Mikel Arteta says he will play Mesut Ozil when he thinks he can give his best
Mikel Arteta has said that he has no problem with Mesut Ozil. He went on to say that a lot had happened to Ozil in the last few weeks and that certain players need more time to be ready to play.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the German playmaker and his future at Arsenal since he was left out of the squad for yesterday’s Premier League match against Manchester City. It came as a surprise especially considering teams are required to name a 20-man squad for a Premier League game which is more than usual.
Ozil’s situation at Arsenal has been under scrutiny for a long time now. Earlier in the season, Arsenal’s highest earner found himself left out of the team by former head coach Unai Emery on multiple occasions. It is important to note, however, that since Arteta’s arrival at Arsenal, Ozil has started every single Premier League game apart from last night’s 3-0 defeat to City. Arteta shared his thoughts on the former Real Madrid man in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Brighton.
On the tactical reasons which saw Ozil omitted from the squad:
“I have been very open with Mesut from day one. Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level he can do. He has played every game with me I think. So that it is. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else. I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.”
On why he felt Ozil wasn’t ready:
“There’s a lot that’s happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the time for every player. Sometimes they need a little bit of time. It’s been difficult preparation the last two months to get players ready and again, I’m the first one who wants Mesut at the best. I’m going to put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.”
On how Ozil reacted when he wasn’t selected to play:
“He was very well with me. There were no issues at all.”
On whether Ozil questioned him about being left out of the squad:
“My conversations with Mesut will remain between me and him. What I can tell you is that it was a completely fine, honest and clear conversation. That’s it.”
Mesut Ozil will hope to find himself back in the team sooner rather than later. Arsenal are back in action against Brighton at the AmEx Stadium on Saturday at 3 pm.