Unai Emery sounds warning over ‘unpredictable’ Mesut Ozil and explains why he did not play him

Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil
The German playmaker has come back into the Gunners’ side under Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Axed Arsenal boss Unai Emery has taken a little swipe at former charge Mesut Ozil and warned Mikel Arteta that the playmaker is too ‘unpredictable’ to be a cornerstone of the team.

The German made just one Premier League appearance in the first 10 games of the season, having been frozen out by Emery, though poor results forced him to bring Ozil back into the side.

However, performances did not improve and Emery was sacked soon after, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over on an interim basis before Arteta was handed the job full-time.

Unai Emery freezes out Mesut Ozil
Emery dropped Ozil from Arsenal’s side for much of the season (Picture: Getty)

Ozil has since become a key part of Arteta’s plans, starting their last six Premier League matches, though Emery has defended freezing out the 31-year-old and insists he is not consistent enough to rely upon.

Asked for his thoughts on Ozil, Emery told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘He’s a very good player, that’s clear. But the physical demands in the Premier League are high.

‘His performances are unpredictable. He’s a bit below the top players at the moment.

‘Sometimes Arsenal play better with him but other times he doesn’t make such a difference.’

Arsenal have recovered after their poor start to the season under Emery and are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, with the former Sevilla boss feeling there is more to come from Arteta and his side.

Speaking about his successor, Emery added: ‘Mikel has a lot of experience as a footballer and has worked alongside Pep [Guardiola], who is a top coach.

Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta
Ozil has found a more appreciative manager in Arteta (Picture: Getty)

‘He is playing a 4-2-3-1 like ours. Ozil is No 10, and is slowly looking for his identity.

‘But with my departure, the hostile atmosphere was relaxed. The results are not being the best but you have to give it time to do so.’

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