Unai Emery Says Arsenal Is Mesut Ozil's 'Family' Following Germany Retirement

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2018

Arsenal player Mesut Ozil (C) attends training session with team mates during their pre-season tour for the International Champions Cup match in Singapore on July 25, 2018. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said the club can help Mesut Ozil rediscover his best following his recent retirement from international football. 

As reported by BBC Sport, following the FIFA World Cup the playmaker announced he would no longer be available for Germany after he suffered "racism and disrespect." Per Reuters (h/t ESPN FC), Emery has said he is glad to be able to welcome Ozil back to Arsenal following the saga.

"It's a personal decision [which] I respect," said Emery of the midfielder's retirement. "We are like his home. We are like his family. ... We are going to help him to feel good."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery speaks to reporters during an interview following the team training session for the International Champions Cup match in Singapore on July 25, 2018. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/A

Ozil was criticised for his performances at the 2018 World Cup, as defending champions Germany crashed out in the group stages in surprise circumstances.

The midfielder also faced scrutiny for being photographed with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May. Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, another Germany international with Turkish heritage, was also at the meeting and the duo were booed during some warmup games for the former world champions.

The retirement of Ozil has sparked an angry reaction in some parts of Germany, including this tirade from Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness:

B/R Football @brfootball

😳 https://t.co/OfKE8mRimv

Per BBC Sport, Erdogan has blasted the criticism of Ozil. "On Monday night I spoke to Mesut. His attitude in the statement is completely patriotic," he said. "It is not possible to accept this kind of racist attitude towards a young man who poured so much sweat for the German national team's success. This cannot be tolerated."

Arsenal posted the following snaps on social media from their pre-season tour showing a happy Ozil and hailed the diversity within the club:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

It's great to have you back with us, @MesutOzil1088 ❤️ #AFCTour2018 🇸🇬 https://t.co/Mf07v50mJZ

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

Our diversity is a big part of why we are such a special club Together 🔴 #ArsenalForEveryone https://t.co/8f62IrxyFV

Ozil has been back in training with Arsenal in Singapore ahead of the team's clash with Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup competition on Thursday. The Gunners will also face Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

Germany's early exit from the World Cup means Ozil is back in training with the Gunners with plenty of time to spare ahead of the new Premier League season. That will be a boost for Arsenal in what is their first season without Arsene Wenger at the helm for 22 years.

Ozil endured a campaign of fluctuations for the Gunners in 2017-18, as the team struggled at times and eventually finished down in sixth place. Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has backed Emery to get the best out of the playmaker this term:

Kevin Campbell @1kevincampbell

Ozil needs the support of the club and fans now. He’s being targeted and it isn’t right at all! Unai Emery will get the best out of him because the new regime will not allow slacking! He created that many chances yet nobody could finish them off! His job is to create!!! ⚽️🙏🏿

These figures sum up what a creative force he can be in the final third:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Mesut Özil: Since moving to the Premier League in 2013, Arsenal star @MesutOzil1088 is top for: Successful final 3rd passes -- 4068 Key passes -- 458 Clear-cut chances created -- 59 Assists -- 49 For more player stats -- https://t.co/ek5LxrgoD3 https://t.co/vivSr5SRX9

The worry for Arsenal fans is that the ongoing debate triggered by Ozil's retirement will be a distraction going into this critical term.

Still, he's appeared relaxed in training and has a manager who has faith in him. After all the talk that's surrounded the player in recent weeks, Ozil will surely just be keen to get back to playing football again too.