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I have a good relationship with Mesut – Emery rejects Ozil rift reports

19:10 BST 13/09/2018
Reports of a dispute between the Arsenal boss and playmaker have been rife, but the coach insists their relationship is just fine

Arsenal coach Unai Emery is adamant that reports claiming he Mesut Ozil do not get on are false and saluted the German's focus following international retirement.

Prior to the international break, stories began to circulate suggesting Ozil and his coach had fallen out after the midfielder was left out of the squad for Arsenal's 3-1 win over West Ham.

Ozil returned to Arsenal's starting XI in their next outing, a thrilling 3-2 triumph at Cardiff City, but reports about a supposed tense relationship were not put to bed.

So, at his news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Newcastle United, Emery looked to end all the speculation, insisting his relationship with Ozil is fine.

"[We get on] very well," said the Spaniard.

"Here [at a media day] for me it isn't for speaking about what people are telling us. I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances.

"Also, I read this week in the newspapers in the match against Manchester City I say to the [groundsman]: 'don't put water on the pitch' – it's not true.

"This is the moment to say to you that I have a good relationship with Mesut and I didn't say that to the groundsman, to not to water on the pitch, it's not true. We are continuing our process with our positive things and our work."

The international break was the first since Ozil announced his international retirement as a consequence of alleged racist treatment from the German Football Federation (DFB) and its president, Reinhard Grindel, who denies the accusation.

Emery thinks it went well for Ozil, who he believes looks happy and completely focused on Arsenal.

"The first time [he is not involved with Germany], maybe he could feel different, but every day with us in work, I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands every day," Emery said.

"First, the players have the habits to play in the international break, in important matches, defending their identity and when one player is finishing that, I think it is also good for them to focus only on their [club] team.

"The reason for Mesut is important for me also, this focus every day with us, a relaxing three days off at the weekend.

"Mesut, like other players, works very well here. I look at him with his focus totally here."