Arsenal boss Unai Emery proves there’s no need to pander to Mesut Ozil’s whimsical demands

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THE money men would have a £350,000-a-week footballer in the team every time.

The marketing department, keen to strengthen the Arsenal brand around the world by flogging Mesut Ozil shirts, would agree.

Mesut Ozil might struggle to regain a regular place with Arsenal as Unai Emery shows he is now afraid to make big decisions
Mesut Ozil might struggle to regain a regular place with Arsenal as manager Unai Emery shows he is now afraid to make big decisions
Reuters

The manager does not.

Unai Emery, quietly making his mark at Arsenal with this 20-game unbeaten run, is doing just fine without him.

This is high-risk management, with Emery showing an iron will by ignoring the claims of Arsenal’s luxury item.

The poor little lamb is currently nursing a back strain, the sort of excuse that forces Gunners’ officials to place a hand over their mouth to stifle giggles whenever the mysterious injury gets a mention.

Unai Emery has guided the Gunners to a 20-game unbeaten run and shown they do not need meek midfielder Mesut Ozil
Unai Emery has guided the Gunners to a 20-game unbeaten run and shown they do not need meek midfielder Mesut Ozil
EPA
Mesut Ozil has increasingly struggled this term - following on from his poor World Cup with Germany
Mesut Ozil has increasingly struggled this term – following on from his poor World Cup with Germany
PA:Press Association

Ozil’s mood swings have not been missed.

Arsenal’s players have moved on without him, tightening the bond on the pitch with their 4-2 victory over Tottenham and the 2-2 draw up at Manchester United on Wednesday.

Emery is in the ascendency, gaining the approval of this highly strung Arsenal squad during a long unbeaten run.

The Spanish boss can afford to be choosy because he inherited this complex character when he succeeded Arsene Wenger last summer.

Ozil was indulged by the previous regime, trading off the memories of his spell with Real Madrid and a World Cup winner’s medal with Germany in 2014.

He could pretty much do whatever he wanted, on and off the field.

When Father Christmas arrived in the shape of chief exec Ivan Gazidis with a new contract last season, handing Ozil a five-year deal worth an eye-watering £75MILLION, the stroppy playmaker appeared to be untouchable.

That was until Emery arrived, with the hardline Spanish coach drawing a line in the sand when he dropped him for the home game with West Ham in August.

With his improving command of English, Emery let it be known that Ozil bailed because he did not fancy a change of position.

Unai Emery is transforming the mood around the Emirates and revitalising fortunes on the field
Unai Emery is transforming the mood around the Emirates and revitalising fortunes on the field
PA:Press Association

The 30-year-old’s ego could not take it at Crystal Palace in late October, throwing the captain’s armband to the floor and ignoring Emery’s conciliatory gesture when he was hooked after 68 minutes.

That stinking performance came just a few days after he had the country eating out of the palm of his hand during the 3-1 win over Leicester.

The game came easy to the German that night, running the show with his effortless touches from every position on the pitch. It is those one-offs, those ten-out-ten performances from a gifted footballer that leave you wanting more.

Ozil has not slipped on an Arsenal jersey since he was substituted 75 minutes into the 1-1 draw with Wolves on November 25.

It does not take much for Ozil to cry off.

Despite his pedigree, Mesut Ozil still has much to do to impress Unai Emery
Despite his pedigree, Mesut Ozil still has much to do to impress Unai Emery
AFP or licensors

He has quite a collection of ailments, with back injuries, sickness and muscular problems among the list of excuses for absence in an Arsenal shirt down the years.

His new manager is already tiring of it, choosing to carry on without pandering to Ozil’s whimsical demands.

Nobody gets special treatment under Emery.

The manager’s stock is on the rise because this is the same guy who struggled to resolve the high-profile personality clash between Neymar and Edinson Cavani at Paris Saint-Germain.

Unai emery has boosted his reputation by dealing with Mesut Ozil - after failing to sort out the situation between Neymar and Edinson Cavani last season
Unai emery has boosted his reputation by dealing with Mesut Ozil – after failing to sort out the situation between Neymar and Edinson Cavani last season
Reuters

That dispute led to his downfall, with PSG replacing him with Thomas Tuchel after another Champions League failure.

Emery then started over at Arsenal at the end of May, with an objective analysis of the disaffected and under-performing squad left behind by Wenger.

It would have been tempting to build a team around Ozil, to make him the go-to man every time an Arsenal player got a touch of the ball.

Instead, when Ozil cannot deliver, he disappears.

ONE RULE FOR ONE..

JOSE MOURINHO served a one-match stadium ban in 2015 for calling referee Jon Moss “f****** weak” at half-time in the refs’ room at Upton Park.

The punishment was excessive but different rules apply whenever the Special One is in hot water with the sport’s governing bodies.

Three years on, with a TV audience in the tens of millions feasting on a powder-keg Merseyside derby, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp manically ran on to the pitch to celebrate Divock Origi’s injury-time winner.

If a Liverpool fan had done something like that, they would have been arrested and most likely banned from Anfield for life.

Good old Jurgen got an £8,000 fine and warned about his responsibilities to the game after admitting the FA’s charge.
Anybody would think they just make it up as they go along.

Jurgen Klopp dashed onto the pitch to celebrate with keeper Alisson but seems to have been let off lightly by the FA
Jurgen Klopp dashed onto the pitch to celebrate with keeper Alisson but seems to have been let off lightly by the FA
Getty – Contributor

GIVE IT A REST, PAUL

PAUL CLEMENT should take a career break after being sacked by Reading yesterday.

He was the coming man among coaching circles when he was assistant boss to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Saint- Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Things have not worked out quite so well for Clement, 46, after he decided to take the plunge into management.

After spells with Derby and Swansea, he leaves the Royals just one place above the relegation places in the Championship.

With a record like that, he needs to recharge and reassess before making his next move.

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