Mikel Arteta’s arrival at Arsenal changed the club’s fortunes last season. The Spaniard led the Gunners to FA Cup and Community Shield glory but has had to make some hard decisions along the way.
Arteta’s appointment was excellent news to Mesut Ozil. The German had played with him before and it looked as if he would be integrated back into the team after being left out regularly by Unai Emery.
Ozil started every game under Arteta from his appointment until lockdown. However, since Project Restart the former Real Madrid man hasn’t played a single minute for the club.
Matteo Guendouzi is another player who has had a few problems with Arteta. The Frenchman was involved in an altercation with Neal Maupay at Brighton in June and has been out of the squad since.
Ozil and Guendouzi both returned to training before Arsenal’s first Premier League game but neither made it into the squad. However, it looks as though their efforts in training have caught Arteta’s eye.
Speaking to Football London (13:00), the Arsenal boss said: “They are all training really well. The spirit is great and everyone is pushing each other.”
It will be interesting to see if Arteta chooses to bring them back to the squad on Saturday. A home game against a struggling West Ham side would be an ideal opportunity to test them but the Arsenal boss might choose to keep them out for a little longer.
The EFL Cup game against Leicester City next week might be when Ozil and Guendouzi earn a start in the middle of the park.
The duo have little margin for error and will need to be at their best if and when Arteta gives them their chance in the coming weeks.