Arteta urges Ozil, Guendouzi to follow Xhaka blueprint back to the squad

Arteta urges Ozil, Guendouzi to follow Xhaka blueprint back to the squad

Arsenal manager Arteta praises the Swiss international for bouncing back after the Palace incident earlier this season.

Mikel Arteta insists fans have forgiven him after he proved that he wants the best for Arsenal and is willing to fight on the pitch.

His story could serve as an example to Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, or to anyone else.

In November last year, only Unai Emery was hated more by the Gunners faithful than Granit Xhaka.

Fast forward several months, and you see him as one of the most loved and cherished members of the Arsenal squad.

Mikel Arteta feels the 27-year-old exhibited the right mentality in this long and drawn-out process of re-establishing himself as a key figure at the Emirates.

"The challenge with Granit was to convince him that there was still a place for him here - that I had big belief in him and that things can turn around pretty quickly in this industry," the 38-year-old said, as cited by Goal.

"He had to send the right messages. First of all, he had to believe that he could do it and if that was the case, we were going to support him all the way through.

"I'm really glad to hear and sense the reaction from the fans towards him, I think they can appreciate what he's done. That's in the past, there's a lot of positives to take from difficult situations and we all learn from that.

"He's a really good example for any player that is in a difficult moment that if you are willing, consistent and really want to do it generally, I think there's always a way back."

In late October, Xhaka insulted Arsenal fans who had booed him during the clash against Crystal Palace. It cost him the captain armband – which has gone to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – and, temporarily, a place in the team.

After Arteta's appointment, the former Gladbach man has been brilliant, and is certainly one of the best players at Arsenal after the restart. Two simple stats show his unparalleled influence to the team's recent success.

When asked whether the midfielder's turnaround could be an example to those who do not get to play now, namely, Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, Arteta suggested they follow into the former skipper's footsteps.

"That applies for any player, and any member of the staff," the boss added.

"If you really show that then you're deciding to do the best, not for yourself, but for the team and for the club, I think everybody will welcome you."

The French midfielder has not trained with the rest of the team after going medieval on Neal Maupay while the ex-Real Madrid man has not kicked the ball for Arsenal since March, when the pandemic brought the Premier League to a halt.

The exact reasons behind Arteta freezing out Ozil and Guendouzi are unknown but the manager has been very clear about introducing a rigorous work ethic at the Emirates, saying that everyone has to 'jump the boat' or sail the hell away.
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