Emery challenges Özil to be more dominant for Arsenal
Gunners manager wants his German playmaker to improve level of performance
Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants Mesut Ozil to play a bigger role at Arsenal. Photo: David Klein/Reuters
Unai Emery has challenged Mesut Özil to become more dominant in Arsenal’s matches.
It has not been the most serene period of Özil’s career, and he has just experienced a quiet international break without involvement in Germany’s squad since his complex withdrawal from the scene. Emery is hoping for a fresh start for a player he wants to see relishing his opportunity to affect games for the club.
“I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score,” the manager said. “He is working for the team to help us with his quality. But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. We will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us.”
Questionable or quirk, the fact is Özil has never travelled to Newcastle in Arsenal colours since joining in 2013. Four visits have passed without him joining the squad for the journey to Tyneside. His appetite for away matches does come under scrutiny but Emery is keen to keep his group tight and ambitious. “I want to push them,” he said. “I want to be demanding to prepare for this match - Mesut the same.” Özil showed flashes in Arsenal’s last match, a narrow win at Cardiff, but Emery wants the levels to be cranked up.
He suggested the 29-year-old playmaker had been in a positive frame of mind during the international break, even though it was strange to be outside that habit of representing his country. “He could feel different but every day with us I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands. He had a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut works very well here. I look at him with the focus totally here. I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances.”
Emery has urged his players to express themselves on the pitch and play with personality as they prepare for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Newcastle United. After losses to champions Manchester City and Chelsea at the start of the league campaign,
Arsenal have recovered well to beat West Ham United and Cardiff City. Emery believes the next step for his players is to forge a new tactical identity on the pitch. “Firstly we need to win and I think it is very important that in the last match we won,” the Spanish manager told reporters on Thursday. “Our aim away at Newcastle on Saturday now is to keep improving things and continue to create our idea, build up our spirit on the pitch, individually and collectively. “Saturday is another step we can do, it will be difficult but I want to continue (to show) our personality on the pitch and impose this personality on the opposition and to find the win.” Emery confirmed
Arsenal are keen to extend Nacho Monreal’s stay at the Emirates Stadium. The Spanish defender’s deal expires at the end of the season, meaning clubs outside England can approach him from January next year. “First, I knew Monreal in Spain when he was playing in Osasuna and in Malaga,” Emery said. “I can say that I am very happy with him because he is 32 years old but I think physically, with his performances with us in matches, he is playing with a very good level. “I think we need to find a new contract with him to stay with the Arsenal team.” – Guardian service