Mikel Arteta says he had honest and clear conversations with Mesut Özil, and the player just needs time to get back to his best.
On Wednesday, once again, the topic of conversation pre-match was what’s happening with Mesut Özil. The player missed out on the squad to face Manchester City entirely, despite featuring in recent friendlies for Arsenal.
Sources confirmed no injury to the player, and Mikel Arteta suggested it was a tactical decision. Some immediately jumped to the conclusion that there must have been a major fallout between the two parties.
Özil then posted a cryptic pro-Arsenal tweet, leading to accusations that he was trying to get the fans on-side in his war against Arteta. The reality appears to be much less dramatic, with the head coach suggesting it’s just a matter of getting fully match sharp.
“There’s a lot that’s happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the time for every player,” Arteta said. “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.
“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.”
From the sounds of things, we shouldn’t expect to see Özil in the starting lineup against Brighton. However, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything major going down between him and Arteta. So it’s only a matter of time before he’s starting again.