Arteta: Ozil’s wages don’t impact my thinking at all

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Mikel Arteta insists that he does not judge Mesut Ozil because of how much he earns and admits the German is probably unhappy when he doesn’t get picked to play.

Having been a regular before the Covid-19 lockdown, the 31-year-old hasn’t featured in any of Arsenal’s last four matches leading many to question whether his relationship with Arteta has turned sour.

The Spaniard cited tactical reasons when he left the World Cup winner out of the squad that faced Manchester City and then left the World Cup winner on the bench at Brighton and Southampton. Given his need to rotate his squad it was expected Ozil might feature at Sheffield United on Sunday only for a minor back injury to sideline him. The same injury now looks likely to keep him out of tomorrow’s visit to Norwich.

What exactly is going on? Is the player struggling in training? Are off-field factors an issue? Is there a directive from the top to not play him – something that Unai Emery mentioned – or is it something else? Understandably, people want to know, especially given he pockets £350,000 a week.

For Arteta, who shared a dressing room with Ozil for three seasons, the questions are a challenge that he has to navigate in pretty much every press conference.

He’s pretty adept at placating journalists with a bland answer, but it doesn’t stop them trying from another angle.

Here’s how the cat and mouse game played out today…

__

When it comes to Mesut Ozil and Guendouzi, a lot has been said and written about them, as far as you’re concerned do you think they still have a part to play in the games coming up towards the end of the season?

I said that everybody that I have in the squad, my job is to get the maximum out of them and to try to help them and support them. And if they are willing, everybody is welcome.

Do you think they are both willing?

I always hope that the players want to give their best.

Just on Mesut, I know he gets brought up a lot and it’s probably frustrating, but you were obviously a player here when he first arrived and I wondered how much he’s changed as a player and as a person in those years? Is the player we see now, the same one who joined all those years ago from Real Madrid? 

I know him really well because as you said, I played with him. Mesut has unique qualities, he’s a very special player for the position he plays, how specific he is in the quality he has and what he can bring to the team. I don’t think much has changed.

Obviously, he adapted to the league and he needed some time but he started to perform pretty quickly. He established himself in this league for a long time which is something that is not easy to do.

So much is made of how much he earns, we know he’s the highest earner at the club, does that have any impact at all on your decision making on team selection?

Never. That’s an agreement that the player and club were really happy to do, to move ahead. That’s never a question. Players are paid what they deserve. There are both parties here and that I should never have to be something that I’m judging him about.

Sorry to keep banging on about Mesut, do you sense he’s feeling frustrated? Since he’s come out of lockdown he’s not played a minute. Are you sensing that he’s frustrated?

I’m expecting a player that is not playing to feel hurt and disappointed.

But is he showing that enough? You’ve said in the past that players that show the most are the ones you pick?

I believe that he’s not very happy because he’s not playing but as well he picked up an injury the other day and we have to wait and see how he evolves.

Does it frustrate you because we all know how good he is? Before lockdown he was playing every game for you, does it sort of frustrate you that he’s not producing his best form?

I want all my players at their best and to have the ability to pick them to help the squad as much as possible. That’s the only intention that I have.

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Giroudimental

Can’t be all this smoke without some fire,the same issues across two different coaching regimes.
 
It’d be best for all if Mesut could find a new challenge once the season is done, what’s going on does nobody any favors. Quite sad really when you think of how sublime he was for us (along with Sanchez) from 2015-2017.

Qwaliteee

Well, they seem to impact an awful lot of other people’s thinking – a handy stick to bash the lad with, even when he hasn’t been on the field of play. No wonder he can’t wait to leave but is sticking around for the hell of it. Anyone else who says he wouldn’t, given the same circumstances, is s liar. One thing I do know is this: we need Mesut Ozil on the pitch to face Manchester City if we are to stand any chance at all of beating them. More fool Arteta if he doesn’t play him – regardless… Read more »

InfiniteJester

???

