Arteta answers the tough questions on Mesut Ozil

Mikel Arteta made the decision to exclude Mesut Ozil from the Arsenal squad for last night’s win over Leicester in the Carabao Cup, and he was questioned on his selection after the 90 minutes.

The former German international has been frozen out of the playing squad since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, with some of the belief that his infamous decision to reject a wage reduction during that time as potential reasoning.

Whatever the reason is, Mikel Arteta has stuck with his ground, and the manager claims that the decision has only been about football, telling Arsenal media following the final whistle.

The Spaniard was asked why the former Real Madrid star was left out today, to which he replied: “I am really happy with the performance of the players here, how difficult they are making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.”

He was then pressed on the matter, when asked what had changed regarding Mesut. He added: “The team is evolving and you can see the level they are achieving, so this is where we are at at the moment. We want to evolve more, play better and compete better, so we need to keep maintaining that trend.”

“You can see that the players that we are changing and using every week, that it is very difficult – not just for Mesut but the rest of the players – for some to make the squad. Every week, we try to pick the right players.

“It is difficult for others as well who weren’t involved in the Premier League and they didn’t play tonight either. We have a squad of 26, 27 players at the moment and we cannot give all of them playing time.

“Of course I understand, I respect your questions but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible and pick the players that, in my opinion, are in a better condition to play.”

The manager continues to reiterate that the team comes before any single player, and with the team getting all the right results at the moment, I’m struggling to understand why such heavy questioning was prompted after the win.

Would Ozil even fit into our current formation and style? Will Arsenal’s form need to change drastically to open the door to Mesut?


Tags Mesut Ozil Mikel Arteta


  1. Very damning to say, its hard for Ozil to get in the team. Also saying players are in better condition than Ozil. How much more proof is needed that he is mugging us off. I would sack him and take our chance at any tribunal, we wont lose much.

    1. Doesn’t matter how many people say Ozil is finished (even the Arsenal manager now), there will still be those delusional Ozil fans, claiming he could make he the difference.

      I promise that if we lose to Liverpool, will see Ozil articles on how he could have made the difference. Just watch this space.

    2. We have been sentimental
      Arteta has made it clear that he is trying to build back our lost ethics
      Arsenal were in shambles for few seasons before arteta took over
      Arsenal problems were caused by many factors and players attitude is one of such factors.
      Ozil situation is very complicated
      Any world class player that finds himself in ozil position will normally push for a move but not ozil..
      Ozil having played all matches before lockdown did not help issues himself been one of club captains and highest earner in the team it is logical that he took a paycut not for anything but for the team if the team accepted to a paycut. It’s not a coincident that ozil had problems with both real Madrid and Germany
      Now at arsenal all this people can’t be wrong
      Ozil is a nice guy and good footballer but i believe his weakness is his attitude
      Arteta know very well the quality that ozil posses and have not found his quality worth the risk associated with him
      What arteta is building everyone isn’t going to fit in. So far ozil and goundozi has been found out. Ozil been former team mate to arteta is also not going to be easy to coexistence in the same page always. Ask luiz and lampard I’m not saying there are not few exemptions.

    3. He cannot give a clear answer because he is being economical with the main reason. The truth could be that senior leaders at Arsenal have instructed Arteta not to play Ozil. Hoping that Ozil will get frustrated and leave. Very child strategy! If I in Ozil shoes I would behave the same. Ozil wanted to leave but he was forced to sign a contract and a promise of building the team around him. Now Arsenal to force Ozil to abandon his contract. Is that fair?

  2. My view remains as it has always been. Namely that the entire reason MA keeps Ozil away – even from the Carabao squad(which destroys any semblance of the false reasons given by those in those in his weird fan club, about it being board policy, which I have always seen as nonsense and lies put about by these odd self deceivers -is that Ozil simply refuses or cannot work hard and that MA will never indulge laziness That is thewhole reason why this leech will not play again , barring a catastrophic injury crisis, until he mercifully ceases leeching off our club next summer. I have never been one to buy into conspiracy theories and find in life that the actual truth is usually, even though not always, exactly as it appears to the vast majority of normal fans.

  3. If the manager GENUINELY feels that the team is weaker with Ozil in it, then he needs to be bold and keep him out. In that context, it is better for the club to lose just money (Ozil wages) rather than lose both money and points.

    Having said that, I do not believe Ozil and Guendouzi have suddenly become so useless that they can’t even occasionally make the EPL bench or feature in the odd cup matches. When you consider that both players have been involved in non-footballing issues, then one would need to speculate that their complete exclusion from the team is for non-footballing reasons.

    In any case, I’m more interested in the team making progress and winning as many matches as possible. MA is currently doing that and so he gets my full backing regardless of whose ox is gored.

    1. And if both players are not going to be in the manager’s plan for the reason, then better not register them for the EPL, so that non-English quota can be freed for Partey and Aouar.

  4. Ken, mohsan and others … I’m hoping this puts all conspiracy theories to bed then, let’s back the manager and the team and drop all these make-believe stories about wage cut.

    1. Kstix, therein lies the problem for you it seems.
      Why, because some fans want to know WHY Ozil went from a regular player, in an unbeaten team, to now being not considered good enough to make even the squad for the Carabo cup, we are assumed to not be backing the manager?

      When we were going through the unbeaten run before covid and the pay cut, the self same fans featured above, were bleating about the fact that Ozil was being selected on a regular basis…but I didn’t see the outcry that we should back the manager then.
      In fact, there were posts that were saying he was just an assistant manager…I’m sure you’ll remember those posts?

      Double standards Kstix??

      The fact of the matter is, since the lockdown and the paycut refusal, it seems that Mesut Ozil no longer fits into Mikel Arteta’s plans – if that’s the case and it’s purely for footballing reasons, then I have no issue whatsoever with his decision – so why do you suggest I have and that I should NOW support MA?

      What makes you think that curious fans, who question, at the very least, a seemingly amazing drop of form that coincides with a pay cut refusal during lockdown, is not supporting the club?

      I fail to understand how ANY player who, before the above two incidents, was a regular selection in MA’s plans, has suddenly lost form to the extent that he cannot even make the squad for the Carabo cup….aren’t you even SLIGHTLY puzzled and/or curious?
      Perhaps you could even explain it to me, after all, we are playing the same pressing game that we were then, so what is the difference?

      I won’t go through all the names that Ozil has been called on this site, but two stand out for me as being the most insulting and childish things one can say to another, especially when they don’t even know the person themselves.

      Filth and thief are those two descriptions of a person and player, who MA was selecting, has said is giving 100% during training sessions, has a lot to offer BUT doesn’t fit into his plans at the moment….that’s fine , but does that mean that Ozil is now “bleeding the club dry?” and all the other personal abuse that people who should know better give out?
      I would expect a young, immature know all to spout such ludicrous nonsense, but that is not the case and that makes it even more sickening to me.

      It’s MA’s decision not to play Ozil in his team, so why should he be accused of being filth and a thief?
      Just too ridiculous for words and to tell me I need to get behind Mikel Arteta, is quite frankly just as ridiculous and pathetic in the extreme.

      1. I don’t even have the strength to be drawn into another Ozil debacle with you, I just wanted to bring the manager’s comments to your notice, I’m glad you now accept the fact that Ozil has not been selected for purely footballing reasons. We were only unbeaten in the league pre-covid BTW and to be honest Ozil was not spectacular except for 2 games. Apart from that, nothing really. Maybe Arteta has seen that he’s gotten worse, I don’t know, but for one footballing reason or the other, he has not been selected. I agree with you, without bias though, that he could have at least made the bench for some matches but Arteta knows best. We are 100% behind him and his decisions.

        1. I follow our manager with as much diligence as you do, so I am perfectly aware of what he is saying and doing.
          As you fail to answer any of my questions and don’t want to get in to a debate, why mention me?
          A little more honesty regarding the Arteta /Ozil relationship and the abusive personal nature of some of the words used by fans, wouldn’t go amiss either.
          Don’t worry about my loyalty to the club, it’s been rock solid for a long, long time.

          Perhaps, as Ozil was only spectacular for two games, you should question why he was selected for the others?

          Also, I haven’t said that Ozil hasn’t been selected for footballing reasons, what I said was that MA selected him for the same pressing, high tensity matches BEFORE the coronavirus break, so asked why he isn’t now?
          Meanwhile, we are 100%. behind him and his decisions.

    1. Abubakar, the problem for Ozil is that, Arteta wants players who are not only effective when Arsenal has the ball, but can tackle and win the ball back, when Arsenal is without the ball. Ozil has shown that he disappears when tackling and ball winning are required. The team is being successful because all are putting in the effort, with and without the ball. There are no passengers.

  5. I’ll just wait for the end credits just hoping we won’t be left with a cliff hanger. Tired of changing my opinions like a tennis ball. Until then my heart is learning towards Mesut and Matteo.

    I didn’t start loving Arsenal purely for results and trophies. The Arsenal I know is the Arsenal of beautiful football, values and integrity. Currently we don’t have all of them.

    It seems they stuffed them in the golden trophy they gave to the great Arsene.

    If our management do not care about them anymore the only hope is that they won’t be lost to Arsenal fans, especially the most important fans in London and England in general.

    The owners, boards, coaches and players will pass on but the fans will always be there passing the torch from one generation to another.

  6. D board are unfair to Ozil, this act contradicts d club’s culture, Ozil will never respect Arsenal again once he leaves.

    1. WHEREAS HE RESPECTS US NOW THEN? WHAT NONSENSE! If he did he would deign to work for his money as all players need to do and as his teanmates actually do! Get real you silly person!

      1. Jon, can you give us details of when Mikel Arteta has EVER said that Ozil doesn’t work for his money?
        Respect is a two way thing and while you feel it is alright to call him “filth”, I suggest you have lost the moral high ground that you feel you are entitled to.
        Only a silly person would use such abusive language and Ozil has never sunk to that level when describing a fan he’s never met.

