Mesut Ozil can’t help but take dig when discussing Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe
Arsenal: Arteta praises Smith-Rowe impact
Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil has heaped praise on Emile Smith Rowe but couldn’t help himself from taking a dig at manager Mikel Arteta. Smith Rowe has started Arsenal’s last three Premier League matches and also scored off the bench in Saturday’s FA Cup win over Newcastle United to make it four wins in a row in all competitions for the Gunners.
Smith Rowe has been playing in the No 10 role that Ozil occupied for the majority of his Arsenal career.
The German has not played in 10 months after being frozen out by Arteta for what the Spaniard described as “footballing reasons”.
In a Twitter Q&A session on Monday night, Ozil was asked what his opinion was on Smith Rowe.
He praised the 20-year-old as well as stating that No 10s are still an important part of the modern game, despite his continued exclusion under Arteta and some claims there is no longer a place for such players.
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Ozil tweeted: “He made the difference in the last couple of games as a No 10 – really happy for him… and that he showed that playing with a No 10 still can make sense in today’s football.”
Smith Rowe has also contributed two assists in his three Premier League appearances since Boxing Day.
And speaking at his press conference on Monday morning, Arteta revealed what he likes about the academy graduate.
“I’ve been impressed with his performances and the capacity that he’s shown to do it in consecutive games which normally with young players is not something that is very common,” Arteta said.
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“The other day he came into the game when we needed a different energy and a threat in the box he did exactly what we expected and he scored the goal, which is something that we’ve been talking to him about.
“There is no message to any senior players, this is a squad of players with different profiles and everybody has to be pushing each other and trying to make each other better.
“Everybody contributes in a different way because every player is different in the squad.”
Meanwhile, Arteta had no further update on the future of Ozil, with a move to Turkish side Fenerbahce rumoured to be on the horizon.
Earlier in his Q&A, Ozil spoke of his time at the club as well as the recent struggles.
“There have been many ups and downs so far, but all in all I’ve never regret my decision to join Arsenal,” he tweeted.
“And to be honest the last couple of games before the corona break in February & March 2020 made really a lot fun.
“I’ve enjoyed that time a lot and I’ve thought we’re really on a very positive way. But after the break things unfortunately changed.”
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