“‘Pinch and remind’ – Mikel Arteta issues staunch defence of Mesut Ozil on defensive duties

Mesut Ozil Arsenal
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal celebrates after he scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 22, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that he tries to ‘pinch and remind’ Mesut Ozil of his defensive responsibilities at the north London based club.

Ozil has been a controversial figure at Arsenal over the past 12 months after falling out of favor with the Gunners previous manager Unai Emery.

Under Emery, Ozil lost his place in Arsenal’s starting XI and looked to be on his way out of the club.

However, the appointment of Mike Arteta proved to be a turning point in Ozil’s stay at Arsenal.

The 31-year-old has started almost every single game under Arteta and plays a key role in the Gunners attacking moves.

Following Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Everton on Sunday, Arteta heaped praise on Ozil but explained that he often reminds the playmaker of his defensive duties too – an area of his game that the playmaker of Turkish origin has been criticized for in the past.

READ: The Secret Life Of Arsenal Star Mesut Ozil 

“I’m very pleased with Mesut Ozil obviously. I played with him and I know him,” Areta told reporters at the post-match press conference.

“So I try to pinch and remind him what he needs to do because I know how much he can give on the offensive side. 

“But also, Mesut is a good example in today’s game [against Everton]. When we are dominant and the whole process is properly done and you find the players in the right positions, he is the type of player I want.

“When the game becomes like this [Everton game], it’s not his game. He needs his team-mates, he needs the right structure and organisation for him to flourish.

“So it’s not just about him. Sometimes it’s not his fault. It’s about the team not supporting what he needs.”

Arsenal returns to action on Thursday evening when they take on Olympiakos in the Europa League.

The Gunners come into the second leg with a big advantage after recording a 1-0 victory in Greece last week.