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Mourinho labelling Ozil a “coward” gives Arteta something to think about

Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta unable to manage sharp divide forcing the Ozil to the sidelines

Mikel Arteta has been receiving advice from every Tom, Dick and Harry on how best to proceed with Mesut Ozil in recent weeks.

The Arsenal boss has made the decision to freeze out the German in north London, with Ozil yet to kick a ball so far this season.

Arteta also left the World Cup winner out of his Europa League squad, and there is talk he could do the same in the Premier League.

The latest individual to provide his thoughts on the matter is Arsene Wenger, although the legendary Arsenal boss is perhaps better placed than most to offer insight.

read also:Partey should prove he’s ready to play for Arsenal – Arteta

“I feel it is a waste for him [Ozil],” Wenger explained to the BBC, when asked what he feels about the German being outcast at Arsenal.

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“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.

“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.”

Wenger had a hit and miss relationship with Ozil during his own time at Arsenal.

Of all the Gunners managers that have come since Wenger, the Frenchman certainly got the most from Ozil. But that isn’t to say the German didn’t test his patience and was in his starting XI week-in, week-out.

Wenger reflected on his management of Ozil in 2019, and blamed himself for not doing more to motivate the midfielder by taking a firmer stance.

It seems he believes, even now, that there is still a player there and that should Arteta be firmer with Ozil he will reap the rewards.

But looking back on Jose Mourinho’s relationship with Ozil, this may not be the case.

Now Tottenham boss Mourinho managed Ozil when he was at Real Madrid, and experienced much of the same problems as Wenger, Unai Emery and Arteta.

But unlike any of the aforementioned managers, Mourinho was involved in a huge spat with the German, in which he called Ozil a “coward”.

Mourinho’s plan to motivate the midfielder by being hard on him backfired drastically, however, and ultimately led to Ozil leaving Real Madrid for Arsenal.

Ozil wrote about the spat in his autobiography, revealing Mourinho said to him: “You think two beautiful passes are enough… you think you’re so good that 50 per cent is enough.

“He pauses. Stares at me with his dark brown eyes. I stare back. Like two boxers at the stare-down before the first round.

“He shows no emotion. Just waits for a response from me. How much I hate him right now. And I love Mourinho actually.”

Ozil then reacted by taking his shirt off and throwing at Mourinho, to which the Portuguese responded: “Oh, are you giving up now? You’re such a coward. What do you want?

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