TWO MONTHS TO PROVE YOU’VE STILL GOT IT

Arteta gives Ozil a De­cem­ber dead­line to get back in the frame

Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - BY TONY TONYBANKS BANKS

MIKEL ARTETA has told Me­sut Ozil he has two months to prove him­self at Arse­nal.

The Gun­ners boss left mis­fit Ozil out of his Europa League squad last week and has not named the play­maker once in his team since March.

But Arteta is still ex­pect­ing the Ger­man, whose con­tract runs out in the sum­mer, to try to force his way back into his plans.

De­fender Sokratis was also omit­ted for the Europe cam­paign and, ahead of a tough trip to Manch­ester City to­mor­row, Arteta said: “I wanted to tell them face to face be­fore re­leas­ing the squad.

“I ex­plained the rea­sons why and the num­bers we had. It was re­ally dif­fi­cult forme for me to tell them - but this is the re­stric­tion and rules.

“They have to re­spect that de­ci­sion and try to train the best pos­si­ble way, help the team when they can. Then we will see what hap­pens in De­cem­ber.”

Arteta ( right, top) added: “To leave play­ers out at that level, where they know they can’t get in­volved, is re­ally tough. But the de­ci­sion had to be made be­cause we have an ex­cess of for­eign play­ers.

“It’s down to us to find ways to mo­ti­vate those play­ers. And it is about how you re­act to dis­ap­point­ments dis­ap­point­ments. Try to look at the over­all pic­ture, make the right de­ci­sions.”

Ars Arse­nal are still in talks with the Scott ish gov­ern­ment over full­back Kieran Tier­ney, who they hope to get r re­leased from his Covid q quar­an­tine in time to pla play l at the Eti­had. The Scot­land de­fender ( left) was told to iso­late f for 14 days on Tues­day l last week af­ter his i in­ter­na­tional teammate Stu­art Arm­strong tes tested pos­i­tive for coro­n­avirus.

Tier­ney re­turned a neg­a­tive test, and he and Arse­nal in­sisted the play­ers had not been in close con­tact. con­tact Dis­cus­sions were con­tin­u­ing last night be­tween the club, Loth­ian Pro­tec­tion Team, the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment and the Scot­tish FA to try to get Tier­ney cleared for to­mor­row’s game.

Arteta said: “I will be ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed if he is not able to play.

“It will be frus­trat­ing if he can­not, be­cause we have tried to do all the right things to keep the play­ers safe. We know the his­tory with the player and what hap­pened in the last few months with him as well.

“We are very re­as­sured that there is not any risk for him to be in­volved with us.

“That is the case we are de­fend­ing re­ally strongly with the au­thor­i­ties.”

FI­NAL CHANCE Boss Arteta wants to see Me­sut Ozil force his way back into the Arse­nal squad

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