Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil not to shy away from the challenge of Chelsea this afternoon and wants a commanding performance from Arsenal’s best-paid player.
Ozil has often been accused of going missing in pivotal Premier League clashes over the years and will come under the microscope again today.
‘There are defensive moments and attacking moments,’ Emery said when asked about Ozil, who is on £300,000 a week. ‘Every player needs this commitment. We need to start together, whether we are attacking or defending.
‘I want that from every player, defensive moments are for each and every player.
‘Ozil has played all his career like a No 10, like a right winger going inside to receive the ball. It’s clear he needs the ball more, to give more options in the attacking moments.
‘He needs to do that in each match — be demanding for us.’
After Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City last Sunday, Ozil was one of those criticised for failing to influence the game.
His casual body language can make him an easy target, which Emery knows, and it comes after a turbulent summer. Ozil quit international football following Germany’s disastrous World Cup, citing ‘racism and disrespect’.