Looking back on his time at Arsenal, it’s clear that Unai Emery was dealt a poor hand in a few respects, but he had little time for one particular star, and it seems the player’s team-mates also felt the same.
According to the Daily Mail, who cite a conversation with the former Gunners coach from his Valencia home, Mesut Ozil’s lack of commitment and general attitude led to him not being awarded the captaincy when it became available.
The attacking midfielder is an acquired taste, and there’s always a sense with him that he can be a world beater when he wants to be but that his superior level of performance doesn’t extend to every time he pulls on the shirt.
“In the end he (Ozil) has to look at himself,” Emery said. “At his attitude and his commitment.
“I tried my utmost to help Ozil. Throughout my career, talented players have been my favourites and they have played at their best or close to their best with me.
“I was always positive with him in terms of wanting him to be involved, but then the attitude that he adopted, and the commitment levels, well, they weren’t enough.
“One of the captains could possibly have been Ozil but the dressing room didn’t want him to be captain. His level of commitment was not that of someone who deserved to be captain, and that’s not what I decided, that’s what the players decided.”
Whatever the why’s and wherefores, the buck always stops with the man on the bench, and Emery would do well to look at his time at the club as a whole before casting aspersions.
It seems fairly clear that Ozil could’ve made more of an effort, but isn’t that down to the manager to get the best out of him? If he wasn’t able to do so, then selling him was surely always an option.