Arsene Wenger slams Mikel Arteta for 'wasting' Mezut Ozil, hails his 'killer pass'
Much has been said and written about Mezut Ozil over the last few days. The Arsenal superstar is going through a period where there's a lack of motivation and playing time. For someone who earns £350,000-a-week ($450,000), Ozil hasn't played a single game since March and is yet to make the starting XI for the Gunners this season. On October 13, former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke about Ozil and the need for the team to find a way to use him.
According to BBC, Wenger said not using Ozil was "a waste for the German midfielder." He added: "Firstly because he's in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most. And it's a waste for the club as well because he's a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create that killer pass."
He continued, "The way football is going at the moment, it's quick counter-pressing, quick transitions and everybody plays the same. It's kicked out players like Ozil. Although let's not forget who this guy is. A world champion who has played at Real Madrid. He's been the record player of assists, so you have to find a way to get him involved again."
Arteta is yet to use him for a game and the addition of another talented midfielder in Thomas Partey only makes it harder for Ozil to break into the side. In recent news, Talksport's Adrian Durham strongly felt that Arteta has failed to use Ozil better in light of Wenger's recent thoughts about Ozil in his book, 'Arsene Wenger: My Life In Red And White'.
"By paying a player that much and Mikel Arteta basically just giving up on Mesut Ozil, even though they’re paying him an absolute fortune, Mikel Arteta is failing," Durham said. "He’s failing to do his job properly. Arsene Wenger has given him a tool kit whereby he can get the best out of Mesut Ozil, who is clearly a very talented player, I think we’d all agree on that. But Mikel Arteta is failing, miserably, when it comes to Mesut Ozil.”
Ozil still has a year left in his contract with Arsenal and he recently turned down an offer from Al-Nassr.
So has Arteta actually failed in using Ozil to get the best out of him in his prime?
Ozil is Arsenal’s longest-serving player. In the time he's played for the Gunners, he scored 44 goals, assisted 77 and played 250 games. But now it appears he’s been cut altogether and has not featured for the side since Project Restart.
In Arteta's defense, he's willing to let players back or select them based on the intensity and commitment to win the players bring during training so that the best XI could take the field, and even though Ozil doesn't directly fit snugly to his style of play, he's artful and creative which has led to those unbelievable assists in the past.
With Arsenal now sorted with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's contract, a bit of Ozil magic will surely solidify their position to make it to the top four, or perhaps, even be bonafide contenders to win the title this year. Arteta’s technical director Edu claimed Ozil is not his usual best at training and that was a major reason for him to be left out while the whole wage cut proposal that he refused was determined to be another factor. Safe to say, it is a sad predicament for both Arteta and Ozil.
Ozil's future with Arsenal remains doubtful. While he's been strong with his feelings for the team, a snub at this rate would not see him fly their colors next year. With Arsenal placed fourth in the points table and taking on Manchester City on October 17, the management should take a call with Ozl. It's best for the German and it's best for the team.