Wenger tells Arteta to find ‘balance’ to accommodate Ozil

Arsene Wenger has told new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta how to get the best out of Mesut Ozil, telling him he needs to find the right balance between attack and defence.

The Frenchman was in charge when the club made the German Arsenal’s record signing, and oversaw an amazing partnership form between him and Alexis Sanchez, but Ozil has been frozen out of late.

Unai Emery first struggled to get the best out of the 31 year-old, which saw him become a rotational figure of the squad, while Arteta did initially return him to a key role prior to lockdown.

Ozil is yet to play since football returned to action in May however, and was recently left out of the squad for the Europa League, which could well mean he has played his last game for the club.

Arsene Wenger believes there could well be room for him to play however, but only if Arteta can balance his lack of discipline with more defensive-minded players.

“He wasn’t exactly the one with the greatest discipline on the pitch. And playing the game without the ball wasn’t exactly his forte,” Wenger told Spiegel Sports.

“But you can deal with that if you put some more defensively minded players by his side. The main thing is to get the balance between attack and defence right.”

The Frenchman did not try to highlight Ozil’s importance in today’s game however, more claiming that the game has moved away from his style of play.

“Players have lost their technical quality over the past 10 years,” Wenger argued. “Athleticism has become more important than technique and decision making. It’s more about physical characteristics and intensity, about explosiveness. And it’s also about being a showman.”

As much as the team has lacked some creativity, the results are more important, and the team ethic is profiting from not having him in the team. Unless any of this changes, I struggle to see a need for Mesut to be given another chance…

Does anyone think Ozil still has a chance to feature?


Tags Arsene Wenger Mesut Ozil


    1. What Wenger suggests, may look like this:

      Tierny–Gabriel–Luiz–Bellerin (AMN on either end)

      You need a tireless harrier in Elneny to cover for Ozil, so the German can focus on attack. Then bring in a fresh Ceballos, as the other team tires and open spaces appear. Partey will be a handful, and take attention away from Ozil. All this attention to the middle mean the forwards will have more space.

      Ozil with good FWDs will allow the German to use his skills. Laca has to be replaced with a younger version of Giroud, while right side FWD can be Wllian or Pepe, as both are able to strike, but Pepe is more skilled, in the way Wenger likes his wingers.

      Just having Ozil in there would cause headaches for the opposition. But, having Pepe run at them, and Auba breaking, will hard to defend.

      The overlaps will also be hard to handle, as Bellerin is now mature.

  1. Arsene Wenger didn’t replace Patrick Viera and then Gilberto Silva, the two pillars of his greatest Arsenal midfield, yet he talks to Arteta about “balance.”

    1. Of course he replaced them. By inferior quality players, though, which was to be his undoing. Your comment is pointless.

    2. Once again Ozzie you slag off our greatest manager while making all the excuses in the world to make out Emery was hard done by why is that .

      1. He was just making a factual observation, unless you think Arsenal were “balanced” over the last 12 years or so of Wenger’s reign? What non Wenger fan boys saw was some of the best attacking football around, coupled with Sunday league defending, so I am not sure how that is balanced?

        I always find it very interesting how you’re always happy to abuse and criticize, anyone who dare speaks ill of Wenger, yet never offer any constructive criticism. And we all know why, because you can’t fight facts.

              1. Dan, where have I “slagged off Arsene Wenger” in my comment? Please name the players Wenger brought in to replace the roles played by Viera and Gilberto Silva?
                For everyone’s edification, these were the midfield players Wenger had at his disposal in the last team he managed to win the EPL in 2003/04:
                Gilberto Silva
                A young Cesc Fabrigas did not play one game that season. If Wenger wanted to play a more attacking line-up, Wenger played an extra forward and moved Dennis Bergkamp into midfield as #10 (CAM).
                This is what a top class Arsenal midfield looks like.

    1. If he is briliant why is it that he was openly put in market and not any club was ready to pay for his services and yet other old players who still on the toes are been looked after by many clubs?

  2. I struggle to understand the need for athleticism in games where you have 60 -70 % possession. we struggle for creativity in most of these games. Ozil is a master on such games.

  3. A very interesting”admission” by Wenger who concedes that athleticism has taken over during the past 10 years.Why then did he sanction a ludicrous new contract for Ozil only 5/6 years ago?

    1. The answer is in the article:
      “But you can deal with that if you put some more defensively minded players by his side. The main thing is to get the balance between attack and defence right.”

      Of course, in the future players like Ozil or, say, Wilshere will have to always be at the top of their game to justify that. Hazard is such a case who is ‘lazier’ than Ozil in terms of facts – like how much he actually runs in a match. But he gets support from other players in defence due to his goalscoring numbers (or at least before he joined Real Madrid).

