Mikel Arteta has defended his decision to leave Mesut Ozil out of Arsenal’s Premier League squad, hitting back at claims by the player’s agent, Dr Erkut Sogut, that he hasn’t been ‘honest’ with the German.
Ozil has become exiled at Arsenal in a decision some claim to go beyond sporting reasons, although Arteta has continued to state that his ongoing exclusion is purely down to tactics and form.
Ozil’s agent, Dr Sogut, has since blasted the Spaniard over the treatment of his client, claiming that he is withholding the truth about his reasons for not playing him. But Arteta has since responded, insisting that honesty is at the forefront of his management.
“If you have to lead, they have to trust you,” Arteta asserted, via The Sun. “In order for them to trust you, you have to be honest. You have to be clear and you have to be able to tell people, face to face, the good and bad news.
“Then you have to be consistent in what you say, the demands you put in and what you apply. When things happen, you applaud them and then when they don’t, there are consequences. Then you create a culture and within that culture people have to be accountable.
“People have to step up and they have to demand the standards we need of each other from this football club in order to be successful.”
Ozil himself has hit back at the decision to omit him from both the Europa League and Premier League squads via a strongly worded statement released on social media, leading Arteta to admit that he’s still learning how to properly understand his players – even though this particular case appears to be finalised.
“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand the players,” he added. How they are feeling, their background, their culture, how they take certain reactions and certain comments. It’s not about what you say, it’s about the perception and how they understand your messages.
“They all have different backgrounds and problems with the language as well, so they might not understand exactly what you’re saying. It’s tricky and the best thing to do is ask the questions and get their opinions and then move from there.”
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