Qwaliteee

So who would you put in, laughing boy? Don’t tell me – Joe Willock. I can hear City quaking in their boots…

Atom

He’s perfectly entitled to stay but his contribution the past 3-4 years has been pretty minimal. He’s a big name but is no longer remotely critical to our success. Arteta is the 3rd consecutive manager to effectively bench him (4th if you remember Wenger stopped playing him on his farewell run in). That says everything about where Ozil is as a player as all would gladly build a team around him if they thought it would help them win.

Qwaliteee

So who would you put in the number 10 role at Wembley? Who’s got more ability to unlock City’s defence than Ozil? Come on, let’s have it – if we’re ‘no longer reliant on Ozil for our success’ (What fucking success?!)

loose_cannon

Spot on

Snagger

Yes play him and then we can compare him against their number 10. A player who can create, score press and tackle. Where as our one just gets involved when we have the ball and against the mancs that may be as little as 35% of the game and probably mostly in our own half. It’s a long time since he showed up was it mighty Ludogrets?

Mann

Yes, play him in his preferred position. If he doesn’t add anything then we can say bench him till he finish his contract…

Qwaliteee

At last. Some common sense.

Olivije Žirod

Their number 10 plays together with David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez… We are serously malnourished with the players that can do something in the final third.

Qwaliteee

Exactly mate. Seriously though, Snagger doesn’t understand these things. It’s too much for his brain to comprehend. He thinks Ozil should be tackling like Peter Storey.

Alalpha

Remember Merson? He himself says it clearly, Arsenal is a low quality team. He points out Ozil is a quality player who needs to play at the level of teams such as Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona and alike. Arsenal Defense reeks, holding midfielders are miserable, defensive midfielders have a bigger hole than the ozone. Then all if these pundits can’t form their opinions properly by senseless claims – that Ozil needs to save the whole team (mainly defense), lol. It’s a game for 11 players and it’s time for the pundits to stop putting-out garbage-analysis. Clearly Ozil is such a… Read more »

atom

No top team plays with a player like Ozil anymore – a true number 10 who rarely scores and doesn’t defend so even if he were still considered good enough to play for one of those teams (very unlikely), he wouldn’t fit into their team anyways.

Alalpha

Oh yeah and Messi keeps tackling and pressing the ball ever, lol. Check out all number 10 stats at top level and compare with Ozil’s. Ozil is the one of the best assisting and even goal scoring number 10s ever. Check out all this stats!
Hate the man for the right reasons and be man enough to admit why you really hate him. Don’t hide behind flaky made-up reasons. Just saying.

Qwaliteee

Has it ever occurred to you, Mensa, that City’s Number 10 has better players around him? Make that infinitely better players around him? You can’t make chicken soup with chicken shit. Unfortunately, with the exception of Santi, Rambo and Torreira, that’s what Ozil has had to put up with in Arsenal’s midfield. One day you’ll learn about the finer points of the game, Mensa. One day……

Snagger

We know what he can do but he hasn’t done it. Martinelli has done more in the few games he has played than Ozil in 2 years. You can blame the coaches or the players around him but as a 10 he is no Bergkamp. As the senior pro he should be leading by example but more interested in style over substance. I would love for him to prove me wrong but his average/poor displays outweigh his good/excellent considerably. He may show up for one game if the planets are aligned correctly but not often enough.

db10s

Qwalitee isn’t entirely wrong.
 
I would say Ozil’s decline coincided with the decline of our possession game. We no longer dominate possession in the opponent’s half even against the lowest of teams. Ozil’s doesn’t fit the team currently.
 
One of the factors that could have contributed to this is we don’t have players that can play that kind of game anymore. No Santi, Giroud, Alexis and even Iwobi to an extent.

Snagger

No one is entirely wrong these are just individual opinions but because it differs it doesn’t give you the right to abuse. We all know that qualitee has anger issues but if you have to put your points across with profanities and name calling it really does show a certain level of ignorance.

Alalpha

Well said mate.

DPK

Arteta is a disgrace !! Ozil is fucking useless !!
Nobody is allowed to come on here & say anything between those 2 extremes!
Thank you fso much for reading. And fuck off.

InfiniteJester

?

Qwaliteee

Get Well Soon.

