Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he never faced any issues with Mesut Ozil.
The Frenchman who spent 22 years in the Arsenal dugout including five years managing Ozil insists that the German was not difficult to manage but that certain players “are a bit more sensitive”.
Ozil was signed by Wenger in 2013 for a club-record £42m fee from Real Madrid and was favoured by the Frenchman, but he was frequently targeted for his inconsistent performances at the Emirates. In recent months, the 32-year-old has repeatedly butted heads with current manager Mikel Arteta.
Arteta appears to have lost confidence in the midfielder as evidenced by his decision to exclude the German from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads.
However, speaking to ESPN’s Caught Offside Podcast, Wenger was quick to quash any notions about Ozil being a troublemaker within the dressing room.
“He was not difficult to manage. He was a guy who had a special quality as a creative player and needed to have fun,” said Wenger.
Mesut Ozil at Real Madrid 🤍pic.twitter.com/N2KHOz9vUF
— Goal (@goal) December 8, 2020
“He is an artist, and these guys are a bit more sensitive.
“They need support and an environment that pushes them to give their best.”
Wenger even provided advice to his former player and current Gunners manager Arteta on how to get the best out of Ozil.
“You have two ways to see a football team,” he continued. “You get everybody to do the same. The same intensity of work, the same defensive work or you find a compromise.
“You have a more creative player in the team who can do less defensive work, but you build a team around him who can compensate for these deficiencies. That is what you have to think about.”