Mesut Ozil is likely to have been the happiest player to see Arsenal replace Unai Emery with Mikel Arteta.
The duo know each other very well back from when they played together. This has helped Ozil a lot considering that he now has someone who understands him perfectly.
The German has started every single league game since Arteta’s arrival and he has been brilliant in all of them.
His performance against Everton yesterday was quietly brilliant and he is slowly proving his critics wrong. Arteta was asked about his performance and the Gunners boss hit the nail on its head while talking about the games he has struggled in.
He said: “I’m very pleased with Mesut. I played with him and I know him, so I tried to push him as much as possible to do what he needs to do because I know how much he can give on the offensive side.
“Today’s game is a good example for Mesut. When we were dominant and the whole process is properly done and you find the player in the right position, he’s the type of winner you want.”
“When the game becomes like this, it’s not his game. So he needs his teammates and the right structure and organisation for him to flourish. It’s not just about him and sometimes it’s not just his fault, it’s about the team not supporting him with what he needs.”
What has Arteta changed?
Ozil’s biggest problems are against teams that man-mark him and give him no room. Arsenal’s problems before have been that the players around the German have not exploited the space that frees up when the opponents gang up on Ozil.
The biggest difference now under Arteta is that Granit Xhaka has occupied an unorthodox left wing-back position which allows the left-back to push on forward. This gives Xhaka space when Ozil is surrounded.
When Xhaka is pressed, Luiz gets the room to push forward with the ball and release one of our attackers. He did just that against Everton yesterday and Aubameyang finished the move with a fine finish.
This has made Arsenal a lot more fluid in attack and Arteta deserves a ton of credit. Ozil isn’t as regular on the assists charts as he was before. However, he still is an integral part of the team and he will continue to start every single game till the end of this season.