English Premiership

Emery plays down Ozil rift reports

Mesut Ozil (Getty Images)
Mesut Ozil (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Arsenal manager Unai Emery has played down reports of a rift between himself and German playmaker Mesut Ozil.

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Emery left Ozil out of his squad for last month's 3-1 victory over West Ham United, with reports suggesting the two had fallen out. The former Paris Saint-Germain boss, however, insisted Ozil was ill.

Ozil returned to the starting XI for the Gunners' 3-2 win over Cardiff City before the international break. Having made himself unavailable for selection by Germany, the former Real Madrid star spent three days training under Emery. The Arsenal boss described this time as "relaxing".

Of his relationship with the 29-year-old, Emery said: "[We get on] very well. Here for me it isn't for a lot of the time speaking about what people are telling us.

"I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances."

The Gunners will visit Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 14h00 GMT.

Fixtures
Thu 02 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
Liverpool
Etihad Stadium
Sat 04 Jul 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Carrow Road
Sat 04 Jul 20 16:00 PM (SAST)
Leicester City
Crystal Palace
King Power Stadium
Results
Thu 02 Jul 20
Sheffield United 3
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wed 01 Jul 20
West Ham United 3
Chelsea 2
Wed 01 Jul 20
AFC Bournemouth 1
Newcastle United 4
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
31
28
86
2. Manchester City
31
20
63
3. Leicester City
32
16
55
4. Chelsea
32
16
54