The beginning of the ‘Emery Era’ at Arsenal hasn’t been as positive as expected with Arsenal facing consecutive losses in their first two opening games of the season; a feat for the first time since 1992. However, Arsenal legend Parlour believes that the new gaffer at The Emirates needs some more time to adapt and has praised the treatment of midfielders Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey.
Ozil was taken off at 2-2 against Chelsea after a poor display in his preferred number 10 role, having survived being withdrawn just three times in the Premier League last term. The decision suggests, as many have suspected, that Unai Emery will not tolerate the drop in standards that Arsene Wenger did during the back-end of his spell.
On the other hand, Emery picked Ramsey in the opening weekend defeat to Manchester City but the Welsh midfielder came off early in the second half before being dropped to the bench for last weekend’s trip to Chelsea. Ramsey and Ozil started a combined total of 45 Premier League matches under Wenger last term but Parlour believes that new Arsenal boss is making sure to not let his players walk all over him.
“One thing I like about Emery, if you are not doing your job, he will take you off,” the former Arsenal man said [via Metro].
“You did not see much of that last year, not with Ozil, who more or less played every single 90 minutes even if he was playing poorly.
“But against Chelsea, Emery had Ramsey on the bench.
“It is off you come if you are not doing your job, not doing enough for the team. He is not scared to do that, to change things.”
“Ozil is the big question. Can Emery get the best out of him? In training he will be pushing him, but whether the player wants to adapt to that is another matter.
“I don’t know Ozil or what his mentality is like, whether he will say he is up for the challenge.”
Parlour: "Ozil is the big question. Can Emery get the best out of him? In training he will be pushing him, but whether the player wants to adapt to that is another matter. I don’t know Ozil or what his mentality is like, whether he will say he is up for the challenge" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/l4ndcH8VK2
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) August 22, 2018
The German is already fighting to save his Arsenal career under Unai Emery, according to Gary Neville. The Sky Sports pundit believes Emery’s decision confirms he will refuse to indulge the club’s top earner.
“Mesut Ozil, he can’t press from the front, so he’s basically got to give him an opportunity, give him enough rope to see what he’s going to do with it,” he told Sky Sports.
“The reality of it is he said to Mesut Ozil in the lead up to the second game you’ve got to work harder. That’s the first time I’ve publicly heard anyone call Mesut Ozil out and that’s after one game.
“Second game he hooks him and subs him. He’s working him out. He’s saying if you don’t want to press, if you don’t want to do what I’m saying you’ll be out of the team. He’s working out those players.”
Coming to the Welsh international, Emery has called on hin to keep his mind on playing well for the club and not be distracted by things away from the pitch.
“I spoke with him last week,” Emery said when asked about Ramsey’s situation. “I said; I want you focused only on training and only on the match, you show us the capacity to help the team.
“The contract is another thing for his agent and the club but we want and I need his focus only on training, only on the match and on his performance each day.”
Asked whether he felt the required level of focus had been missing from Ramsey, Emery replied:
“I don’t know but I am thinking in the present. I spoke with him last week but now, today, my focus is on the match and I want the player to be focused only on Saturday against West Ham.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has told Aaron Ramsey to focus on his football.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 24, 2018
During pre-season Emery had said:
“I think Aaron is an important player for us. The contract is one thing for the club and the player.” [via Football 365]
Ramsey could yet be recalled to the starting line-up for Saturday’s visit of West Ham, with Emery still searching for his first point as Arsenal boss.
I believe Emery’s treatment of the team’s number 10 and last year’s player of the season goes on to show that no one player is bigger than the club. The team needs players who put in their 100% and agree with the vision of the new manager and if they fail to do so, it’s justified dropping them to the bench and thinking about the team as a whole rather than individuals.
Ozil, who just signed a massive new long-term contract, needs to show the fans that he’s worth the wages paid to him, while Ramsey needs to show his commitment to the club by signing a new contract as his current one is set to expire next season. The two players are integral to the Gunners but that doesn’t justify not following their manager or performing poorly.