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Jose Mourinho advises Unai Emery on how to handle the Mesut Ozil situation

Written by: Anjishnu Roy

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Unai Emery had insisted the German midfielder to either comply with his tactics or stay on the bench.

Jose Mourinho, who was recently sacked by Manchester United after failing to deliver the goods at Old Trafford appeared on an interview where the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ spoke on a lot of different topics including the situation of Ozil at Arsenal.

Jose Mourinho has worked with Ozil in the past when he purchased the then young and upcoming German midfielder from Werder Bremen and Ozil cemented his place as one of the best playmakers in the world after three successful seasons with Real Madrid where he provided 74 assists and won the La Liga and Copa del Rey under Mourinho.

Since then, Ozil has been the main protagonist of Arsenal for several years but under new manager Unai Emery, he now faces an unfamiliar situation - he is no longer being treated as an untouchable in the squad.

Ozil has been left out of the squad on several occasions with his knee problems and tactical difficulties in playing him being cited as reasons by Emery. His last involvement was when he was taken off at half-time on Boxing Day in the draw with Brighton. Ozil was an unused substitute in the 2-0 victory against Mourinho’s former side Chelsea last night.

”Honestly, I don’t know what is going on. I don’t know if he is having physical problems or not. I know there was some problem in relation to his contract. He’s leaving on a free, he’s not leaving on a free. I think finally he signed a contract and he decided to stay so there are no issues with contracts,” said Mourinho speaking to beIN Sports on the matter.


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Mourinho is of the opinion that Ozil’s and Emery’s views on what is needed to be done on the pitch do not exactly match or coincided and that is what has caused a rift between the player and the manager. ”I believe there is something by the physical point of view or there is some confrontation of ideas with Unai and I think the nature of football is exactly this nature.”

Jose also reminded how fantastic a player Mesut Özil was, having observed him from very close. “With me, Ozil played amazingly well. Maybe not with Unai and maybe a certain player that I don’t remember was phenomenal with Unai and it doesn’t work elsewhere with me.”

“It’s just the nature of empathy. I just feel that Ozil is the kind of player that needs both sides of it.”

Mourinho highlighted that the key to bringing the best out of Ozil is to strike a balance between aggression and care. “By one side if you are just sweet with him, you lose his natural aggression because he is not naturally a very strong physical player in terms of aggression. If you are too strong with him and you forget that he also needs a little bit of care, a little bit of love, you don’t find the right balance.”

“So I think it’s about finding the right balance with him.”

Published: Sun Jan 20, 2019 03:10 PM IST

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