Arsenal boss Unai Emery to work with playmaker Mesut Ozil 'in a new way'
LONDON -- Arsenal boss Unai Emery says he will work with Mesut Ozil "in a new way" to get the best out of the playmaker, and urged him to come back from his holiday with "a good mentality" despite Germany's World Cup fiasco.
Ozil has been criticised in Germany following the team's exit in the group stage in Russia, both for his performances on the pitch and for posing for a photo with Turkey president Recep Erdogan before the tournament.
Ozil's mental toughness has often been questioned in England after inconsistent performances for Arsenal as well. And asked how he will help the midfielder get over his recent hardships, Emery said: "We are here to help every player. But for me, it's the same with the one player and the 25 players. I help them. For us, Mesut is a very important player, we want to help [him].
"The national team didn't do the result they wanted, but today he's on holiday. And I want him to relax good, and I want when he comes back with us, to start good with a good mentality. ... I want to work with him in a new way, and with an ambition for continuing with his quality [and] getting better in the team.
"I think last year was a difficult year for all, not only for Mesut, [for] all the players, I want to give them confidence, to give them a chance every day in [training]."
Ozil is the most high-profile Arsenal player who is enjoying a post-World Cup break, with Emery having a majority of his players already available.
That could give Arsenal an edge in their season opener against Manchester City, who had seven players take part in the World Cup semifinals and may not be back in time for the Aug. 12 game.
"It's not easy for the big clubs to work every day without the important players. But here we are working with 22 players, the young players, the loan players, first-team players and important players," Emery said. "And when the other players arrive, I think the main blocks are prepared for the start.
"And the quality of the international players, we want them to come quickly and to start with us. But it's also important for them [to have] the holidays, because the season is very, very hard, it's very, very long, and they need the holidays."
He added that it's still unclear whether Ozil and players like Granit Xhaka and new signing Stephan Lichtsteiner will be back in time for the team's preseason trip to Singapore later this month or if they'll join up with the squad when they return from Asia.
Emery also said he is enjoying working with Steve Bould, Arsene Wenger's longtime assistant who was kept on as part of the new backroom staff at the club.
"For me, in all my career, I want to work with an experienced person [who is] a club man. And Steve, first, as a person is very good, and he was a player here also," Emery said. "He knows very well the club, he knows very well the people who are working here.
"And he knows very well the players. And for me that's very important, because he helps every day on the pitch, he helps every day in the dressing room. And I am very, very happy with him."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.