Unai Emery has been asked to strike a balance in his treatment of out-of-favour Mesut Ozil, according to the player's former boss Jose Mourinho.
The German was managed by Mourinho for about three years during their time together at Real Madrid and was a major component of his team before securing a then club-record switch to Arsenal in the summer of 2013.
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He has polarised opinion during his five-and-a-half years in north London and since signing a new deal last January, he has struggled to replicate his best form for Arsenal.
The Arsenal manager has almost not played Ozil in recent weeks and, despite a return to the squad for the German in the 2-0 win over Chelsea, he failed to get off the bench.
The Portuguese admitted he had no idea why Ozil had apparently failed to win over the Gunners’ boss but offered advice on how he managed him at Madrid.
“Honestly, I don't know what is going on,” he said.
“I don't know if he is having physical problems or not, I know that there was some problems relating to his contract.
“He's leaving on a free, he's not leaving on a free, he finally signed a contract and he decided to stay.
“There's not an issue with contract so I believe either there is something from the physical point of view or there is a confrontation of ideas with Unai.
“I think the nature of football is exactly this nature if Ozil plays amazingly well – maybe not with Unai – and maybe a certain player who I don't remember was phenomenal with Unai and he doesn't work as well with me.
“It's just the nature of empathy.
“I just feel that Ozil is the kind of player that needs both sides of it.
“By one side, if you are just sweet with him, you lose your natural aggression because he's not naturally very strong physical player in terms of aggression.
“If you are too strong with him and you forget that he also needs a little bit of care, a little bit of love, you don't find that balance so I think it's about finding the right balance with him.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago