It is very easy to see Mesut Ozil’s sudden rise in form after the departure of Unai Emery as Arsenal boss, and Mikel Arteta has acknowledged that the German currently deserves his place in the starting line-up, but our new coach has now made it clear that he wants to see if our highly-paid midfielder can continue to show his new-found desire and commitment on a consistent basis, and not just when he is in the mood to impress.
Arteta told the Irish Examiner: “Mesut was very effective against Chelsea. I’m hoping he can sustain that level every three or four days.
“His numbers physically have improved so much. And he’s willing, that’s what I can tell you. He’s been showing it in training. The structure has to help him to be able to take everything he has inside.
“I just tried to prepare the team collectively and individually with the strengths and weaknesses that we have, to promote our strengths and avoid our weaknesses.
“On his own he cannot do it, he needs the collective and the structure around him and his team-mates.
“There’s only one or two players in the world who can do it on their own. He needs help.”
“If I see every day this attitude and desire and understanding of what we’re trying to do, and if he’s in a better moment than everybody else, I will pick him. But if it changes, then he won’t play.”
So, the Boss has made it clear that he won’t put up with slackness from the German, or from anyone else for that matter, and he is hoping to see the same commitment today against Man United. But Arteta also admits that the manner of our defeat to Chelsea may have put a downer on the new positivity surrounding the club since Arteta’s arrival. “That’s my worry now, that the result doesn’t affect them too much,” he continued.
“We’re all disappointed how the game ended, they don’t feel they deserved that.
“But they have to move on, a game in another three days, a big one as well and they have to respond now in a new challenge.”
It is a big ask too, considering our record of just one win in our last 16 games, but I think that as long as we show that we still have the desire to improve, the fans will stay behind the team even if we lose yet again…