SACKED Arsenal boss Unai Emery has taken a swipe at Mesut Ozil's workrate.
Throughout the Spanish manager's tenure at the Emirates, the question of how to get the best out of Ozil was a constant cloud above his head.
And now, speaking after the Gunners confirmed Mikel Arteta as his replacement, Emery hinted that fitting in the German proved his biggest headache.
The 48-year-old told BBC Sport: "There are games in which you see Mesut's brilliance, linking with the attack. But also I had to find players around him so he felt comfortable.
"Also the team needed to feel solid.
"And when you, little by little, have to build a team that is aggressive, intense, as well as structured for good pressure, we also had to find a space for Mesut.
"Ozil is a very important player if you can find a way to make it work with other players.
"He has talent that allows other players to be better, but when you want a bit more aggressive pressure he does not have the best qualities for that."
TRAINING PERFORMANCE QUESTIONED
Ozil was well out of the first-team picture at the start of the season, even before he and team-mate Sead Kolasinac were victims of a vicious armed robbery in London.
Even Arsenal chief Raul Sanllehi claimed the 31-year-old needed to work harder in training if he wanted a spot in the starting XI.
But in the end the player outlasted the manager as Emery was sacked after a disastrous run of seven games without a win for the first time since 1992.
Freddie Ljungberg came in as interim boss but Ozil still looked well off the pace after earning a recall to the first team.
OZIL'S GLOVES TANTRUM
In what proved to be Ljungberg's final game in charge, a 3-0 home loss to Manchester City, Ozil was subbed off for youngster Emile Smith Rowe just shy of the hour mark.
He threw his gloves to the floor in anger as his mood mirrored what the long-suffering fans were feeling in the stands.
But the appointment of Arteta should bring a feel-good feeling back to the North London club.
He spent five years as a player there before joining City as Pep Guardiola's assistant.
And Emery thinks his replacement could prove shrewd business.
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He added: "He really is prepared to make that next jump.
"He has been at Arsenal before, he's been in the Premier League and he has been working with Pep Guardiola.
"I do believe this is a good decision and I would also like it to be a good decision."