It is now looking abundantly clear that Unai Emery does not rate Mesut Ozil as a player that can cope with the Arsenal boss’ instructions and physical demands, or can fit into his changing tactical systems. So, despite his medals, records broken and multiple personal accolades, the German midfielder was left on the bench again yesterday for our massive game against Chelsea. Ozil has made it very obvious that there is no issue with his fitness and he has been fit and ready to play, as he his now weekly tweet made clear….
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) January 18, 2019
But that is obviously not enough for our Spanish coach, so could it be that there is a personal rift with Emery? Jose Mourinho thinks that perhaps Emery is not getting the right balance to motivate Ozil to be his best. “Honestly, I don’t know what is going on, if he is having a physical problem or not,’ Mourinho explained on beIN SPORTS. ‘I know that there was some problem in relation to his contract, he is leaving on a free then he is not leaving on a free. I think finally he signed a contract and decided to stay.
‘So there is not an issue with contract, so I believe there is something with the physical point of view or there is some confrontation of ideas with Unai. I think the nature of football is exactly this nature. ‘With me, Ozil played amazingly well but maybe not with Unai. And maybe a certain player that I don’t remember was phenomenal with Unai but doesn’t work as well with me. It’s just the nature of empathy.
‘I just feel that Ozil is the kind of player that needs the both sides of it. By one side, if you are just sweet with him, you lose his natural aggression because he’s not naturally a very strong, physical player in terms of aggression. ‘If you are too strong with him and forget that he also needs a bit of care, a little bit of love, you don’t find the right balance. So I think it’s about finding the right balance with him.’
I’m not sure I agree with that. Why should a supposedly world-class player need handling with kid gloves to get him to play his best? Surely just his immense wage packet at the end of every week should give him the impetus to prove he is the best, week in and week out. It would appear that the rumours are true and that Emery really does want Ozil to leave so he can use his wages to bring in replacements that will fit his system.
Whatever the reasons, it looks like Ozil will have some hard thinking to do if he is continually left on the bench for all games, whether they are big or small…