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Ozil can inspire the Gunners to new heights, says Emery


New demands: Mesut Ozil will be expected to work harder for Arsenal

New demands: Mesut Ozil will be expected to work harder for Arsenal

New demands: Mesut Ozil will be expected to work harder for Arsenal

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has warned Mesut Ozil he must help his team-mates to defend as he calls for commitment from all of his players.

The Gunners travel to Chelsea this evening on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in Emery's first game in charge.

The Spaniard replaced Arsene Wenger in May and is attempting to introduce his own style and philosophy after more than two decades under the former manager. Playing out from the back is one of those changes, as is encouraging his players to press across the pitch - demanding more from his forwards as he looks to defend from the front.

Ozil has come in for criticism for a drop in effort at times but, under Emery's new system, Arsenal's highest-paid player will be expected to muck in.

The former Real Madrid man endured a tough summer, culminating in his acrimonious retirement from international duty with Germany following a disappointing World Cup.

When asked about the defensive duties placed on Ozil in the City game, Emery replied: "Every player needs to (defend) in the true moment of a match.

"There are defensive moments and attacking moments. Every player needs this commitment. For me, we need to start together, whether we are attacking or defending. I want that from every player.

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"The position, he (Ozil) is playing all his career like a number 10-player, like a right-winger going inside to receive the ball.

"It's clear he needs the ball more to give more options in the attacking moments. He needs to do (it) in each match, be demanding for us but defensive moments are for each and every player."

Emery stuck with a tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation against City but has hinted the system, as well as the personnel, could change until he finds the right formula.

"It depends on the performance and if the performance is good," he said when asked about trying different systems.

"I want to give them the chances in each match and maybe we need a lot of matches for the chances for every player but we started with the pre-season and every player is playing for chances and minutes and with all the competitions.

"We only play Sunday, Sunday, Sunday but in September we will start playing Sunday and Thursday and also we are going to play more matches and I think every player will get chances to show us his performance for the team."

Meanwhile, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard can be the best player in Europe - if he wants to be.

Hazard has often sparkled in six years at Chelsea, bringing comparisons with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Belgium playmaker could make his first start of the season in tonight's Premier League clash with Arsenal and will be expected to do well after a strong showing at the World Cup.

Sarri said: "We are talking about one of the most important players in Europe now but, in my opinion, he can improve more. He can be the first. It depends on him. The best for technical skill, the best for scoring, but I think it depends only on him. On his mind."

The 27-year-old is beginning his seventh season at Chelsea and has twice won the Premier League title. He hinted after helping Belgium finish third at Russia 2018 that he was ready for a new challenge.

Premier League fixtures: Today (3pm unless stated): Cardiff City v Newcastle United (12.30), Everton v Southampton, Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham v Fulham, West Ham v Bournemouth, Chelsea v Arsenal (5.30).

Tomorrow: Burnley v Watford (1.30), Manchester City v Huddersfield Town (1.30), Brighton v Manchester United (4pm).

Monday: Crystal Palace v Liverpool (8pm).

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