‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ Unai Emery opens up about dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

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Unai Emery has opened up about his time at Arsenal and specifically Mesut Ozil who was not a regular under the Spaniard at the club.

‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ Unai Emery opens up about dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

Emery on Ozil

It appears as though Mesut Ozil and his time at Arsenal is coming to an end. The former German international has been linked with a move to both Turkey and the United States and could leave Arsenal this January before the end of his deal which expires comes the conclusion of the season.

During his time at the club he has served under 3 coaches including Arsene Wenger, current coach Mikel Arteta and the man that took over from the Frenchman Unai Emery.

In a recent interview with football.londonEmery opened up about his time at Arsenal and specifically about his handling and use of the former Real Madrid number 10.

“I worked for one and a half years with Mesut and tried to help him, support him and achieve the performances for the team with him,” said Emery.

“Now I don’t know what the problems are as I am very concentrated and focused with Villarreal.”

‘I tried to achieve the best performances with him’ Unai Emery opens up about dealing with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal

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)

“I follow every Arsenal match but I don’t know what the problems are with the team or the players. I can only speak about Mesut Ozil when I was with him there and I tried to achieve the best performances with him.”

Mesut Ozil has not been used at all this season after being omitted from the Premier League squad. However Ozil took to social media to confirm he would remember his time at the club fondly.

Incredible Saka

Arsenal have experienced a turn of form lately, winning their last 4 matches. Wins against Chelsea, Brighton, West Brom and Newcastle have enabled Gunners fans to believe more positively about the outcome of the season after a significantly horrific start to a campaign which saw them record their worst opening to a Premier League season in their history.

Some of the key performers which have brought the club out of the mire have been Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli. Interestingly, Unai Emery gave senior debuts to them all, which have now begun to be used more often by Mikel Arteta.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers – Pool/Getty Images)

Only recently have Smith-Rowe and Martinelli been selected by Arteta but a mainstay throughout has been Saka. In fact, the now senior England international has been one of the only bright sparks alongside Kieran Tierney for the better part of the first third of the campaign.

Emery spoke of the excitement he felt witnessing Saka’s debut. “I remember when Bukayo played the first match with us in January. We won against Fulham 4-1 at the Emirates, he played for the first time with us at 17 years-old for 10 minutes,” he said. “He didn’t touch one ball in ten minutes! He ran, ran, ran but didn’t kick one ball – it was amazing.”

“When he started playing regularly you could look at him and see he’s a very good player. He’s progressing as a very important player and he is a very humble person. It’s very important because some other players don’t have the same humble qualities as him to always want to learn, listen and follow us.”

Arsenal and Emery’s club Villarreal have very similar targets this season of reaching the pinnacle of European football and returning to the Champions League. The two clubs are intertwined in their history and the competition after facing each other in the 2006 semi-final.

Arsenal came out the victors in the last bout between the two clubs, but with the pair both involved in this year’s Europa League an interesting tie could be on the horizon should the draw bring them together.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Everton FC 17 7 32
5 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
6 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
7 Southampton FC 17 7 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 18 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 17 -9 19
16 Burnley FC 16 -12 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 18 -20 5
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

Source: 101greatgoals.com