There have been so many rumours and criticism of Mesut Ozil in the last year, that it is refreshing to listen to the new Arsenal boss Unai Emery give his honest opinions in the pre-match press conferences. One of the newest rumours was that Emery had told Ozil that he would be moved to the wing but the German was annoyed and feigned illness.
Emery has already clearly denied that twice, and now he has said that he is going to continue with Ozil playing on the wing and the German is happy with that role. “In his career Mesut played like a 10 and on the right, coming inside with his quality,” he said. “Here he has played both. He is very convinced about that in my conversations with him about it. I usually give players the position they feel the best. Mesut is in these two positions.”
Ozil has stayed at home during the international break for the first time since his retirement from Germany, and it has given Emery more time to give him individual instruction in the way he wants the team to work. “The reason we are working is to prepare each match with our players to have the possibility to arrive in Newcastle in the best condition for every player. That’s the same for Mesut. He working well. He is OK. I want to push them, I want to be demanding to prepare this match – Mesut the same.
“I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score. Also I think he is working for the team to help us with his quality.
“But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. In this process, we will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us.”
I certainly hope that Ozil is listening and can make a bigger impact from the wing than he has shown us up until now, but I think the jury is still out on whether he is suited to the wing role. Let’s hope he proves us wrong tomorrow…