Arteta: I’ll play Mesut when he can give his best

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Mikel Arteta says he has no problem with Mesut Ozil and insists the German will return to the Arsenal squad when he’s capable of playing at his best.

The boss cited tactical reasons for the midfielder’s surprise omission from the 20-man squad that lost 3-0 to Manchester City last night but this evening suggested other things had happened behind the scenes in the last couple of weeks.

Whether the Spaniard is hinting at personal or professional issues is unclear but he insists the pair are on good terms after an honest conversation.

Facing the media ahead of Saturday’s game with Brighton, Arteta was quizzed repeatedly about the Ozil situation.

“I have been very open with Mesut from day one,” he said.

“Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level he can do.

“He has played every game with me I think. So that it is. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else.

“I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.”

He added: “There’s a lot that’s happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the time for every player. Sometimes they need a little bit of time.

“It’s been difficult preparation for the last two months to get players ready and again, I’m the first one who wants Mesut at the best. I’m going to put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.”

Having been teammates for three seasons, the new dynamic between Arteta and Ozil must be a little awkward. One holds the power of being the head coach, the other is the club’s biggest earner and most high-profile player.

For now, Arteta is taking it in his stride. “He was very well with me,” explained the Spaniard about how he reacted to being dropped. “There were no issues at all.”

“My conversations with Mesut will remain between me and him. What I can tell you is that it was a completely fine, honest and clear conversation. That’s it.”

Ozil heads into the final year of his current deal in a couple of weeks and maintains that he will definitely see it out. At that point, you’d imagine our highest-earner will walk away for free. It feels like for both parties, that probably can’t come soon enough.

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Holdini

So he didn’t do his push-ups during locked.

Goo-nerd

He was probably one of the players who said he couldn’t make the pre-game WhatsApp call.

Kentmonkey

Could the ‘lot that’s happened’ be the salary cut stuff?

Tommmy

An immovable object meets an unstoppable force.
Which one is Mesut

Houston Gunner

Isn’t the whole point of this phrase that…it…doesn’t…matter??

Tommmy

Exactly. We’re stuck with him either way haha

Qwaliteee

The latter. He is still the best creative midfielder we have at the club and with the departure of Aaron Ramsey, his ability to influence the game and skills are needed all the more. And, no disrespect to either player, but if you think Guendouzi or Willock are the solution – even short term – then God help us. I don’t give a fuck about his contract or training ground bust ups or any of the countless columns of hate written about him. At this moment in time, he is our best creative midfielder and Arteta would be well advised… Read more »

Snagger

All he seems to be creating is division and not much else.

Petit's Handbag

Most creative player me hole he’s shite and has been for three years now cop on and stop backing a player who puts brand above club. Get him out to Fenerbache

Qwaliteee

Come on then, who would you have the club realistically replace him with? Put your money where your fucking gob is.

OnlyBeingHonest

Could replace him with a sweeping brush and pay half his wages and still get the same results

Qwaliteee

Wow, what an informed, intelligent, insightful response. But still, you couldn’t answer my question. 😜

Tapps

With all due respect, Qwaliteee, I’m more inclined to trust Mikel’s judgement than yours.

Qwaliteee

You can do what you like son. Fact remains, we were utter shit the other night and at least three of our best players didn’t start. Go figure.

Russ

I know it’s financially tough but I’d be sorely tempted to let him leave and pay off the rest of his contract.

He really can’t be a positive influence for the team anymore, we have a lot of youngsters, do we really want them learning off him with the way he seems to be currently?

Let him lose and start rebuilding with players who want to be at Arsenal.

Alex

Recently Emile said his model at Arsenal is Özil. But well, what does he know.

Russ

But how long can this ‘Ozil’ problem keep happening? It’s embarrassing and needs resolving quickly. How are we supposed to move forward with all this shit constantly going on??

Mpls

If we just ignore it and get on with what IS happening, it’s really a non-issue. He’s here, that money is dedicated to him, one way or another nothing we can do about it. If he shows up and plays a few good matches, hey, that’s a bonus we don’t have if we pay him in full to go somewhere else.   We just move forward. We just let this shit go on, and try not to get all bent about it.   Personally I’ve about had my fill of sensationalized news over the last 4 years, so I’ve decided… Read more »

Qwaliteee

At last. An oasis of common sense in a desert of juvenile bollocks. I’ve been saying the same thing. He’s here, he’s currently our best creative midfielder – play him, see his contract out. The challenge the club faces – which everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten – is how the hell we are going to attract a replacement of the same calibre. Ditto Auba, when he leaves. After all, what self respecting world class players want to join a club with our clowns workshop of a defence.

