What Unai Emery is doing with his treatment of Mesut Ozil is old school management. And I like it.
By leaving him out against Bournemouth Emery is saying to the whole dressing room ‘by taking on one of the big characters you see day in, day out, and respect I’m letting you know who is boss.’
What you want in a football club is the boss to be the boss.
You want to have a lot of respect for your manager and dare I say a little bit of fear.
I don’t think there has ever been a manager who has won trophies consistently that the players haven’t had a little bit of fear of.
There are several ways you can do that in a dressing room. You can come in and tear into everybody which is a bad political move because everybody responds to different things.
Or you come in and say I’m going to identify one or two players who if I have a stand off with them or if I put my arm around them and get the best out of them that will trickle through the rest of the squad.
A classic example might be Pep Guardiola. He had the situation with Sergio Aguero. When Pep first went in to Manchester City we thought after the first few months that Aguero was going to go.
It was almost as if he was saying to the rest of the dressing room ‘I don’t care if he is the top man here, but Gabriel Jesus is my preference to play up front.’
Now, Aguero played so well that he had to stick with him and Pep had to do a bit of a u-turn.
Sir Alex Ferguson did it notoriously with a number of players. Challenging the big hitters, players like David Beckham, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Roy Keane.
Now it is Emery’s turn. He has looked at Ozil and thought ‘can we get more out of him?’ The answer is yes.
But by saying to the rest of the dressing room, this is arguably the biggest name at the club, a World Cup winner, someone from Real Madrid, by leaving him out, none of you are safe.
And if none of them are safe they all have to scrap for their job. And if they all have to scrap for their jobs then Arsenal Football Club are going to benefit.
Of course we shouldn’t forget that they have got two North London derbies coming up, Manchester United and then Liverpool just after Christmas.
So it is not too much of a stretch to think he will be playing Ozil in most if not all of those games.
It could be part lets leave him out, give him a break and freshen him up for those big games.
Part letting the dressing room know nobodies place is safe.
From next year Arsenal are going to be expected to compete. No excuses.
Emery is finding out who he can rely on and there is nobody bigger to test that with than Ozil.
He wants him to step up more, visibly stand up to be counted when Arsenal need him in the biggest of games.
That is a very, very fair request for the manager to make.
All world class players that have been asked questions usually step up to the plate. Will Mesut Ozil? It remains to be seen.
Sarri has got it wrong with Kante
N’Golo Kante can play but his best position is sitting in front of the back four, contact zone when an attacking midfielder runs up against you, he nicks the ball and gives it to someone else that then plays the ball onto the next phase.
Sometimes you can try and look at a player and think ‘N’Golo can play a little bit. We can get him forward and joining in.’
And he can do that. But it is better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades.
Kante has proven in a Leicester, Chelsea and France shirt.
It is tempting to want him to do other stuff but I would just rather he do the one thing really well.
We are not talking about Leicester anymore where they might want more out of him because perhaps they haven’t got the embarrassment of midfield riches that Chelsea have.
But Chelsea have very good players in lots of different positions.
So get it, win it, give it to somebody else. That’s the only thing Kante should be doing for Chelsea football club.
Mourinho won’t last beyond this season whatever happens
Manchester United fans are at the stage now where if I guaranteed them top four by playing the way they are playing they would take it.
They would shake hands with Jose Mourinho at the end of the season and get in a more proactive manager like Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane.
The crescendo of noise around Old Trafford around Mourinho abated after the good result against Juventus and one or two other sparks.
But Mourinho is not staying beyond this season whatever happens.
What amazes me is how many people, after one good result, start saying he has learnt now, it’s changed.
It’s rubbish. He is what he is as a manager. He isn’t compatible with Manchester United, though I thought he would be as I thought he would change.
But he hasn’t. And this is what you’re going to get 85 to 95 per cent of the time with Mourinho.
Results with a certain type of football. United fans don’t mind the results, they mind the type of football so that means a divorce at the end of the season.
He cannot get his head around one of the biggest or best squads in the Premier League, how to coach them into being a streamlined attacking unit.
Eventually the penny will have to drop with Ed Woodward and the Glazers that there will be better people out there on a fraction of what Mourinho earns that can get more attacking football out of the same group of players.
And that will happen. Do not be surprised if next year they have got in a manager with an attacking philosophy and Manchester United are a significantly better team.
The results might be similar. Mourinho still wins a lot of games and I still expect Manchester United to finish third or fourth this season.
This isn’t about not getting results. This is about getting results allied with the fundamental principles of MU which is to entertain their fan base.
He will never do that.
He cannot change at this late stage. He is done. He is finished and gone in May or June. The end.