SINGAPORE: Arsenal manager Unai Emery is confident that Mesut Ozil will have a successful season with the club, after the star playmaker’s recent decision to quit the German national squad.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday (Jul 25) before the start of a training session at the Singapore American School, Emery said the 29-year-old has been training well and that he expects Ozil to be one of the Gunners’ key men for the season ahead.
"For him, it is one thing with the national team and another with us," said Emery.
"With us, normality helps him to feel good every day in the training sessions. This normality is best for him and I’m sure he’s going to have a big season for us."
Ozil is in Singapore with the Arsenal squad for the 2018 International Champions Cup as part of pre-season preparations.
Emery added that Arsenal are doing the best they can for Ozil to feel comfortable.
"He is doing nicely every day, training well with partners," added Emery, who has taken over from the long-serving Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. "We want him to feel good with us."
QUITTING GERMAN NATIONAL TEAM
Ozil, who has Turkish roots, had said on Sunday in a four-page statement on three images on Twitter and Instagram that he was quitting the German national team due to a “feeling of racism and disrespect”.
He had earlier defended his decision to pose for a photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany's squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
The Arsenal midfielder blamed the German Football Federation (DFB) for failing to defend him against his most strident critics in recent times.
"Arguably the issue that has frustrated me the most over the past couple of months has been the mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular the DFB President Richard Grindel," he said.
He also explained in the statement that he had been unfairly blamed in Germany for the side's shock first-round defeat at the World Cup.
"I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his (Grindel's) incompetence and inability to do his job properly," he said.
"In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose."
Ozil added he could handle criticism of his performance on the pitch, but not when it was linked to his ethnic background.
"If a newspaper or pundit finds fault in a game I play in, then I can accept this," he said.
"But what I can't accept are German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad," he added, calling it "right-wing propaganda".