Arsenal legend Tony Adams has hit out at Mikel Arteta over the treatment of Mesut Ozil, claiming he is a “sweet man surrounded by a lot of mess”.
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The German playmaker has failed to make an appearance since the Premier League restart, leading to speculation his Arsenal career is all but over.
But Adams has questioned Arteta, claiming it is the Spaniard’s job to get the best out of a very talented player.
Adams told Stadium Astro: “I think I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a very laid-back kind of guy, he doesn’t get too flustered with anything to be honest with you.
“He just goes a little bit – what we would call in our day – going through the motions; but players are very different today, they’re not questioned in training.
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“There was an article that came out recently about Kieran Tierney being questioned because Tierney was getting a few tackles in in training and he was asked to take things a little bit easier. I kind of went, ‘Hold on a minute, no, no, no, you test them, you rattle them, you get involved’.
“I think Ozil, he’s a very calm, sweet man, so don’t judge him too quickly. He is a talent, and half the job of a head coach is getting the best out of that talent.
“So you could swing it on Arteta. The minute you don’t get results, this is going to be more of an issue. If we lose in the FA Cup final, I think people will start then going, ‘Actually, how are you dealing with this situation? What are you going to do?’
“Then all the questions you’ve fired at me, are the ones the public are going to be saying, ‘Come on then Ozil, what you posting on your social media? Are you applying yourself? What are you doing?’
“Is there anybody at the club saying that to him? ‘Why are you doing your clothing range, what’s that about Ozil?’ Is there was anyone at the club, around Mesut Ozil, passing on the message of, ‘Come on, what’s going on here? What are you doing?’
“There’s too many outside influences and that’s where I think the Ozil brand comes into it, and the people on the periphery and the agents get involved.
“Actually, if you look underneath all that, there’s a really sweet human being in there, really shy boy, that has enormous talent, but he’s surrounded by a lot of mess.”
He added: “If they get an offer, I think they’ll let him go tomorrow.
“If they don’t, then they’re going to say to the coach, ‘Actually coach, you’ve got to work with this guy, you’ve got to get something out of him next season, you need to get him into the team and into a system whereby you can utilise him and use him’.”