‘Tried my best’ – Arteta assures he handed Mesut Ozil every opportunity to prove himself at Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has spoken out over the situation of out-of-favour Gunners star Mesut Ozil once again this weekend, insisting that he has been both ‘patient and fair’ in his treatment of the midfielder.

Out in the cold

Much of the media chatter surrounding ongoings at the Emirates of late has of course centered on German international Ozil.

This comes with Mikel Arteta having doubled down on his efforts to freeze the former Real Madrid man out of his first-team setup.

Upon Spanish tactician Arteta taking the reins in north London late last year, Ozil’s initial experiences actually proved quite positive. The 32-year-old was afforded a consistent string of starts by his new boss, suggesting that he was set to prove central to the plans of Arteta moving forward.

Bizarrely, however, since football’s return on the back of the initial Covid-19 outbreak during the summer, Ozil has not received a single minute of playing time.

Arteta, meanwhile, has made crystal clear that this situation is unlikely to change any time soon, through a pair of high-profile calls over the last couple of weeks.

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)

First, the Arsenal boss opted to omit Ozil from his Europa League squad for the season ahead.

And this was swiftly followed by news that the gifted midfielder had also not been afforded a place in the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League panel.

‘As many opportunities as I could’

Much has since been made of such decisions, with Arsenal’s struggles for creativity of late having seen many point towards Ozil as a potential solution.

Arteta, though, has continued to stand firm in his stance regarding the German, and, this weekend, provided a further insight into his position.

Speaking during an interview with Sky Sports, the Gunners boss assured that he did everything within his power to afford Ozil the fullest possible opportunity to prove himself.

In the end, though, Arteta evidently felt as though the experienced creator simply didn’t do enough:

‘What I can tell you that I tried my best, I tried to give him as many opportunities as I could.’

‘And that from my own side, I’ve been patient, given him opportunities and been fair.’

The Spaniard continued:

‘He’s a player that belongs to a football club, he’s been a really important player in the last few seasons. I have to respect that, I’m here to make decisions, the best decisions for the team and for the club.’

‘This is what I try to do and then I have to explain them because people need the reasons and the right answers. I just give mine, whether they believe me or agree with me or not, there’s nothing I can do.’

‘But I have to put my decisions, with my heart and with my brain to make the right decisions that I believe are good.’

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 6 5 13
2 Liverpool FC 6 1 13
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 0 13
4 Aston Villa FC 5 7 12
5 Leicester City FC 6 5 12
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 6 8 11
7 Manchester City FC 6 1 11
8 Leeds United 6 3 10
9 Southampton FC 6 1 10
10 Crystal Palace FC 7 -3 10
11 Chelsea FC 6 4 9
12 Arsenal FC 6 1 9
13 West Ham United FC 6 4 8
14 Newcastle United FC 6 -2 8
15 Manchester United FC 5 -3 7
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6 -2 5
17 West Bromwich Albion 6 -8 3
18 Burnley FC 5 -6 1
19 Sheffield United FC 7 -7 1
20 Fulham FC 6 -9 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 6
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 6
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 4
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Antonio, Michail West Ham United FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3

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