Mikel Arteta has hit back at Mesut Ozil - saying he is completely comfortable with his decision to leave him out of Arsenal's 25-man Premier League squad.
The midfielder had said on social media earlier on Wednesday that he was "disappointed" at his omission from the set-up, adding: "Loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I've always tried to remain positive from week to week that there's maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That's why I kept silent so far."
But in a press call later in the afternoon, the Arsenal manager responded to his player's comments - saying that he had taken the step not because of Ozil's behaviour, but based entirely on football.
Premier League
'Nobody really takes player welfare seriously' - Henderson
22/12/2021 AT 08:52
"It was just a football decision and my conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him," Arteta told reporters.
It's nothing related to (Ozil's) behaviour. It's my decision.
"My job is to get the best out of every player to contribute to the team performance. At the moment I feel that I have failed because I want the best possible Mesut for the team.
"In some moments I was able to get close to that but at the moment I haven't been able to do it."
Premier League
'Aston Villa sells itself' - Gerrard hungry for pressure of being boss
15/11/2021 AT 12:53
Premier League
Opinion: Solskjaer not only one under pressure - Klopp's Liverpool must deliver
23/10/2021 AT 21:16