When Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, it was quickly apparent that he wasn’t a manager to be messed with.
The Spaniard evidently took things very seriously indeed, and anyone not toeing the line and seemingly working against rather than with him was summarily dispensed with.
Matteo Guendouzi was sent out on loan whilst Mesut Ozil was banished to the sidelines.
It took guts and strength of character to keep the German benched, particularly when the Gunners weren’t doing so well, but Arteta had the courage of his convictions and now he’s been seen to be proved right all along.
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According to an interview that Fenerbahce president, Ali Koc, gave to Fenerbahce TV cited by Goal, Ozil isn’t pulling his weight on the pitch and is apparently more interested in his commercial deals.
“Ozil wants to play more. From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce,” Koc was quoted as saying.
“Our coach also needs to try to figure out how to get the most out of Ozil. There is not a problem, despite what the media says. Mesut is unhappy because he does not play regularly.”
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Given how well the Gunners are playing now, and with a more youthful outlook in midfield, Arteta can be happy in the knowledge that he played the long game to perfection.