Mesut Ozil admits he was surprised that Mikel Arteta was named Arsenal manager

Mesut Ozil opens up on his former teammate replacing Unai Emery as Arsenal manager.

One of the biggest concerns, when Mikel Arteta became the Arsenal manager, was how he would handle the huge egos in the dressing room. Well, so far he has done a remarkable job based on the comments of Mesut Ozil.

Ozil fell out of favour under Unai Emery and at one point it did appear that he was being frozen out at the Emirates. There were times when he never even made the matchday squad.

It got to a stage where everyone and their uncle was demanding that the former German international be reintegrated back into the squad. Emery backed down but there was no improvement in the 31-year-old’s performance.

That has all changed now. Ever since Arteta was appointed Ozil has featured in his matchday teams and we have all started to see the Ozil of old.

Ozil has been asked what his reaction to Arteta being named as Emery’s replacement and he could not have been more fulsome in his praise and honesty.

‘It is basically getting us back to the old Arsenal virtues. Having the possession, being in control of the game, having the ball all the time, Ozil said per the Metro.

‘These are the things that he is working on with us and you can see it – everyone is smiling, laughing, enjoying their time at the moment and this has made us be successful now.

‘We are really enjoying everything at the moment. You can see we have a structure on the pitch now.

‘Everyone knows what their job is on the pitch and we are very happy to have won these two games [against United and Leeds].’

He added: ‘I was a bit surprised [Arteta was appointed at Arsenal] but on the other hand, time flies quite quickly and I remember when he went to work [as a coach] with Pep Guardiola at Man City, it was quite obvious he would become a manager soon.

‘I am really happy that he is here with us at the moment because this is the right time. We are all happy to have him here.

‘We have a normal relationship. We were team-mates. We respected each other a lot and he was already a team captain at the time so in general players respected him and now he has just continued building up on that.

‘As a playmaker, I need a lot of space. His playing style allows me to get that space and it is so important to be successful.’

The one thing about Ozil that cannot be questioned is his honesty. He has got himself in trouble for some of his comments in the past and these comments I believe come from his heart. He is not trying to butter up to Arteta, he is saying it how it is.

This makes such a change from the last few months. Having the most experienced Arsenal player so in tune with the manager is, without doubt, a huge positive.

Long may it continue.

16 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    Great, thats given me real expectations for the rest of the season. It will be like having a new squad if what we have read is correct. Im expecting big things from Ozil and co now, its great to hear they are happier now and that was the problem before. Onwards and upwards. CL hear we come.

  2. Shakir says:

    Ozil is one of the best play makers i have ever seen.He gets into good pockets,insane passes,terrific vision and awareness and his work rate off the ball has significantly improved.The one thing he doesnt do which i would love to see him do is shoot.His left foot has power and as he is a technically gifted player with good pace he needs to start shooting.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Spuds are going to get AC Milan’s Piatek, so perhaps they’re going to sell Kane?

    Giroud is going to Inter Milan

    1. Diogenes says:

      Kane out until April.
      Piatek is, interestingly, an Arsenal fan, but we’re already heavy in that area.
      He was great last year, but struggles this year. Still, a decent and young player.

  4. NY_Gunner says:

    @gotanidea
    Kane looks like a long term injury. That’s why the buy…

  5. Eddie says:

    I never for once doubted the fact that Arteta could handle the dressing room. I was constantly backing him, I even used Simeone as example.
    Simeone played alongside Fernando Torres and Coached him.
    I knew ego wouldn’t be a problem here at all

    1. Godswill says:

      You knew what I did not know. Am happy for that.

  6. SAGooner says:

    Watch this space. Mikel will be one of the great managers. He is the next AW at Arsenal, in for the long haul.

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      if he isn’t, it won’t be because of his lack of ability. The challenge may come from management’s willingness to spend – and hopefully that will not prove to be the case.

      1. Stewart Macintosh says:

        Great managers or coaches squeeze everything out of their players game in and game out. We need to be realistic about his results based on the team he has. So far he is getting a lot more out of the team and that says a lot.

    2. Andrew Elder says:

      I hope so SAGooner, wouldn’t that be something?

  7. Invisible says:

    As somebody who’s work under a junior, i know wat people were concerned of regarding ex teammates as coach/manager……. I respect and give my all to leaders that deserve…. It’s not the seniority that counts…….it’s the cojones to lead that counts…..and as always deeney ain’t got any.

  8. ken1945 says:

    I think, with regards to Ozil’s time under UE, it was pretty obvious to anyone who wanted to recognize it, that there was a complete difference of views and thoughts.

    The respect Ozil gives to MA and the way the squad is happy under him, speaks volumes for the advancement under Arteta…long may it continue.

  9. Jakes Mradu says:

    Arteta could be a cross between Wenger and Pep…..that would be a WOW……yeah…..

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