  7. Ozil don’t fit in MA’s 3-4-3 formation which requires everyone to track back and defend and also press. Don’t forget that MA knows Ozil more than any of us because he played with him and knows his weaknesses and capabilities.

    Prior Covid-19; he had only one assist. Ozil is finished playing football.

  8. Until Ian Wright’s comments last week I had my doubts about why Ozil was being frozen out. But Wright, and now Arteta, are strongly implying that he imply isn’t working hard enough. Shame for us, shame on him.

    1. Ian Wright NEVER said that he knows first hand what the issue is. He just asked both parties to get together and resolve their problem. He also asked Ozil to do what MA wants and that’s normal because players should follow orders. Wright also said that Ozil is the perfect player for Arsenal to get to the next level.

      1. lcw, “to get to the next level” only if Ozil had a box to box midfielder like Partey and a DM like Roca/Soumare/Samare/Diawara to do his tackling and ball winning for him. If Aouar comes in, he is everything Ozil was, but is no more, is a more rounded midfielder and would replace him in the team.

        1. Now we need to get behind MA and the team. Maybe things will be clearer down the road. I like Aouar but I will accept that he is as good or better than Ozil only after he does this:

          Germany — 92 Full Caps
          Germany — World Cup
          Germany — UEFA U-21 European Championship German National Team PLAYER of YEAR — 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016
          Real Madrid — won La Liga
          Arsenal – – won the FA Cup in 2013-14, 14-15 & 16-17
          Arsenal – – voted Arsenals Player of the season in 2015-16
          UEFA Team of the Year — 2012-13 and 2013 -14

          1. Ozil has a truly impressive array If titles, trophies etc but have you not noticed that this stopped some years ago?
            It’s a bit like the expression, the king is dead…long live the king

            1. No I don’t accept that the king is dead but I accept that Arsenal as a team was dead. Football is a team sport and one player can’t lift a team by himself no matter how great he is. A collection of bad signings, over paid under achievers and a rock bottom quality board made Arsenal a second tier club. Ozil was made a convenient scapegoat because of his salary and Political views. We can agree to disagree on Ozil so let’s cast him aside because he is no longer an Arsenal player, However let’s not find another Ozil to blame down the road should the team underperform. Lifting a cup every now and then is fine but returning to the top 4 and/or winning the championship is the only measure of success.

          2. lcw, I accept what a great player Mezut Ozil WAS; I am talking about 2020.after Ozil was dropped by Germany, I expected him to Arsenal fully committed to the Club and wanting to prove to the world, what a great player he still was. However that has not happened to my great disappointment. It has become obvious the game has passed him by, as what Ozil offers in attack with the ball, does not compensate for his inactivity in pressing, tackling and winning the ball back, when Arsenal is without the ball.

  9. Let’s stop being hypocritical about this Ozil saga. Whether you love Ozil or not, the fact is that he is a human being and deserves to be treated as such. To be honest, we have players in the team who are lazy and skillless but are still playing. Arteta needs to come out of the Pep shadow. Pep is known to treat players this way. Remember how Yaya Toure and other players were treated by Pep. This is the similar management style that Arteta is prototyping.

    1. Unless Ozil speaks we will never know for sure what the problem is. Regardless it is the responsibility of the coach to chose players, formations and team direction. With that responsibility comes accountability. For now the team is winning so till now MA is proven right. However the season is long and difficult and while the club is wasting 350k/week on a player sitting at home, MA better deliver.
      I hope and pray that MA does not turn out to be like Pep or Emery for that matter they both hold grudges like little boys.

    2. Mikel Arteta is Arsenal manager and will rise or fall on his selections and results. It is his choice not to select Ozil to play and the players selected have got the results.

  10. ICW
    Ozil already finished. Look at his unimpressive stats for the past two seasons before you talk. He can’t even offer one assist. Pre Covid-19 he offered only one assist and at a cost of 350k a week? We rather rely on Saka than Ozil. Ozil is no more interested in football.

    Saka is better with assist than your Ozil for now.

      1. We dont even use a 10 anymore. Most teams dont use 10’s actually. A dying position that we dont even need a direct replacement for to justify Ozil’s absence.

  11. One year left on contract, has been given 1million chances, doesn’t have the work ethic that Arteta wants… It’s obvious why he is left out. The bare minimum to make Arteta’s team is hard work. Ozil has never fulfilled this requirement so he is not needed. Guenzoudi does work hard but seems he’s just not Arteta’s guy and has discipline problems. What many dont understand is that Mikel is trying to change the culture of the club. That cannot be done with bad attitudes and players that dont work. YOu guys want change but also want things to stay the same. It’s just not possible.

    1. ….and you think Ozil doesn’t work hard??laziness wouldn’t have made him the player he is today…the records are clear.

  12. All these hullabaloo about Ozil is enough already. But then, we will always different views and opinion. We never can agree on the issue of Ozil.

    He has talents
    He has not been productive for a while
    He has good records

    We are all right with our opinion about him and his inclusion or omission in the squad.

    Mikel has the responsibility of picking the squad and managing the players. We have one choice as Arsenal fans though, to support him.

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