Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes Mesut Ozil’s decision to retire from international duty with Germany will help his club form, as quoted by The Telegraph.
Unfairly made the poster boy for Germany’s failings at the World Cup in Russia, Mesut Ozil quit the international scene in pre-season with a statement that accused German football of internal racism and sparked a fierce debate.
The 30-year-old has continued to face regular backlash from his home nation in the months that have followed, with Germany struggling to find form in their fixtures in recent months, but has earned the backing of Arsenal manager Emery.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the Spanish boss said he believes Ozil’s absence from the international scene will help him find his best form at club level as the Gunners aim to extend their nine-match winning streak across all competitions.
“It is not easy as they are playing two matches. When the players stop for these games, maybe it can do the focus more for us, with training and improving on things. It could help him find our idea more quickly.”
A lot of headlines have been secured by Ozil this season, with Emery not afraid to make early substitutions if things are not performing to his standards, but the form of the former Real Madrid man has been rather good this term.
In six Premier League matches this season, Ozil has already hit two goals, half the tally he secured last season, and has also found the net once in the Europa League – the same amount of goals he scored in seven European games last season.
Recently turning 30, Ozil has not completed 90 minutes since the 2-0 victory over Watford at the end of September, where he scored for the third time in four matches, but his reduced usage has proven to work well for all parties.
Emery’s decision to substitute Ozil early or exclude him from the squad altogether is not due to his failings this season but is instead helping to reduce the pressure on the World Cup winner, and it is already paying off for the Gunners.