How far does a manager go to instill his values and rules upon his squad?
The parameters that the man at the helm puts in place will ultimately define the team, but what happens if one stray sheep doesn’t conform, and strays from the herd?
In an effort to stymie attempts from other players to follow suit, does the manager lay down the law in the form of punishment, to show that the rules must be followed?
Unai Emery is in between a rock and a hard place. It has become apparent through comments made by the Spaniard that Mesut Ozil has not met the desired standard in the training regimen that has been set.
The German has been omitted from the entire squad for around two months of the season.
Even if you are not a fan, it is plain to see that our fortunes on the pitch in terms of style, have been severely hampered by the lack of a playmaker.
Chances have dried up, the pace of the ball being pinged around? Pedestrian. Our star strikers have been feeding off of scraps or creating openings themselves through their excellent set of skills.
The moment that Ozil was reinstated to the line-up was our Carabao Cup exit to Liverpool – and we scored five goals.
Yes, Liverpool were a weakened side, but the form we were in during that spell would have meant that if Ozil wasn’t in the eleven, we would surely have struggled to reach that amount of goals.
Our number ten kept the ball moving, stretching play, popping up in pockets of space and sprinkling in moments of genius, like his no-look backheel from the byline to the only player who could have received the ball.
This isn’t meant to indicate that Emery has made the wrong choice though. The words in this article are pointing towards a choice that Emery couldn’t possibly hope to pick the correct one – because there isn’t a right choice.
Include Mesut Ozil in the side – and player power has won.
Leave him out of the side, and at the merest hint of a struggle, critics will point to the megastar left out of the side.
Emery had a power struggle in his time as PSG manager, as Neymar has a little more sway than a player normally would. The Brazilian is seen as indispensable to the eleven – or was – and there was only going to be one winner.
Now, we have arguably our most talented player flitting in and out of the side, and posting cryptic images on his Instagram in an apparent act of defiance. It leaves the unity of the squad frayed – and our performances compromised.
Mesut Ozil will obviously impact our team on the pitch. His end product went missing last year but in terms of keeping us on the front foot and always playing the right pass, there is no one better.
Star players shouldn’t have things their own way though. If we put them on a higher pedestal, it means they will define the rules, and the values of the club will be broken as a result.
No one player is greater than the team. We have had far greater players in our midst than Ozil and they have never rocked the boat – even if they did, the rock-solid rules of the club would not show a crack.
The moment this changes, then Arsenal FC as we know it, and have known it since its birth – will be completely undermined.
The solution to the Ozil – Emery predicament?
I’ve no idea – I don’t get paid millions to figure it out!