Cape Town - Newly-appointed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said all players
would start with a clean slate, after being asked about the future of
out-of-favour midfielder Mesut Ozil.
The Spaniard was confirmed as the Gunners' new head coach on
Friday, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal, and will be in the dugout for the
first time when he takes his new charges to Bournemouth on Boxing Day.
The former Manchester City assistant was in the stands to
watch the north Londoner's goalless draw with Everton on Saturday, a match Ozil
The official reason given for the German playmaker's absence
was a foot injury sustained in the 3-0 home loss to Manchester City.
However, there had been reports Ozil was left out of the
squad for the trip to Everton due to his reaction to being substituted in the
clash with City with interim boss Freddie Ljungberg confirming he had spoken to
him about his actions.
The former Real Madrid man's attitude and apparent lethargy
on the pitch has often riled sections of the Arsenal fanbase, who have called
on the club's top earner to do more to help the Gunners' cause.
Recent transfer speculation had suggested Ozil could be
allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium in January but Arteta has seemingly
refuted that by indicating he is ready to wipe the slate clean for the majority
of the squad.
When asked about Ozil's future, Arteta said: "You're
not going to be judged on what you done in the past, positive or negative.
"We will try to put the most competitive team out; we
are to be ready and nullify them as much as possible."
Granit Xhaka is another who could be offered a new beginning
having fallen out with the fans earlier in the season following his poor
reaction to being substituted in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
The Spaniard, who is taking on his first head coaching role
having worked as an assistant to Pep Guardiola at City for the last three
years, went on to say that he wanted the players to take "accountability"
for playing for Arsenal.
The 37-year-old also confirmed we will keep Ljungberg on as
part of his backroom staff, the former Arsenal midfielder having recently been
linked with a move to Swedish side Malmo.
- TeamTalk Media