Joseph

Yea, you are right. He is here, play him despite his attitude or less efforts he puts in after all we still lose even when we don’t play him.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Alex, Emile only wanted to say: I want to be a playmaker. That’s all.

DaDude

Why not, he is my model too. I mean 350k a week for doing nothing? I wanna have that too. I am not even getting 350 k a year and even have to do a bit for it.

chuffy

Bullshit. Out of 9 subs, he cant fit Ozil on the bench. Why the bullshit Mikel? Just come out and be transparent. Either Ozil refused to travel because he knows he’d struggle, as he does often against big teams or Arteta told him he wasnt starting and he refused to travel. Just be honest because about 90% of fans know something is going on and it is an insult to fans to blatantly lie.

Alex

On June 16th he celebrates on his social medias the return of football. The day after he refuses to travel? One can be a psycho but to this point…
Btw, I’m the allmighty Arsenal FC and a player does what you say, what do I do? I accept?
 
The club wants him out and basta. Yesterday it was tactical, today it’s physical. Sounds like UE arguments are back.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

There is only one meaningful phrase in your comment : The club wants him out and basta.

Colonel Bergkamp

That made me laugh. Out and basta sounds creative and novel. Might ebentually lead to a shot on target on the pitch as well whether created by Ozil, the ghost of Arsenal past or an overhit backpass by a Brighton defender.

Olivije Žirod

Maybe he really didn’t want to play because he knew he would be the scapegoat after the game. I don’t blame him for that. I mean he didn’t even play and everybody is talking about him.
 
Just leave the man alone and don’t allow media to create hate between the fans. Lacazatte and Pepe are benched under Arteta and we almost don’t even acknowledge it. Why? Because journalists are not asking questions and making conspiracy theories.

Andy

It’s not hate. It’s perfectly possible to disagree with someone without hating them. I believe Ozil is past his best and offers little in a modern football team. Other people think he should start every game. It’s just a difference of opinion, nothing to do with hate.

Clockendrider

Sorry enough with the victim porn. Ozil is not the victim here. Us mugs paying him way, way over the odds for average performances are the victims.

Qwaliteee

It might be neither. It could be something that the club are keen to keep quiet, but for non footballing reasons. Only in February, the player was being subjected to death threats. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-51371836

Qwaliteee

*only in February, the player said he was being subjected to death threats.

Snagger

I’m afraid to say time travel and old video is the only way you will see Ozil at his best again.

Qwaliteee

Ok Mensa, you crack on with your Doctor Who boxset. The rest of us will see what happens in the real world.

Martinell's belly

So many fans seem to know everything about Ozil and what a toxic influence he is and how we can’t move forward without him. I wonder if they have cameras in his house? I don’t know where they’re getting this stuff. Ornstein and Arteta have both been very complimentary of his attitude and young players often praise his contribution too.. Emery’s history shows he tends to fall out with star players and poor Freddie was probably in over his head and overreacted to the glove kick trying to assert his authority. On the playing side we’ve looked significantly better since… Read more »

Snagger

Fanboy.

Qwaliteee

What an intelligent response, Mensa.

Olivije Žirod

Exactly, It is funny how Ozil’s toxic influence appeared around the same time Raul became powerful at the club. From 2013 to 2018 you have never heard that he was a toxic figure at the club but then suddenly becomes the guy who is responsible for everything bad happening at Arsenal.

Clockendrider

Alternatively, people are realising that he gives terrible value for money and that his staying is holding us back from redistributing that money across new contracts for existing players who actually do turn up and put in performances and salaries for new joiners, if any.

Martinelli’s belly

I’d say he’s been one of our better players since returning albeit not playing in his preferred role as our midfielders sit so deep. He’s a ball carrier and passer from deep now rather than being able to wait in the final third. A progressive CM behind him would change this. Regardless, the difference in our fluidity when he doesn’t play is still quite obvious to me.
For financial matters please direct complaints to “richer than Abramovich” Kroenke and his wife who is also a multi-billionaire. FFP has been relaxed too so they really don’t have any excuses.

Rob67

What this – repeat – fiasco shows – again – is the sheer insanity of the contract the Club gave him. Not in any way his fault, as I would have bitten their hand off for it, as well.
 
But I’m not looking at it from his point of view. I’m looking at it from Arsenal’s view point ; and it was stupid beyond words.
 