Naked Cygan

Surely the problem has to be Ozil. He had some issues with Wenger at the end. Then all the mess with the national team, then with Emery, and now with Arteta. Seems to be an attitude problem from the player. Maybe he is not happy how the club is run. I hope one way or another we end this mess. Either play him, he is surely better than Willock, or let him go on loan, or sell him for free to avoid wages. ANYTHING, DO FKING SOMETHING!!!

Qwaliteee

How about play him, instead of Willock. Seems a fair bet to me.

Alalpha

All the problems at the German national team? The whole world agreed he was subjected to racism. Now you are claiming that it’s his fault that he was subjected to racism ? Or he was a golden German when the team won, and something else when it did not?
During that World Cup, Ozil broke the record for chances created during a single World Cup. This fact alone speaks volumes.

loose_cannon

Is there a directive from the top to not play him – something that Unai Emery mentioned”
 
Does anyone have a link for this? Because that is news to me! Even googled it and can’t find any quotes from Emery suggesting the board made him drop Ozil or similar.

Bendtnerschristmastree

I think he said it was “a club decision” once, when asked about dropping Özil.

loose_cannon

Found this:
 
https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11670/11846367/mesut-ozil-decision-to-drop-arsenal-midfielder-taken-by-whole-club-says-unai-emery
 
He was asked if he was under pressure to pick Ozil, not to drop him. And his answer suggested he had the clubs backing in how he managed the squad. So it’s actually the opposite of what Blogs wrote.

Qwaliteee

Guys – I wouldn’t have trusted Unai Emery to sit the right way on a toilet – never mind man-manage Mesut Ozil.

Alalpha

lol

Spanish Gooner

Something my brother and I were wondering during the Sheffield United game: what percentage of Özil’s new contract have we been trying to freeze him out? By my reckoning it’s all bar the first 6 months of a 3.5 year deal, meaning that for 3 years (by next summer) we’ve been trying to force out our highest paid player. Obviously it’s all hypothetical, but can you imagine what might have been possible if efforts had been made to support Özil and get him back to his best after struggling for all that time? For me it’s sackable mismanagement of what… Read more »

kaius

Emery, Ljungberg, Arteta. Three very different coaches, one was new to the club, one is a former club captain, the other a proper club legend. You think none of them tried to support Ozil? The Ljungberg one is particularly troubling because he gave everyone a clean slate after Emery’s sacking. Then a couple games later he subs Ozil off during a 3-0 defeat to City and out came Ozil’s glove-kicking routine. And Ljungberg pointedly said he made the sub because he needed his players to run and press and fight for every ball. Which brings us back to the central… Read more »

loose_cannon

Exactly this, four different managers have had issues with him recently and people are still trying to blame management. You couldn’t make it up.

Alalpha

Nice try, Wenger did not have any problems with Ozil ever. Wenger’s most priced asset was Ozil. You keep mentioning three coaches? Nice try. Emery – the care taker in between – Arteta. You seem to forget that The care taker was quickly demoted by fans and the club quickly. That leaves two. Clearly Emery failed. Emery had serious problems with every single super star he coached. He is a coach for a small team with youth players. More important is that he has been a failing coach for a while now – where is he at now? Arteta? A… Read more »

Futsboller

I said it about Emery and I’ll say it about Arteta: it’s the coaches job to get the best out of his players. This is a tough one for Arteta, but he was doing a good job before the break and needs to get back there again with Ozil.

Qwaliteee

Top post mate. Thank fuck for that. Someone else around here with some common sense. Hallelujah.

loose_cannon

Arteta, Freddie and Emery (and Wenger for his last two seasons and especially after the new contract) have all failed to get Ozil to play well consistently. Maybe the problem isn’t the management but the player?

DPK

‘but he was doing a good job before the break’…….I.e. he was picking Ozil ?
You are right : it is the coach’s job to get the best out of his players. Plural. Not get the best out of a single player. Just by picking Ozil would that mean Arteta is then doing his job better? There is obviously a reason Arteta isn’t happy to pick him…..and Emery/Freddie felt so too. For me, the ball is firmly in Ozil’s court for this to change, not Arteta’s. And if it does, I will welcome him back in the team.

