Arsene Wenger has explained how you get the best out of Mesut Ozil, a player Arsenal are still trying to get out of the club.
You know the score.
Arsenal let Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil run down their contract, Alexis threw a massive strop and left for Manchester United and Arsenal felt they needed to throw the kitchen sink at Ozil to get him to renew.
And throw it they did.
Ozil, however, has no intention of going anywhere, no matter how the club treat him, which, let’s face it, hasn’t been great.
Mikel Arteta arrived wanting to build his team around Ozil and played him in every game until the break. Then Ozil, after publicly questioning the Arsenal hierarchy to prove their claims that paycuts were needed to save staff, was dropped altogether and hasn’t been seen since.
“He wasn’t exactly the one with the greatest discipline on the pitch,” Wenger told German outlet Der Spiegel. “And playing the game without the ball wasn’t exactly his forte.
“But you can deal with that if you put some more defensively minded players by his side. The main thing is to get the balance between attack and defence right.
“Players have lost their technical quality over the past 10 years,” Wenger added. “Athleticism has become more important than technique and decision making.
“It’s more about physical characteristics and intensity, about explosiveness. And it’s also about being a showman.”
There is still a player inside Ozil that just needs to be teased back out.
Whether Arteta wants to do that or not or is willing to follow Wenger’s advice we’ll probably never know because this seems like one decision that’s being made above Arteta’s head.