to play or how [the manager] wants to attack or make a lot of pressure on the opposite team. This kind of stuff.

“So, right now, everybody knows tactically that we’re improving. It’s just two months that Mikel has been here, and we have improved a lot tactically.

“Of course, now it’s hard times for us. It’s difficult to say because right now everything is not going well, but we know if everything is going well, if the confidence is back and if we take the right results, we will end in the top four, in the top five.

“We have to believe in ourselves, believe in us as a team, to do what the coach wants. We’re in a good way; you see it as well on the pitch, everyone enjoys, everyone is happy. As a player, you have to be happy to give everything on the pitch.”

Ozil will enter the final year of his contract in the summer and has been linked with a move to the MLS. Given his extensive wages it seems very unlikely that we’ll look to offer him a new deal which suggests we’ll be very open to any approaches.

For the time being, the World Cup winner remains focused on Arsenal and coy on his future.

“After this season I have one more year, so after that I will know because I can’t see the future. The thing I can do is give everything for the team, for myself, to be successful and let’s see what happens.

“What I know is that I will give everything for this club, for my teammates. We’ve had a difficult season, but we want to win games again, to take points, to maybe be in the top four at the end of the season.

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HelderHughes

We’ve seen a spike in the performances of a lot of our team – Xhaka, Torreira, Luiz, Martinelli, Kolasinac.

Now it’s time for our big players – Ozil, Laca, Auba and Pepe – to make the difference in games and turn draws into wins. If these lads start firing, we could pick up some much needed momentum and really go on a positive run.

Reality check

Much more optimistic about UEFA now that Areta is here. TBH, had no hope with Emery even with his winning record.

loose_cannon

I wouldn’t say that we’ve seen a huge improvement in Martinelli as he was one of our best performers under Emery alongside Leno and Aubameyang. He’s carried on that form more than anything. What’s very notable is that if you exclude him from your list you’re more or less left with defensive players. Is that because Arteta is focusing his attention and coaching there temporarily, or is it deeper? Perhaps it actually speaks to Arteta’s ideology and philosophy as well. There’s an argument that Auba, Laca and Pepe are all making sacrifices for the structure of the team and that’s… Read more »

Artetas Assistant

Apt

btw The latest Arsecast extra is the greatest ever

Artetas Assistant

The ‘shorts’ inquiry is probably because it tugs you at the front of the knees which is personally irritating to me

Jack but

The decline in performance and confidence have now rubbed off even the so called senior players, during Wengers even with a bad result, the players talked up the championship by calculating our chances, now we have zero chance…
Sad decline!!!

Fatgooner

Our only chance of getting into the CL next season is via the EL. We’re not consistent enough to catch Chelsea.

And Ozil should be sold off this summer,

HelderHughes

Selling Mesut will still be nigh on impossible I would imagine. The only option would be to do a little like United did with Alexis and loan him out but still pay a solid chunk of his wages. I guess it’s up to the powers that be to decide whether it’s worth paying 150k a week to not have Ozil or 350k a week to keep him.

Unless his form dramatically improves for the remainder of the season I’d rather take the hit and free up 200k for a new signing.

Atom

I really can’t see him leaving as he likes London and has said many times he doesn’t want to leave. That said there shouldn’t even be discussions of offering him a new deal. I was excited when he resigned as out of he and Sanchez, Ozil has the game that would translate better as he aged. However his deal has to go down as one of the worst the PL has ever seen

Rich

This is why we shouldn’t be looking at renewing Aubameyang.

if Someone offers us £50-£60mill?

we should take the money and run, and invest it in a player for the longer term.

Alexis’s fall from grace happened fairy quickly, whereas Ozil’s been on a steady decline since 2016.

Aubameyang’s value both on and off the pitch, is only going to diminish from here.

HelderHughes

I’m not sure we’ll get 50M+ but I do agree it’s time to cut anyone loose who doesn’t want to give their absolute all for Arteta. He demands 100% commitment and we can’t have any passengers in our team.

Whether it’s Laca, Auba, Xhaka or Torreira, we need players who are willing to die for this club and if they aren’t up for it or fancy a new challenge, we need to look at other options.

HoldenontoArsenal

As if Auba is not giving 100%? He may be a tad off in front of goal but I happen to think his efforts have been 100% captainesque. When he came into Arsenal I wondered about his character and attitude. I never ever think twice now, that man seems to be a real leader.

