The challenge for Mesut Özil is to produce telling performances on a more consistent level, according to Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he is constantly challenging Mesut Özil to produce high-quality performances on a more consistent basis. Özil's displays over the past couple of seasons have divided opinion, the playmaker's undoubted talent sometimes tarnished by a perceived lackadaisical approach.
More has perhaps been expected of a player who cost the Gunners a fee in the region of €50million five years ago, and Emery has promised to make the most of the World Cup winner's natural ability.
No faulting Özil's committment
"His commitment is good, he trains well," Emery told Sky Sports. "I have spoken with him and I push him to give even more quality in matches, and keep up the good performances against big and small teams, home and away. Every player has their challenge to help the team. They all have a challenge individually and collectively to improve. And with Mesut, a big player, we need to continue working to hold that high level of quality in each match."
Emery has enjoyed a fine start to life in England, guiding the Gunners to a 16-match unbeaten run across all competitions ahead of Sunday's trip to Bournemouth. And, after taking over a side that finished sixth last season, the Spaniard is taking inspiration from one of Arsenal's Premier League rivals as he eyes a major improvement.
"I remember three years ago we were playing with Sevilla against Liverpool in the final of Europa League, and Liverpool were then not able to reach the Champions League," Emery said. "Two years later, they were in the final of the Champions League. That's a good example for us - maybe we cannot do the same, because it's very, very difficult and they worked very well with [Jurgen] Klopp to get to this, but the difference between us and other teams now - Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea - we can reach the same level as them. But we need time, we need work."