After an ineffective performance against Rennes in midweek, it’s probably safe to assume that Mesut Ozil will begin today’s game against Manchester United on the substitutes bench. But the German playmaker’s problems don’t lie solely with Unai Emery.
In fact, Ozil could have been handled better by Arsene Wenger. And that’s according to Wenger himself.
The Frenchman brought the World Cup winner to North London as the Gunners £42 million record signing in 2013. He rapidly became one of Arsenal’s most important players, laying on a plethora of assists for his teammates over the next five years.
However, since Wenger’s departure, the 30-year-old has struggled for game time under Emery and could be heading through the Emirates stadium exit door at the end of the season.
But Wenger has revealed that he was not tough enough with the former Real Madrid man during his time in charge, which in turn allowed Ozil’s motivation levels to drop, leading to a lack of consistency.
A new article in The Times suggests that Wenger didn’t push for Ozil to be handed his record breaking £350,000-a-week contract, with the idea that such a contract wouldn’t help his motivation levels.
However, Ivan Gazidis didn’t want to run the risk of losing Ozil for nothing and then being left trying to find a costly replacement, so handed the German international the new deal in January of 2018. Gazidis would then turn down the opportunity to sign Ozil at AC Milan this past January as he didn’t want his new club to be procuring any new players over the age of 25.
It is Ozil’s perceived lack of work rate that often draws the ire of Arsenal fans and has seemingly not gone down too well with Unai Emery either. Maybe the Gunners boss needs to do what Wenger wishes he had done more of and crack the whip with Ozil to bring the best out of him at this crucial stage of the season.