Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he gave midfielder Mesut Özil every chance to earn a spot in the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League squad, but feels as though he failed for not bringing the best out of the German.
Özil blasted Arsenal for showing him a lack of loyalty after he was left out of the squad, but even though he is out of the Europa League squad as well, he remains determined to prove the boss wrong and return to the first-team fold.
Arteta confessed (via the club’s official website) that Özil has every right to voice his frustrations, although he does not feel guilty about how things have played out.
“What can I say from my side? It’s just a football decision that my conscience is very calm about because I was very fair with him,” he said. “My level of communication with him has been really high, we know what to expect from each other.
“When I believe that he could contribute to the team to be better, which is why I was hired to this football club – to become the manager, to win football matches, competitions and create and build a project for the short, medium and long-term. He has had the opportunity like everybody else.
“I’m sad that I had to leave three players off this list, which is never pleasant, but I just have to say that I tried to look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it. With Mesut, I had this feeling because I have been very straightforward since I arrived at this club.”
Arteta went on to reject the idea that Özil could leave the club before his contract expires next summer. before admitting he was frustrated with himself for having failed to inspire the midfielder.
“My job is to get the best out of every player, to contribute to the team and the performance,” he added. “Here, I feel that at the moment, today, that I’ve failed because I want the best possible Mesut for the team.
“In some moments I was able to get close to that but in other moments I haven’t been able to because I had to make the decision to leave him out of the squad. This is the reality in football, that anything can happen and I’ve learnt that over the years. This is the reality and we have to face it.
“The best way to face it is to talk things through face to face and do it in the right way. This is the way I am and this is the way I’ll continue to do it.”
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