Keown explains what Ozil needs to do to save his Arsenal career

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The German has figured just twice this season and faces more time on sidelines unless his attitude changes, according to the former centre-back

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has warned Mesut Ozil that only hard graft will get him back in Unai Emery's first-team plans.

Ozil has again been a peripheral figure at the Emirates Stadium this season with just two appearances made in total - one in the Premier League and another in the Carabao Cup.

The 30-year-old has not been called up by Unai Emery for any of Arsenal's last three matches, missing from the squads for clashes against Manchester United, Standard Liege and Bournemouth.

Being absent from the Europa League rout of Liege highlighted Ozil’s standing in Emery’s thinking at present, given the starting XI was comprised of several youngsters playing in positions the German could have taken up.

“I think it's disappointing that someone with that amount of talent can't find his way into an Arsenal team,” Keown said.

“And again, that's about balance. That's about a player wanting to graft and show the other side of his game. Until he does that, he won't be in this new Arsenal team.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto has also joined the debate over the misfiring German playmaker.

The Brazilian said: “I'm sure for him it's been quite hard to see the game from the outside.

“It's up to him to work hard and send a message to the manager that he's ready and wants to play.”

Meanwhile Keown has thrown his support behind Emery as he looks to craft a side that can again challenge for honours.

"I'm not close enough to Emery to know how charismatic he is, what personality he has,” said Keown.

“He strikes me as being a thoroughly good guy, which is a good starting place. I think Emery's the right man to turn it round.

“He’s had a good year now and I expect it to really pick up for the rest of the season.

“As long as the players take everything on board, and there's clear messages to the players, I think he has the tools to be successful.

“Maybe it goes over to the manager now, the pressure's on him to get the right balance, pick the right players, get behind them and put Arsenal back in the Champions League.”

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