Lukas Podolski has told Sky Sports that he believes Unai Emery is to blame for Mesut Ozil’s drop in form, and reckons the German playmaker will get back to his best form under the guidance of Mikel Arteta.
Ozil, 31, was in stunning form the season prior to Emery replacing Arsene Wenger – having a hand in 19 goals under the Gunners legend. But in his first season under Emery, Ozil’s assist tally went from 14 to three.
This season, Ozil struggled for game time under Emery before being brought back into the side. Under Arteta, he has slowly started to regain his form and confidence – scoring in a 4-0 win over Newcastle and creating the winner against West Ham.
Asked about Ozil, Podolski believes Emery was the reason for Ozil’s poor form and the former Gunners star reckons Ozil will get back to his best working with Arteta – given the duo played together as players under Wenger.
“There is no discussion for me, he is a great player,” says Podolski of Ozil. “Sometimes there is a problem with a coach [Emery] or there could be an injury, things that happen in football and you have to deal with this situation sometimes.
“I think it’s a better fit than before (Ozil and Arteta). They have played together and know each other. Ozil is back on the pitch and the games I have seen he is doing much better than with the former coach.”
TBR’s view – Is Podolski right – and should Ozil stay?
Certainly, Ozil needs plenty of confidence in order to produce his best form. Under Wenger, Ozil was given the freedom to roam so long as he continued to create goal after goal. Ozil created 71 assists in his first five seasons.
In his last two campaigns, including the current 2019-20 season, he has laid on just six assists – under Emery and now Arteta. Indeed, his confidence has plummeted under Emery, and Arteta has been tasked with rebuilding that.
Ozil must be kept on, despite his enormous wages – at least for another season to see if Arteta can bring the best out of him. Failure to do so, though, and he should be allowed to leave. His contract expires in 2021.