And those responsible were Wenger and Gazedis and it couldn’t have been anyone else.
 
Roll on this time next year.

Homer

‘the actual #uck do you lot know about all this.
Heavens. It must be great to be able to make $hit up as one goes whilst not knowing anything.

Bobloblaw305

Who’s making anything up?

Wenger and Gazidis were the leaders who gave Ozil his contract. That’s not a conspiracy theory.

And I guess it’s opinion that it hasn’t played out well.fr an Arsenal point of view, if you have a loose definition of the word opinion.

gooner25

The Ozil contract was pure extortion as club hierarchy thought they couldn’t lose another main player after Alexis, especially when majority fans wanted him to stay whatever the cost.

In retrospective we should have let him leave for free, he’s only been a liability since signing.

WellArsed

How can he not be prepared?! They’ve had weeks together training. Footage from training shows him right in the thick of the action. Yet again, there is something we are not being told – this is blatantly evasive BS.. Who’s decision was it that he not play against City – Arteta’s, Özil’s, or someone else’s? (I wonder is his refusal to take a pay cut has any bearing on this?) This crap needs to be sorted out. How can our highest paid player not be playing?!

Andy

Agree. Something has to move on this situation. I’m not an Ozil fan but even I can accept he might be worth a place in the 19.

Clockendrider

Maybe it is retribution for not accepting the wage cut. I guess by not even being in the squad he is not eligible for any match bonuses, which I would hope go to make up a significant part of his package.

Managanese

Here we go again. The Ozil circus is in back at an arsenal press conference near you! Arteta is sadly beginning to say so much without really saying anything. I mean, the man has always been talk, talk talk!! I don’t see the culture he’s changing at the club, I don’t see how arsenal is playing to dominate the opposition, I don’t see us defending any beter. I don’t want to draw any comparison, but Ancelloti took over at Everton and they have been on the come up ever since. I Also don’t want to believe that Arteta has peaked… Read more »

100% Ambazonian

Bogarde 2.0, loading ……..

Baxy

Imagine paying a player £350,000 a week and doesn’t fit into the squad for tactical reasons. I love arsenal but what shambles of a club we have become. 72 million on winger that can’t start, 50 million on striker that also can’t start?? I really fear for the future of this club. The last 4 years I’ve now excepted that we are a mid table club.

Andy

Arteta didnt sign either Pepe or Lacazette so maybe he just doesn’t fancy them. Lets face it, neither have pulled up trees for him.

gooner25

The point remains that our club is in shambles. That Man City game was Emery Deja vu. No Ozil in squad, Pepe ignored, CB masterclass and us losing embarrassingly.

Artetas Assistant

Their relationship dynamic does not have to be awkward in the least. Life is about organisational and all about alternating role-play; you’re captain on one ship and shipmate on the other ship and on another ship, you’re something else. Deliver on your position and answer ‘Yessir’ to your boss (even if he’s your younger brother). You can always leave the ship and go lead yours or whatever. No awkwardness, especially when the Captain of the Arsenal ship (Mikel) is a worldclass communicator, communicates respectfully and without restraint.

Jack Gordon Jr

I feel like I’m watching a real life version of the movie Face Off.

Dave

Okay… Who’s faces have been switched here?

Dave

whose

Winterburnsrightwand

If we can’t sell him, we need to loan him out next season. Let’s startt moving on from the players that are weighing heavy round our necks.

DaDude

Good luck with that, cause he needs to accept being loaned out. Even if we still pay 99 % of his wages. And if he wants to stay in London, cause here he gets good pings for playing Fortnite over his wifi, then he will stay.
Otherwise I agree of course, even if we have to pay 100 % of his wages, he needs to be moved somewhere to stop these discussions.

Heavy Gunner

Not that I’m a great lover of conspiracy theories, but just to maybe get a lot of downvotes and abuse (joke!) I’d like to add to the discussion with my first thoughts about Mesut’s omission from the squad. Here goes: As we know, he’s had a lot of stick and shit thrown at him for his involvement with the supposed racial problems in the German national team, terminating with him saying goodbye and slamming the gate as he went out. After which he poses with Erdogan -not the only media darling to do that, tho’- and get even more shit… Read more »

DaDude

Maybe the motorbike attackers were black, lol.

DB10

I don’t recall seeing any other post which has so many comments with such a close balance of up votes and down votes which really goes to show that Mesut does cause division. Me personally, I am easily frustrated with the way he can play or sometimes not play at all but live in the hope one day we’ll see the old Mesut ozil again