A Different George

I don’t know what’s going on with Ozil, and it may be beyond anyone’s control or anyone’s repair. I don’t know whose fault it is, or if it is anyone’s fault at all. But since Arteta’s arrival, Arsenal has played much better when Ozil was in the team. I don’t know how anyone can deny that.

Alalpha

Nobody should be able to deny that. Under any management crappy Arsenal played much better when Ozil was on the field. Actually Arsenal with Ozil on the field looks like a reasonable football team, and looks like a U11 team struggling for form without Ozil. Arteta needs to be working with what he has and make better selections before each game. He has failed miserably so far.

Mann

Can anyone do a personal interview with Ozil? We have to hear his side..

Qwaliteee

You’ll have it one day mate. And I can tell you now, it’ll be mostly about what a fucking joke this club is, how it’s run, and how pitifully few decent players there are.

Light

Nasri left, he won the league with City, Cesc won the league with Chelsea, Giroud won the Europa with Chelsea, RVP won the league with UTD, OX won the league with Liverpool, Clichy & Debayor also won with City. Who cursed Arsenal?

Scwibble

Players want to win trophies, they have short careers and want to look back on it with pride and accomplishments. Look at Sanchez, our best player of the decade.

We are just living off the past trying to tell ourselves we’re a big club, man it’s so depressing how far we’ve fallen.

I wish Wenger left 5 years earlier than he did and we got Klopp.

kaius

Yes there would’ve been a big glorious send-off for him at Wembley after the 2014 FA Cup.

The next two FA Cups he won were not worth our rivals leaving us behind while we stood still.

Qwaliteee

Rubbish. Wenger did the best he could on a budget that amounted next to fuck all. How he managed to keep this club in the ECL alongside club’s with open cheque books like Chelsea, Utd and City is nigh miraculous. All those idiots who wanted him out are now seeing for themselves what Life After Wenger is amounting to. If you think we’d still be a top four club if Wenger had left sooner, you’re as deluded as the Wenger Out mob – which, no doubt, you were a fully paid up member of.

kaius

I supported this club for 7 years before Wenger was appointed.

I’m saying I wanted the great man to have a perfect Wembley send-off and you think I’m attacking him.

Rabid Wenger diehards like you and the dumb hashtagging Wenger Out brigade were just as bad as each other.

A Different George

What seems clear in retrospect is that we have not had a Champion’s League-quality squad for a very long time (that’s why we failed to advance in the knockout rounds in that competition); Wenger’s achievement in finishing top four in the Premier League year after year was remarkable. All those jokes about a top-4 trophy don’t seem so funny anymore.

kaius

We have different opinions about that era Different George, but you’re right – it was a remarkable achievement, especially after the plastic petrodollar clubs began buying their way past us.   But it wasn’t always our primary target during that period. We didn’t demolish Highbury so we could qualify for the CL every year and get knocked out in the round of 16 every year.   I will never agree with those who rewrite history to pretend we were content with annual CL qualification. We constantly talked about “the trophy drought” for a reason – because Arsene was a genuinely… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Our shite defence for the past decade. Think about it….

C.B.

David Dein for selling out to Kroenke and not providing Wenger with the support he had previously.

Alalpha

Striking analysis. Stunning outcomes

Boydy

I’m waiting for Ozil to retire and either reveal he has a proper ruined back and spent his career pushing through the pain or to declare it was code for not being arsed that week.

Qwaliteee

You don’t get it, do you? The reason Ozil ‘can’t be arsed’ is because the club, under Kroenke, have largely surrounded him with bang average players who aren’t on the same wavelength as he is. This club have shown precious little ambition. If you had to do your day job and achieve results with people who clearly weren’t good enough to achieve those results, you’d start suffering from a degree of ‘can’t be arsed’ as well.

Ashburton Red

Ozil’s no longer good enough to warrant a place in the team. He knows that and isn’t happy about it, of course.
The money isn’t anything to do with him not being picked – it’s just very annoying for the club as he aint goin’ nowhere until he has to.