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07-Nov-2020, 07:27 pm

'That's not okay!' - Podolski blasts Arsenal & Arteta for Ozil treatment

Lukas Podolski Mesut Ozil Arsenal

Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has criticised the club and coach Mikel Arteta for their treatment of out-of-favour midfielderMesut Ozil.

Themidfielder made headlines for his refusalto accept a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis before publicly offering to pay the wages of the club's mascot after he was reportedly made redundant.

Mikel Arteta said at the end of October thathe "tried to give him as many opportunities"to Ozil towin back his place in the squad, but Podolski says his former team-mate has been treated unfairly.

"I don't know the background, but I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad... that’s absolutely not okay," he told Bild .

"You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.

"He's shown his class on the pitch, he's never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. It's sad because everyone's losing in this situation. It should not end this way.Arsenal as a club havenot looked positive in this situation over the last months."

Ozil's situation has been a big talking point in the media, with the Germany international the subject of severe criticism from many ex-Arsenal players and punditsover the past 12 months.

But former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny voiced his support,describing him as "a very good person".

"As a player, he is in my opinion a phenomenon. He can find passes that no one sees, he’s a maestro," he told L'Equipe."He can rock a game with incredible passes.

"We’re both part of the ‘Arsene Wenger Generation’. The coach loved him as a player. It was more complicated with Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta."

Meanwhile, Ozil's agent criticised the Arsenal boss for his handling of the situation,telling ESPN: "Arsenal fans deserve an honest explanation, not Arteta saying: 'I failed Ozil'.You didn't fail Ozil: you failed to be fair, honest and transparent and treat someone with respect who has a contract and was loyal all the time.

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