    2. Guys. The Ozil signing was a panic buy.
      Absolutely no need or plan for it in the first place.
      We had messed up on signing Higuain then fcked up completely on Suarez.

      The Ozil signing was a “Keep the fans onside, distracted” tactic. Same as renewing his contract to £350,000 a week. We messed up on retaining Sanchez so to curb our emotional fanbase down they gave him such a ridiculous contract.

      Ozil has always been in the right place and the right time to take advantage of our clubs incompetence in all this.

      I hope now Ozil has taught them a valuable lesson.

      1. 95% of all plyers would like to be as fortunate and be at the right place and the right time. In this case you make Ozil’s point. He is no ordinary player.

        1. Exactly..
          Like I have always said, Ozil is not ordinary personality, he has this emotional and sensitivity he has on a certain group of fans. They have been following him since 2010 and seem to have gained this cultish mentality.
          He is the most overhyped and overrated player I have ever seen at Arsenal but he has this weird hold on a segment of supporters. They never see no wrong in whatever wrong he does, it’s always VICTIMHOOD or blaming everyone and everything else but Ozil himself.

          Again, he is the luckiest player and all that luck was mostly afforded to him by Arsenal. Always at the right place at the right time when it comes to Arsenals incompetence. And he keep taking full advantage.

          I bet you If he was at another massive global club, he would have been gotten rid off well before 2017 when Arsenal went completely mental offering him that ridiculous contract.

          1. You have way too many obstacles to convince anybody, including yourself.

            FA Cup (3): 2013–14, 2016-17
            FA Community Shield: 2014, 2015

            Real Madrid CF
            La Liga: 2011–12
            Copa del Rey: 2010–11
            Supercopa de España: 2012

            La Liga (2): 2010-11, 2012-13
            Copa del Rey: 2012–13
            Supercopa de España: 2011

            Werder Bremen
            DFB-Pokal: 2008–09

            FIFA World Cup: 2014
            UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2009

            Third place:
            FIFA World Cup: 2010

            PFA Fans’ Player of the Month: April 2015

            Real Madrid:
            Bambi Award: 2010
            2011–12 La Liga Most assists (17)
            UEFA Team of the Year: 2012, 2013

            Werder Bremen:
            Bundesliga Top assists 2009–10 (17)

            2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group C: Highest goalscorer (8 goals)
            2010 FIFA World Cup – Most assists (3)
            FIFA World Cup 2010 Man of the Match: vs. Ghana
            UEFA Best Player in Europe Award 2012 (10th place)
            UEFA Euro 2012 – Most assists (3, shared with Steven Gerrard, Andrei Arshavin, and David Silva)
            UEFA Euro 2012 – Man of the match: Germany vs Portugal, Germany vs Greece
            UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament:
            2009 UEFA European U-21 Championship Final – Man of the match.

            Premier League Record
            Appearances 184
            Goals 33
            Assists 54

            1. LOL! Let the haters leave this to Arsenal fans.
              Please haters, go join your beloved Liverpool.

              No one mentions that without Giroud and Sanchez, Ozil did not have viable targets. No great finishers. He need time to get Auba, with Laca not that lethal.

              In other teams he had great finishers, and the defense was worried about those players allowing Ozil to set them up.

              Watch when Ozil goes on free..

  4. Patrick, Yes, I do think “anyone(meaning SOMEONE!) will think Ozil still has a chance to feature”. As the saying goes, there is always one, or in Ozils case, a whole fan club of self deluded fantasists!
    The majority of realists among Gooners though can now disregard these unfortunate people as of no influence , since our manager has already made HIS position quite clear to the mouse, ooops I mean man, himself!

  5. Article title cleverly and mischievously scripted to twist what AW actually said. AW NEVER told MA to do anything. He was simply responding to a question about MO, which he gave his honest view about his limitations and strengths, while also mentioning how the team could possibly be structured to accommodate less athletic and less defensive players like him (and I’ll add Hazard, Mata, etc).

    1. MAXIS, WELCOME TO THE UNTRUTHFUL WORLD OF CUNNING JOURNALISM ! When I was a young man , decades ago, journalism was still an honourable profession and that is why I became a writer.

      But tabloid journalism and much on social media by bloggers are little short of a disgrace, as truth is at best marginalised or worst still deliberately distorted and even ignored.

      If you want to investigate how potent lies can be,then look into Q conspiracy, which is largely a far right wing world but mainly USA led conspiracy theory and also abject but dangerous nonsense. This disease of untruth is gaining traction in so many places, which is a prime reason why I constantly strive for and preach TRUTH.

      Being accurate with language ( I do not mean grammar, typos, etc.but MEANING!) is so necessary!

