Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed what he said to Mesut Ozil in a bid to motivate him throughout last season.
In an exclusive interview with Sid Lowe for The Guardian, Emery says that the former Germany international “could have been a captain” but the Arsenal dressing room “didn’t want to be.”
“I spoke a lot with Özil,” said Emery. “He has to be self‑critical too, analyse his attitude and commitment. I tried with all my might to help Özil. Throughout my career, talented players have reached their best level with me. I was always positive, wanting him to play, be involved.”
“In pre-season I told him I wanted to help recover the best Özil. I wanted a high level of participation and commitment in the dressing room. I respected him and thought he could help. He could have been a captain but the dressing room didn’t want him to be. That’s not what I decided; that’s what the players decided. Captains are ones who have to keep defending the club, the coach, teammates.”
The full interview is certainly a recommended read and Emery opens up at his time in north London, with talking points on the Europa League final and how he came close to signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.