Former Arsenal star defends Emery over Mesut Ozil treatment: ‘He only plays when he wants to play’

Former Arsenal defender William Gallas has today taken aim Mesut Ozil, revealing his opinion that the Gunners could take the German midfielder’s sale into serious consideration this summer.

Ozil the enigma

Ozil, who splits opinion among both fans and pundits alike due to his languid style on the pitch, has been plying his trade at the Emirates stadium since 2013, when he made the move from Real Madrid for 50 million Euro.

Despite registering impressive assist numbers for the club over the last 5 seasons, though, the German has found it difficult to rediscover the consistent brilliance that saw him widely-regarded as one of the world’s finest attacking midfielders whilst in the Spanish capital, with wonderful showings all too often followed by anonymous outings from the Schalke youth product in North London.

The Emery effect

As such, Ozil has been persistently-linked with a potential Arsenal departure over recent seasons.

And the arrival of Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement at the helm at the Emirates last summer has since only resulted in speculation surrounding the German’s future moving up a notch.

Unai Emery speaks with during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

To this point in the campaign, Ozil has started just 13 of the Gunners’ 24 Premier League outings.

In addition, Emery confirmed that his decision to omit the German from his side’s matchday squad for their crunch League Cup quarter-final clash with Tottenham in December was based purely on tactics, and not a fitness problem:

‘It’s a tactical decision. I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match.’

‘He only plays when he wants to play’

As such, Arsenal’s fans have unsurprisingly begun to question whether Ozil has a future in North London beyond this season.

And one individual who feels as though the 30-year-old has no one to blame but himself for his fall from grace this season is former Gunners’ defender William Gallas.

Speaking in an interview with the Sun earlier today, Gallas revealed his opinion that Unai Emery has taken the correct measures in his attempts to get the best out of Ozil, but that the German simply ‘isn’t responding’:

‘Emery has tried everything he can to try and get a reaction out of Ozil. But the player isn’t responding.’

‘It is a very difficult situation for Ozil and for Arsenal.’

Mesut Ozil celebrates during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

‘Everybody knows Ozil’s quality but he isn’t consistent. He only plays when he wants to play.’

‘Ozil should be doing more with the quality he has. He has to be the best player for Arsenal every game that he plays in.’

‘Buy a more effective player’

Gallas also suggested that his former side will likely take Ozil’s sale into consideration come the summer, in the case that his performances don’t improve over the second-half of the season:

‘The fans are upset with Ozil and Emery knows this.’

‘He made the choice to start Ozil on the bench to try see if he would get a reaction from the player. And it is now down to Ozil to make this happen.’

‘If he doesn’t perform, Arsenal may consider selling him so they can use the money from the transfer and his big wages to buy a more effective player.’

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