Arsenal star player Mesut Ozil at once point in time was considered to be one of the best players in world football. At a very young age, surprisingly he adjusted very well at Real Madrid. Despite the presence of star players like Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, etc. he managed to make his presence known.
Even when he signed for Arsenal many Real Madrid fans were not happy with Florentino Perez. The German was sold to raise funds for Gareth Bale. However in the long run it seems it was the correct decision. Though Ozil did blossom in his initial years at Emirates.
Since the departure of Arsene Wenger and Alexis Sanchez, things haven’t been the same for Ozil. Recently Mikel Arteta announced his Europa League squad but he did not include Ozil in it. Since the start of the new season, Ozil hasn’t even played a single minute for the club.
Ironically he is one of the highest-paid players for the club as well. It was rumored that Arsenal did try to sell him but failed to do so. They could not find a club which could match Ozil’s salary demand. The concrete reason for Ozil’s cold treatment is not known but it has been speculated that his lack of work rate does not fit in Mikel Arteta’s high-intensity game.
Is the Arsenal dressing room backing Ozil or Arteta?
In 2018 both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil had just six months left on their contracts. Sanchez left for Manchester United while Ozil stayed and he was seen as the talisman for the club. Ozil’s decision to stay was the reason why he was given a £350,000-a-week contract.
When Unai Emery took over at the club he said he will bring the best out of Ozil but he failed. Arteta made a similar commitment but it seems like he is no longer interested in it. When Emery failed to get the best out of Ozil he froze him and Arteta has followed his predecessor as well.
Emery took a controversial decision when he decided to appoint Ozil as the club captain. The Spanish manager, later on, revealed that the players in the dressing room were not happy with this decision. It indicates that the players agreed with Emery’s decision on Ozil.
Now with Arteta at the helm, it would seem logical that the players agree with the club legend as well. The team is also playing very well under Arteta despite his demands for high intensity.
Is Arteta correct to give Ozil such cold treatment?
Unai Emery once told The Guardian in May 2020 “He (Mesut Ozil) has to be self‑critical too, analyze his attitude and commitment“. At that time no one really took Emery’s words very seriously. However, his words look very true now.
Though Ozil is not an ideal player for Arteta’s high-intensity football he did thrive under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Both Jose and Arteta prefer to sit back against top oppositions and hit them on counter-attacks. Against less formidable opposition they play attacking football.
Though tactics between the two might be different the idea seems to the same. Also what exactly goes on behind the scenes is not open to the public. There might be things that Arteta might not like about Ozil such as his lack of work rate.
Despite this Arteta can still give one chance to the German. It is possible that in the latter half of the season he might give Ozil more chances as the squad will need more time to rest.