Tony Adams has said that Arsenal players should be more aggressive with Mesut Ozil in order to get the best out of him.
The former Arsenal captain is widely recognised as one of the best centre-backs that the Premier League has ever seen, and gained that reputation as part of the Gunners no-nonsense defence of the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Since then though, Arsenal have gone a bit soft, with Adams saying that back in his day he would have kicked Ozil all over the training pitch in order to toughen him up, just like they did with Dennis Bergkamp back in the day:
“If you have solidity and strength in your team, then Ozil is a great asset. He’s a World Cup winner and a class act,” Adams told The Sun.
“He’s like Bergkamp, who cruised through his first couple of years at the Arsenal. We had to get him a little bit toughened up but Ozil hasn’t got the people around him to push him and get him going.
“There’s only so much a coach can do. It starts in training. We used to kick Dennis. Bouldy would kick him up in the air again and again.
“After a while of this, he turned round and stamped on Bouldy and said ‘I’ve had enough of you effing kicking me, you’re going to get a little bit back here’.
“We all said ‘aye, aye, he’s a got a bit about him — Hallelujah!’
“But it’s all become a little bit too nice there. You can’t criticise or say bad things.
“When I was at the club, if people weren’t pulling their weight, I’d tell them. If you haven’t got leaders, you get anarchy. People just do what they want to do.
“The game has changed and it’s not about kicking people now but it is still about aggression. It’s about tracking runners, getting in behind teams, getting down the throats of opponents and really testing their touch.”