  6. It is true that athleticism has taking much impact of today football but, however, techniques and decisions making is more vital for the game and good results consistency. Ozil can do more better with current arsenal midfield department if given opportunity.

    1. In most games, our possession is about 40/60. We must have a lot of athleticism going backward. It is also laughable to call our defensive midfielder who moves like a sick turtle an athlete.

  7. Maxis
    Only you and the rest who believe that Arsenal cannot survive without ‘God’ or ‘Allah’ Ozil

    Again in your imagination you believe AW also mentioned Hazard and Mata. He was specifically on the Ozil case

    For Arsenal, Ozil is finished and Ozil fan club members can go to hell.

    If you think ‘Allah’ Ozil is bigger than Arsenal, leave and follow Ozil

    1. you brought religion in another thread and people were offended.
      do you think you should leave Allah out of your comments?\Which by the way are moronic since they only show a lack of understanding for the situation as well as football in general
      knock it off !!!

      1. Maybe you missed Huss having a god curse the British moment

        Neither he or Howard have covered themselves in glory

    2. Howard you are stupid for using Allah name like that in football, if you don’t like ozil keep it to him only.

  8. @Howard I read what Maxis wrote as him adding his own personal opinion when he writes “(and I’ll add Hazard, Mata, etc).”

    So perhaps you are barking up the wrong tree here?

  9. two products gone extremely stale, needs to dumped in the waste bin;(no surprise no club ever wanted them ) no need to bother or get excited reading their opinions. Next article could be Ozil rates Wenger, blah blah blah…..
    Time to focus on the fresh and new; what an exciting team Leno, Tierney, Gabs, Partey, AMN, Saka, Pepe , Auba what a piece of luck for Arteta.
    EPL silver is comming home next season, prepare yourselves

  10. Here we go again though. We have to compromise everything for one player. Build everything around one player. AW was NEVER able to find the right balance. Arteta simply doesn’t want his team balance to revolve around one player, espescially one on the decline with one year left in his contract. Can we all just accept that this is over? Ozil will not make the EPL squad and is unlikely to play for us again. Every time we drop points though there will always be his fanbase to say “Ozil would’ve won the game for us”, even though Ozil hasn’t won a game for us in over two years even with regular playing time. Mesut had his time but team is moving on and people just cannot accept this.

  11. Can’t wait for ozil to pull off an arsenal shirt come summer

    Cos it will stop the unnecessary argument from the arsenal fan base
    And secondly, ozil might tell us what actually was the issue with arsenal cos I see more than just the lack of athleticism as the issue with him here

  12. With defensive players around him, a better level of discipline and an encouraging body language, he remains a good player. MA need to find that balance from both him and the team.

  13. Here we go,
    What wenger said is absolutely correct that there will always be players like ozil, (hazard) that offer so much up front that their deficiencies the other way need to be covered by others if possible.
    There is no doubt that ozil has always possessed the ability very few have in splitting defences with balls many other players either cannot see or cannot execute. When teams have these players they either cover that player with more defensive players allowing then to “do their thing” if they don’t those players often become the scape goat for bad management of that team.
    It is true that sport has moved on to a more physical level. Not long ago rugby union was a far more technical game. The introduction of players like jona lomu in the 90’s transformed this and now most Union players are built like rugby league players were 10 years before. This is why so many rubgy league players have made the move into union where 10 years before they could not have done.
    The reason I use the rugby ananlgy before many of you jump up all hysterical is because even when Union was making this transition there were players like Larkin who was very much of the old ilk who thrived in this new physical system because he was surrounded by other players who covered for his dificencies, ie he was managed well.
    So it brings us back to ozil. I am in now way a fan boy of ozil but I find it really sad that we as a club cannot get the best out of this technically gifted player. It has clearly now gone too far and he will leave under a cloud. But this is a player that could create that chance at the other end when we have lacked that for a long time now.
    I will always blame ozil for the things he has done wrong but I will also not blame him for the things he hasn’t done. By that I mean I will not blame him for being asked to do a job and when it doesn’t work because of others around him put the blame on him. In a system where you ask others to cover him so he can stay high and it doesn’t work don’t blame him.
    Sad that we as a club could not have got the most out of this once (and possibly still) gifted player.

    1. WELL SAID: “I find it really sad that we as a club cannot get the best out of this technically gifted player. It has clearly now gone too far and he will leave under a cloud. But this is a player that could create that chance at the other end when we have lacked that for a long time now.”

      We live in times where there is a need to scapegoat players.

  14. I think we have a back line and a team mentality that can now accommodate Ozil playing 30-45 minutes per game.

  15. We can’t continue to pay appearance fee to a player who now offers nothing to the team but stroll on the pitch.
    Will prefer Saka playing than Ozil

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