‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ – Unai Emery opens up on dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

Unai Emery has opened up on his both time at Arsenal, and efforts to best manage Mesut Ozil.

‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ – Unai Emery opens up on dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

Emery on Ozil

It appears as though Mesut Ozil’s time at Arsenal is coming to an end. The former German international has been linked with a move to both Turkey and the United States of late, and could leave the Emirates this January, ahead of the expiration of his deal come the season’s end.

During his time at the club, Ozil has served under 3 coaches, in the form of Arsene Wenger, current boss Mikel Arteta, and the man that took over from Wenger, Unai Emery.

In a recent interview with football.londonEmery opened up on his time at Arsenal, and specifically his handling and use of the former Real Madrid number 10:

“I worked for one and a half years with Mesut and tried to help him, support him and achieve the performances for the team with him,” said Emery.

“Now I don’t know what the problems are as I am very concentrated and focused with Villarreal.”

‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ – Unai Emery opens up on dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Per Mertesacker and Fredrik Ljungberg of Arsenal look on as Mesut Ozil kicks his gloves in the air in frustration after he is subbed during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

“I follow every Arsenal match but I don’t know what the problems are with the team or the players. I can only speak about Mesut Ozil when I was with him there and I tried to achieve the best performances with him.”

Mesut Ozil has not been used at all this season, after being omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League squad. However, the midfielder recently took to social media to assure that he will remember his time at the club fondly:

Incredible Saka

Arsenal have experienced an upturn in form lately, winning their last 4 matches. Victories over Chelsea, Brighton, West Brom and Newcastle have enabled Gunners fans to take on a more positive outlook regarding the season’s potential outcome, on the back of a horrific start which saw them record their worst opening to a Premier League campaign in the club’s history.

Some of the key performers in dragging Arsenal out of the mire have been Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli. Interestingly, Unai Emery handed senior debuts to all three, who have, in turn, begun to be used more often by Mikel Arteta.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers – Pool/Getty Images)

Whilst Smith Rowe and Martinelli, for various reasons, have only been selected by Arteta on a consistent basis of late, a mainstay throughout the campaign has been Saka. In fact, the now senior England international has been one of the Gunners’ only bright sparks, alongside Kieran Tierney, for the better part of the first third of the campaign.

Emery spoke of the excitement he felt in witnessing Saka’s debut. “I remember when Bukayo played the first match with us in January. We won against Fulham 4-1 at the Emirates, he played for the first time with us at 17 years-old for 10 minutes,” he said. “He didn’t touch one ball in ten minutes! He ran, ran, ran but didn’t kick one ball – it was amazing.”

“When he started playing regularly you could look at him and see he’s a very good player. He’s progressing as a very important player and he is a very humble person. It’s very important because some other players don’t have the same humble qualities as him to always want to learn, listen and follow us.”

Arsenal and Emery’s current club Villarreal have very similar targets this season – reaching the pinnacle of European football and returning to the Champions League. The two clubs are intertwined in their history in the competition, after facing off in the 2006 semi-finals.

Arsenal came out the victors in the last bout, but with the pair both involved in this year’s Europa League, a renewal of rivalries could be on the cards over the months ahead.

Crystal Palace’s Zaha claims he had positive conversation with Unai Emery over Arsenal switch: ‘We’d love to have you’

“We are not here to give ten games in a row to a player if he does not perform” former Arsenal boss Unai Emery slams Real Madrid loanee Take Kubo


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

Arsenal betting odds, next game:

Arsenal vs Man Utd odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Arsenal vs Man Utd Full time result
Arsenal
15/8
Draw
12/5
Man Utd
7/5
Arsenal vs Man Utd Result/Both teams score Yes No
Arsenal 4/1 9/2
Man Utd 7/2
Draw 10/3 11/1
Arsenal vs Man Utd Correct Score
Arsenal
Man Utd
Arsenal vs Man Utd Goalscorers First Last Anytime
Alexandre Lacazette11/5 11/5 13/10
Eddie Nketiah12/5 12/5 6/4
Anthony Martial11/4 11/4 13/8
Edinson Cavani11/4 11/4 13/8
Marcus Rashford11/4 11/4 13/8

Arsenal's latest videos

HIGHLIGHTS | Southampton vs Arsenal (1-3) | Pepe, Saka & Lacazette fire us to victory
HIGHLIGHTS | Southampton vs Arsenal (1-3) | Pepe, Saka & Lacazette fire us to victory
We came from behind to claim all three points on the road and make…
2021-01-27T00:02:51Z
'It was a strong performance!' | Mikel Arteta on Southampton 1-3 Arsenal
'It was a strong performance!' | Mikel Arteta on Southampton 1-3 Arsenal
Mikel Arteta was delighted with our 1-3 victory over Southampton in the Premier League.…
2021-01-26T23:29:20Z
Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 19 23 41
2 Manchester United FC 19 11 40
3 Leicester City FC 19 14 38
4 West Ham United FC 20 6 35
5 Liverpool FC 19 15 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
7 Everton FC 17 7 32
8 Arsenal FC 20 6 30
9 Aston Villa FC 17 13 29
10 Chelsea FC 19 10 29
11 Southampton FC 19 3 29
12 Leeds United 19 -3 26
13 Crystal Palace FC 20 -12 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 19 -8 22
15 Burnley FC 18 -12 19
16 Newcastle United FC 20 -15 19
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
18 Fulham FC 18 -12 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 20 -33 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 8
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 7
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 7
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 6
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 6
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 6