Mikel Arteta insists he has been ‘more than fair’ with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal
Mikel Arteta reveals how Mesut Ozil reacted to being dropped from the Arsenal squad last week
Mikel Arteta has insisted that he has been “more than fair” with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal after having dropped the German for last week’s defeat by Manchester City.
Ozil was not included in the matchday squad for Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday night despite being the club’s best-paid player.
Arteta insisted after the game that his decision to drop Ozil was purely for tactical reasons, after the Gunners were comprehensively beaten at The Etihad.
It remains to be seen whether Ozil will make a return to action for Arsenal when the Gunners travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon looking to make a swift return to winning ways.
Now, Gunners boss Arteta has opened up on his decision to drop Ozil, insisting that the playmaker will return to the team as soon as he proves himself as worthy of a spot.
Speaking in an interview quoted by the London Evening Standard, Arteta said: “He was very well with me. There were no issues at all.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Ozil has scored one goal and made two assists in 18 Premier League games so far this season.
Arsenal are currently eight points adrift of the top four as they bid to try and claw their way back into contention for a top-four finish this season.
After Saturday’s trip to Brighton, they will return to action with a clash against Southampton away from home in the Premier League on Thursday night.