One of the most common sayings amongst mainstream media article writers (when talking about any Arsenal gossip) is that there is “no smoke without fire”, and they have used that saying many many times when talking about the so-called arguments between Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery this season.
But according to Ozil himself, there is no problem and there never has been. The German said: “We have no problems at all, really — as has been the case with my previous coaches as well. We have a professional relationship and we get on well.
“I came to Arsenal to win trophies. I have been here for six years now and I have won some titles and some trophies along the way. But as a player you are always hungry. When a new season comes around you always have that goal again to play for trophies, to win as much as you can.
“Sometimes you are able to do it, sometimes not. You just have to keep going regardless of that and Arsenal is one of the best clubs in the world and I am very happy to be here.”
Ozil also praised the progress that Emery has made in his first season, and believes that he can carry on this progress, like Jurgen Klopp has done at Liverpool, and get Arsenal playing again at the very top in time. Ozil said: “I think he is doing really good work. When you look at the team, you can see that we have developed.
“For a new coach, in a new country and at a new club where it’s perhaps a different culture than you are used to, you have to let those things develop. But he is definitely in a good way.
“He brings us forward and I hope he will continue to get better in the coming years. It’s like with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool — over time he has been able to make them successful gradually — and hopefully Unai Emery can do the same.”
The one thing he wants Emery to do above everything is to get us back into the Elite competition in Europe. “Champions League football is very important when you look at the potential in this team. We need to be playing Champions League football.
“The Europa League is another competition and it’s nice to play in but we want to test ourselves against the best and to do that we need to be playing in the Champions League.
“I played many years in the Champions League but not the last two seasons. As a player, you want to test yourself against the best teams and the best players in the world. As a team we need to give it our all and try to keep our focus to reach that aim.”
So what do you make of that? It doesn’t sound like he has any problems with our new coach, and he must be quite happy only playing half the games if that is what Emery wants!
So was there lots of smoke, but no fire?