Rio Ferdinand has admitted to being baffled as to why Mesut Ozil was left on the sidelines at Arsenal, as the German heads for the exit door at the Emirates.
No official line has been provided by the club or by Arteta as to why this was the case – something that Ferdinand believes is strange, having witnessed Ozil star for Real Madrid and sparkle at points in his Arsenal career.
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‘If I was Mikel Arteta I would have gone in and assessed the situation,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel.
“Why hasn’t he played previously? Speak to Mesut. And then it’s all about how he applies himself on the training pitch. I’d ask him how it was in the last regime but then I’d give him a clean slate and say, “Right, you go out there and do the work for me. Work on the training pitch and then I see it playing out in the 90 minutes at the Emirates and all the grounds, then we’ll have a great time together”, that’s the way I’d have approached it.
“‘The problem is with this whole situation, whether you’re an Arsenal fan or someone looking in as a football fan, we haven’t really been given any insights about how the situation has got to where it has got to.
“Mesut Ozil is a World Cup winner, a player who played at Madrid and was fantastic there, done some great things at Arsenal. But he’s spending more time sitting on Twitter and Instagram talking about his team and the young players and sending out funny messages than he is kicking a ball and it doesn’t make sense to me.
“And I want to know the reasons why, like everybody else. Why is he not playing? The kid’s talent is unbelievable. Cristiano Ronaldo was devastated when he left Real Madrid because he was the man who was putting chances on a plate more than anyone for him”
Ferdinand believes that, if it is simply a case of Arteta not fancying Ozil as a player, then the Arsenal boss should have said this was the case already.
“If I was a manager, it’s about clarity and consistency with messaging,” the former Man Utd defender continued.
“Don’t leave any grey areas for people like us to keep debating about it and asking questions. Come out in your first press conference or whenever that time is and say, “Listen, he ain’t for me. This kid ain’t for me! He was a great player in the past but he ain’t the same player who I saw years ago and he ain’t good enough to wear this shirt”. So he can either sit in the background and be quiet and train on his own or get his agent to find him a new club.
“That clarity I think dispels and takes away so much of the grey areas and the debates and the conversations that go around. Because what it all does is it destabilises the club in the end.”