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Arteta: I failed with Ozil

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he feels he has “failed” with midfielder Mesut Ozil after leaving him out of his 25-man Premier League squad.

The German, who had also been omitted from the Europa League squad, can now only play for Arsenal Under-23s until his deal expires in summer 2021.

The 32-year-old, who joined Arsenal for a then club record £42.4m in 2013, has not played for the club since 7 March.

“My conscience is very calm because I have been really fair,” said Arteta.

“What I can say from my side is that it is just a football decision. My level of communication with him has been really high and we know what to expect with each other.

“Obviously a player of that dimension, with the career he has had, everything that happens around him has a big impact. It has been the case for the last eight years; it is nothing new that is just happening now. A lot of things have happened over these eight years.

“My job is to get the best out of every player, to contribute to the team performance.

“Here I feel at the moment, today, that I have failed. I want the best possible for Mesut and for the team. And in some moments, I was able to get close to that, and at the moment, I have not been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out of the squad.”

‘Loyalty is hard to come by nowadays’ – Ozil

Earlier, in a message to Arsenal fans, Ozil said, “Loyalty is hard to come by nowadays.”

“I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being,” Ozil wrote on social media.

He also said, “Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.

“I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.”

Since joining from Real Madrid seven years ago, Ozil has scored 44 goals in 254 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.

He fell out of favour under previous manager Unai Emery before returning to the side under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

After Arteta’s appointment in December 2019, Ozil started all 10 of Arsenal’s Premier League games immediately before the coronavirus pandemic forced a three-month suspension of the top-flight in March.

Earlier in October, he offered to pay the salary of Jerry Quy, the man who plays the role of club mascot Gunnersaurus, who was one of 55 redundancies at the club.

“Before the coronavirus break I was really happy with my development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level,” Ozil added.

“But then things changed, again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal. No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my eighth season at Arsenal end like this.

“I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said he was “gutted” for Ozil.

“Football will never stop surprising me,” he said on Twitter.

“The fact that whatever has gone on couldn’t be resolved between the club and Mesut is sad. Sad for everyone involved and I can only send him strength for what will be a difficult few months knowing he won’t even have a chance to play.”

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Iga Swiatek humiliates Pliskova to lift Rome Masters title

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Polish teenage star Iga Swiatek produced the best tennis of her short career to thrash Karolina Pliskova 6-0 6-0 to win the Rome WTA 1000 title on Sunday.

The match lasted just 46 minutes.

Swiatek dropped just 13 points in total – four in the first set and nine in the second, to record the double bagel.

She faced only four game points against her opponent as she claimed the most one-sided victory in the history of the event, since 1983.

This was when Andrea Temesvari defeated Bonnie Gadusek 6-1 6-0.

The French Open champion last year will climb five spots to No 10 in the rankings on Monday after sealing her third WTA title.

After winning the championship, Iga posted this on Twitter:

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Iheanacho, Ndidi make history as Leicester win first FA Cup title

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Two Super Eagles stars, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, have won their first FA Cup title with Leicester City.
The Foxes’ long wait for an FA Cup trophy came to an end on Saturday after beating Chelsea 1-0 at the Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea, beaten in last year’s final by Arsenal, dominated the first half, but could not replicate the performance in the second stanza as Leicester comfortably controlled the half.
The intensity of the Foxes paid off in the 63rd minute when a screamer by Youri Tielemans proved unstoppable for Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Ben Chilwell, a former Leicester player, gave the Foxes a momentary scare as he battered in the ball following a goalmouth scramble in the 89th minute — but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the goal offside.
No club has appeared in more FA Cup finals without lifting the trophy than Leicester, who have emerged losers four times.
Having broken their duck in their fifth attempt, Rodgers has now added a major English trophy to his resume, one which has been missing from his CV.
He is the first manager to have won the English and Scottish FA Cup since Sir Alex Ferguson (four Scottish FA Cup titles with Aberdeen and five English FA Cup titles with Manchester United).
Rodgers won the Scottish FA Cup with Celtic in 2017 and 2018.
Iheanacho and Ndidi have now joined Daniel Amokachi, Celestine Babayaro, Nwankwo Kanu, John Utaka, John Mikel Obi, Alex Iwobi, and Victor Moses on the list of Nigerian players who have lifted the English FA Cup trophy.

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Dele Alli spotted kissing Guardiola’s daughter

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Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli and the daughter of Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, Maria, have been reportedly seen kissing in public.
An image has surfaced which shows Dele with his arms wrapped around a woman and leaning in for an intimate moment, with the other person in the photo reported to be Maria.
Apparently, neither of the two had a problem in publicly displaying their mutual affection, with The Sun claiming that they shared a kiss in a popular London night spot.

Dele Alli, aged 25, is said to have approached Maria, 20, at the bar before sharing a lengthy discussion that led to an intimate moment between the pair.
The Tottenham and England players has recently split up with 23-year-old model Ruby Mae after a lengthy relationship.
Mae ended her relationship with Dele after growing weary of his behaviour, which included his endless hours of playing Fortnite.
Maria, for her part, is alleged to have told her close circle that the pair are “just friends” and nothing more.

 

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