Martin

He still
has scored16 goals this season and with 14 in the Premier League is challenging for the Golden Boot

HelderHughes

Auba is more in the might want a new challenge category. His attitude and commitment has always been exemplary.

dholio

We will be lucky to get 20m pounds for Auba in the summer. Every team will low ball us because he is on the final year of his contract. That’s what we have to weigh up in the summer. 20m in the kitty for reinforcements or keep Auba for the next season and hope his goals will cancel out the 20m. ANyone who thinks we are going to get 40 -50m euros for Auba are in dreamland

tanned arse

At £20M we’d be getting bids from everywhere and it becomes a bidding war. £35M easily with the way clubs throw money at strikers

atom

Nah – he’ll be in real demand. Chelsea still got 50m+ for Hazzard even though he only wanted to go to Madrid. If for some reason it’s only 20m then we just keep him and think about selling Lacazette instead.

Ya Gooner

Also like alexis aubamayang has had a relatively injury free career, which usually means they age a bit quicker physically. Rosicky is still 29 in football years remember 😉

atom

The issue with Sanchez & in some ways Auba is they really are both speed guys which when you have a small drop can make a huge difference. Sanchez had a ton of miles on his legs as well given he played tournaments for Chile virtually every summer.

WengersNoseHair

Maybe yes, maybe no. Look at Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic, still performing at a high level at the ages of 35 and 37, and people thought their games were largely based on their superb physical abilities. Similarly for Vardy at 33. At any rate, I don’t think it’s a risk a club in our precarious position should be taking, I agree we should cash in if a good offer comes in.

Atom

the one thing that argues against it is Ronaldo & ibrahimovic are both natural finishers (Ibra was never a speed guy) while Auba isn’t a particularly good finisher (he requires a lot of chances). Bottom line I agree we should sell him at year end

loose_cannon

Didn’t a club from Qatar try and buy him this Jan?

Hulahoops Baptista

I felt thay this morning opinion piece came a little too early to say if Arteta is managing to get the most out of Ozil, or if Ozil can work under Arteta. I’m repared to give them both significantly more time without judging.

Fingers crossed Ozil hits a run of form in the last 1/3 of the season.

Rich

Ozil surely ruined any chance of a comfortable retirement in the MLS, when he came out against China. I thought he’d end up in Washington or Miami, but now unless a Turkish or Middle East club comes in for him? I think we’re probably stuck with him. With contact renewal time just over the horizon, hopefully he wakes up a bit. Ive never understood the hype, he doesn’t offer enough threat to warrant a free role, and you nullify his strengths, when asking him to do things he’s not comfortable with. Just an expensive luxury, all fur coat, and no… Read more »

Alex

All fur coat and no knickers sounds alright to me!!

Anonymarse

It’s better without the fur coat

Crash Fistfight

I might be being stupid here, but I don’t understand your first sentence. Why would speaking out against China harm his chances of playing in the US?

Anonymarse

Can’t imagine MLS is a big thing in China

Rich

Have a read up about what happen in the NFL.

Or in Hollywood.

Ozil was removed from pro Evo 2020 in China, our game against City was removed from screening, then they were returned, but mentioning Ozil’s name in commentary was banned.

Just a reminder to us in the west, on why the media or national internet infrastructure, should never be in the hands of our government, or why Huawei a reported communist state funded company, should never be near our 5G network.

Reality check

There is a tug of war on 5G between China and USA. Most of the future tech like driverless cars etc will depend on 5G. American governmentjust wants to have the first say, they want to control it just like they want to control everything else in the world, same goes for China. China was just ahead of the game in this case. USA came in late so now they are trying to force every customer not to buy from China.

Reality check

“Ozil surely ruined any chance of a comfortable retirement in the MLS, when he came out against China”

Surely having Secretary of the State Mr Pompeo endorse your message openly is disadvantageous..

Naked Cygan

Less talk, and more results on the pitch. All this as kissing with Arteta is getting old. We need results!!! Players need to stop talking about top 4, and win a few games first.

Santori

Agree.

We need concrete results.

ClockEndRider

All smacks of the old Wally Walcott ploy – do fuck all on the pitch but give great interview.

Glory Hunter

heard It all before!

gunnerpete

Maybe he’s going to continue to keep saying this stuff until we’re mathematically eliminated, but man, I wish he’d stop. Just say the goal is to get better and finish as high as possible.

“3 or 4 wins in a row….” when we haven’t won 2 league games in forever? EL is the only way to CL where you can win/draw (or even lose narrowly) your way through. Also, it’s not like we’re in 5th, 10 points adrift. Almost half the table is in and around us. Not quite controlling our own destiny here.

Cmdn

And i hope hes not here by that time.

Rarsenal

As stated by others, Ozil is magic when there is a strong team around him, able to carry the ball and the midfield to the front 3rd. Here is where he can create problems for the opponents with his vision and skill… And of course the forwards need to be in position to receive his balls, not getting so involved in carrying the ball from deep, meaning the structure is imbalanced,meaning he has no one to pass to on the go. When he does, he makes it happen. I would be happy if we can get some tall strong midfielders… Read more »