Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil he will have to play out of position at times to help the team — and insisted that the German is happy with that.
“I spoke with him about his best position on the pitch, and I know he can play on the right and as a No. 10 player, and he wants [me] to use him for two positions,” Emery said. “Mesut in his career, he played as No. 10 and he played on the right. When he played in Spain [for Real Madrid], I remember a lot of matches with him playing on the right. His quality is for playing between the lines of the attacking and midfield players.
“I like the possibility to have the player play in different positions on the pitch. So we are going to continue to do that. After, it’s [about] where he is better for us and where he is better also thinking [about] the opposition’s style of play.”
Asked if he has demanded more from Ozil when it comes to his defensive work rate, Emery said that doesn’t just apply to the German.
“Our demands are very high, very great, but I want to ask every player, every day, to give us more,” Emery said. “But not [just] Mesut, it’s the team, the squad. We need to push and have the ambition and desire to improve every day. This is my message for the team, for the squad and for every player.”
And he said Ozil won’t be given any special treatment during the break.
“He’ll have two or three days holidays like other players, but then next week when we are here working, he’s going to work with us and the other players,” Emery said. “It’s different for him, but he made the decision and we respect it, and we want to help him to stay with us in the best possible way.”