Arsenal FC needs to shift their focus on the coming games, and head coach Mikel Arteta feels that he has the right cast to make that happen.
However, there were names not included in the lineup, with Mesut Ozil being the widely celebrated but controversial one. As far as former Arsenal player Nigel Winterburn is concerned, this is a case that needs to be resolved urgently.
In an interview with FreeSuperTips, Winterburn acknowledged that Ozil is a talented player. But unless he shows improvement and willingness to align with what Arteta has planned for the Gunners, he will be of no use to the cause of the club.
“Mesut Ozil is a terrific player and the one thing that he does give you is that he will create chances but at the same time he is not going to give you that defensive side to the game, with and without the ball, which is why he hasn’t been selected,” he said.
Resolving the issue with Ozil will be easier said than done. The German defender appears content on sitting out the rest of his contract and earn the £350,000-a-week ($456,000) owed to him. However, it does raise questions about his future in the sport.
Already 32, there is no question that Ozil is at a precarious stage of his career. Though some players have proven they can still play at a prime age, the last thing Ozil needs right now is rustiness.
Though he has been trying to keep himself fit, his performance level will suffer unless he is playing on the field.
A plausible remedy for this is for Arsenal to settle the issue with Ozil at the earliest possible time. A compromise or buyout could be the solution if he continues to hold out and demand that he be paid what is stated in the contract.
In short, severing ties with the German player will not be easy and may even get ugly.
Ozil has received offers from other clubs but prefers to stay in Europe. Though he maintained that his loyalty remains with Arsenal, the relationship appears beyond fixing.
Aside from Winterburn, others believe there is something more to Ozil’s performance that made Arteta keep him off the squad.
Former club manager Arsene Wenger believes that it goes beyond the sport, hinting that there is something deeper that most do not know, Sky Sports reported.
“Mesut Ozil is an exceptional football player. What happens at the moment between him and the club looks to be more confrontational. It’s not based only on sport,” Wenger stated.
Arsenal Should Get Rid Of Ozil Distraction, Former Gunner Says The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ International Business Times.