Chelsea boss linked with texting Arsenal star who he used to manage. Does he know how to use him more effectively?
Reports in Spain have claimed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been in contact with Mesut Ozil, offering his support through his poor form.
While that may seem incredulous that the Special One is helping a rival, it shouldn't be forgotten the two are close from their Real Madrid days - although suggestions Chelsea would try to sign the German in the summer seem about as far-fetched as they come.
Wenger was criticised for not taking Ozil off against Bayern in the first leg, while old boss Mourinho made a habit of routinely substituting the playmaker.
Below are some interesting facts and figures regarding just how frequently Ozil has and hasn't been substituted.
Ozil under Mourinho at Real Madrid in the entire 2012/13:
Completed 90 minutes just 9 times in La Liga. 14 times including Champions League games.
Ozil under Mourinho at Real Madrid in the entire 2011/12:
Completed 90 minutes just 8 times in La Liga. 11 times including Champions League games.
Ozil under Mourinho at Real Madrid in the entire 2010/11:
Complete 90 minues 8 times. 12 times including Champions League games.
Ozil under Wenger at Arsenal so far in 2013/14:
Completed 90 minutes 12 times in Premier League. 18 times including Champions League games.
Three-quarters into this current season, at this rate Ozil could end up playing the 90 minutes almost a third as many more times as he did at Real in his last season.
Considering Ozil is in a new league, arguably a more physical one, and has to adjust without a traditional Winter break (although he did have a mini-one due to injury) it's fair to argue that the Arsenal boss could be protecting him better.
Already the Arsenal boss has given Ozil 90 minutes playing time more times than in any of the three seasons Mourinho did at Madrid.
Every player is different, and Wenger is learning about Ozil now - knowledge which Mourinho already has.
Reports in national papers this week have claimed the Frenchman will hand Ozil an 'extended break', although with a Champions League return clash against Bayern on March 11, how extended it will be is unclear, especially with him likely to be involved with the German national side days earlier.
Its hard to argue Mourinho's approach didn't work either. In his first season at Madrid under Mourinho Ozil scored 7 times and provided 24 assists.
In his second he netted 6 goals with 20 assists, while last season Ozil bagged 10 goals with 17 assists. This form caused such an outcry when he was sold to the Gunners.
So far Ozil at Arsenal has five goals and 12 assists. He's on course to get close to previous seasons at Madrid, but in his last 10 games he has no goals and one assist - supporting the theory he is growing tired, possibly because he is not being rested enough by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal's squad is deeper this season than it has been for some time, but a lack of viable alternatives to Ozil is a reason why he is played for so long so often. The gunners can play Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in his position but when the German is fit - Wenger appears reluctant to.
Linked with Julian Draxler in January, the wonderkid would certainly act well as an understudy, yet so would even an experienced head like Mathieu Valbuena, who would understand that Ozil is the main man but be talented enough to alleviate the pressure from him and give his manager more options.
Adjusting to Ozil is clearly something Wenger is learning to do, and buying an alternative to allow him to rotate him more may just allow him to get the best out of him.
image: © jansolo09