Arsenal boss Unai Emery has claimed that Mesut Ozil's decision to withdraw himself from availability for international selection will benefit the Gunners this season, while dismissing reports of any rift between the pair.
The German called it quits internationally following Germanys shock World Cup exit earlier this summer, citing racism and abuse as his part of the reason for his retirement. And new boss Emery has said that, with the player now solely focused on his Arsenal career, the team will reap the rewards.
"First the players have the habits to play in the international break, in important matches, defending their identity and when one player is finishing that, I think it is also good for them to focus only on their team," Emery told the Gunners' official website.
"The reason for Mesut is important for me also, this focus every day with us, a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut, like other players, works very well here and also working the ties and also together to improve things. Mesut, I look at him with the focus totally here."
Asked how the player felt having stayed back for the first international break since his retirement announcement, Emery noted that Ozil looked happy and was working very well.
"The first time, maybe, he could feel different but every day with us in the work," he explained. "I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands every day."
In response to a question regarding his relationship with the former Germany international, Emery replied: "[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.
"Also I read this week in the newspapers in the match against Manchester City I say to the [groundsman], ‘Don’t put water on the pitch’ - it’s not true!
"This is the moment to say to you that I have a good relationship with Mesut and I didn’t say it to the groundsman not to water on the pitch, it’s not true. We are continuing our process with our positive things and our work."