Unai Emery has potentially given the reasoning behind his decision to drop Mesut Ozil from the Arsenal team (via Sky Sports).
It’s clear that not everything is right between Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery with the German playmaker spending less than 160 minutes on the pitch since the start of December.
Now, Emery has given an interview with Sky Sports which could give some explanation as to his management goal with Ozil.
“At certain times, you have to provoke friction with footballers,” Emery said.
“From that friction, you can get something more out of them, something from inside, a greater sense of ambition or maybe even a complaint – a complaint regarding the team can be positive.
“As a manager, you have to be careful because that friction can break a relationship. But I believe in always looking for more, both individually and collectively, with conversations which are comfortable but also with conversations which are less comfortable.
“In the end, the main thing with any footballer is that their qualities are used to benefit the team. As a manager, you have to get the maximum out of that player and at the same time make sure that he fits with the rest of the team so that everyone is better.
“We know that we have to put pressure on the players, to push them, so if a player is giving 70 per cent, he gives 80 per cent. Then if he is giving 80 per cent, he gives 90 per cent. There is always another step, another push. Psychology is an aspect which can help to find it.”
It’s a fascinating series of quotes from Unai Emery. Provoking friction is nothing new as a style of management and if reports are to be believed, is similar to how Mesut Ozil was treated by Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Let’s see if Emery’s method proves as successful.