Emery wants Ozil to fight for fu­ture

Post - - SPORT - MATT LAW­TON ■ ■ ■

UNAI Emery wants Me­sut Ozil to fight to re­vive his flag­ging Arse­nal ca­reer. The Ger­man’s fu­ture at the Emi­rates is un­der a cloud af­ter he was omit­ted from the past two matches – although Arse­nal are adamant Ozil was in­jured for Sun­day’s epic 4-2 win over Tot­ten­ham.

De­spite his ob­vi­ous doubts over Ozil, it is un­der­stood Emery be­lieves the ex-Real Madrid star can play a role for the club. But the Gun­ners man­ager wants to see a change in at­ti­tude from Ozil if he is to be con­vinced the for­ward has the ap­petite to claw his way back into the team. Emery in­sisted that Ozil is train­ing alone to over­come the back prob­lem that ruled him out of the north Lon­don derby.

The ex­tent of the in­jury is un­clear. In­deed, there is a feel­ing among cer­tain fig­ures at the club’s Lon­don Col­ney HQ that Ozil could have made him­self avail­able for the Tot­ten­ham game. Emery is un­der­stood to have held a frank dis­cus­sion with Ozil to­wards the end of last month when he out­lined what he ex­pects from his No 10 – par­tic­u­larly in terms of in­ten­sity and work ethic. It is not that Ozil is a prima donna. He is a pop­u­lar mem­ber of the squad, de­scribed as a quiet man who is no trou­ble. “He doesn’t ever moan, he just gets on with things,” said a source.

Ozil’s po­si­tion as Arsene Wenger’s golden boy made him a pow­er­ful pres­ence in the dress­ing room. But in the space of four months, Emery has changed that. Sources in­sist the Spa­niard is keen to avoid the sce­nario he had at Paris Saint-Ger­main where Ney­mar called the shots. The Gun­ners know find­ing a buyer for a 30-year-old who is on £350 000-a-week will be eas­ier said than done.

JACK WIL­SHERE has been hailed as a £100mil­lion player by Manuel Pel­le­grini as he stands by for a first West Ham start in three months.

The for­mer Arse­nal mid­fielder, who ar­rived in the sum­mer with a lengthy his­tory of in­jury trou­ble, played the fi­nal five min­utes of Satur­day’s 3-0 win at New­cas­tle — his first ac­tion since Septem­ber 1.

Wil­shere has re­cov­ered from an­kle surgery and with Pel­le­grini keen to ro­tate his squad at the start of a busy De­cem­ber schedule, the 26-year-old could start in tonight’s home game against Cardiff City.

De­clan Rice, Robert Sn­od­grass, Pe­dro Obiang and cap­tain Mark No­ble have all per­formed well in mid­field in Wil­shere’s ab­sence, and young­ster Grady Dian­gana has also es­tab­lished him­self as part of the first team.

But Pel­le­grini made it clear that he viewed Wil­shere as a player who could come straight back into the side.

‘Play­ers of the qual­ity of Wil­shere at this mo­ment can cost £100m, £90m, £70m,’ he said. ‘Good creative mid­field­ers are very ex­pen­sive. We took the risk and it has not been a good few months for him but we have the sec­ond part of the sea­son and I hope he will play most of the games.

‘In foot­ball, the most im­por­tant thing is the qual­ity. That you can­not buy — you ei­ther have it or you don’t.

‘Af­ter that, there are a lot of dif­fer­ent things that you must add, like not hav­ing so many in­juries. But it is never hard for good play­ers to get into the team.’

Sn­od­grass has es­tab­lished him­self as a reg­u­lar pick de­spite ar­riv­ing for pre-sea­son train­ing need­ing to lose weight.

‘His re­ac­tion was im­por­tant — he didn’t try to de­fend him­self,’ said Pel­le­grini.

‘He said, “Yes, I know, I must do it” and worked from that day 100 per cent.’

Javier Her­nan­dez scored twice at New­cas­tle just days af­ter giv­ing an in­ter­view to Span­ish news­pa­per Marca say­ing he might look for a Jan­uary exit. Pel­le­grini made it clear that would not be hap­pen­ing, say­ing: ‘He is a very im­por­tant player for us.’

THE FIRE shown by Arse­nal this past week­end against Spurs to dom­i­nate the derby was praised by Sky pun­dit Graeme Souness, who said: ‘I’ve not seen this from Arse­nal play­ers for a long time. That’s what you want to see from your play­ers. You want to see them car­ing. There’s been con­fronta­tion all over the pitch. It’s a derby day. This is how it used to be and this is how it should be.

JOSE MOURINHO re­acted in crazy fash­ion af­ter Marouane Fellaini’s dra­matic in­jury-time goal against Young Boys sent Manch­ester United through to the last 16 of the Cham­pi­ons League last week.

Mourinho kicked wildly at a tray of wa­ter bot­tles be­fore pick­ing it up and smash­ing it to the ground.

He had ear­lier come un­der fire for his neg­a­tive re­ac­tion when Mar­cus Rash­ford had missed a chance. Gary Lineker said on BT Sport:

“If I saw that re­ac­tion from my man­ager af­ter miss­ing a chance, I’d be ab­so­lutely livid.” – Daily Mail

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