Wednesday 12 December 2018

Joachim Low not snubbed by Arsenal

Germany boss spoke to Academy chief Per Mertesacker at the Gunners’ training centre.

Joachim Low was at Arsenal’s training ground to visit Per Mertesacker, centre, and not Mesut Ozil, left (Mike Egerton/PA)
Joachim Low was at Arsenal’s training ground to visit Per Mertesacker, centre, and not Mesut Ozil, left (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Germany coach Joachim Low was not banned from Arsenal’s training ground and visited to talk to academy boss Per Mertesacker rather than Mesut Ozil.

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Gunners head coach Unai Emery had prevented Low from entering Arsenal’s London Colney base as he sought reconciliation with Ozil, who recently retired from international football under a cloud

But Press Association Sport understands Low was actually in Hertfordshire to talk to Mertesacker – who was appointed as the head of the club’s academy at the end of last season.

It is believed Ozil, 29, was not present at the training ground at the time but that Low did briefly chat to Germany international pair Bernd Leno and Shkodran Mustafi.

After a disappointing World Cup for both Ozil and Germany, who finished bottom of their group in Russia, the former Real Madrid man announced his international retirement in July.

Ozil accused the German Football Association of treating him with “racism and disrespect”, claims which have been derided by many of his former international colleagues.

Speaking ahead of Germany’s opening Nations League match against France earlier in September, Low also shot down Ozil’s reasons.

“There has never been any form of racism in our team, so it’s not a topic at all,” he said at his press conference.

“The DFB (German Football Association) are against any sort of racism or discrimination, and we have followed this approach for years.

“He’s said he’s going to step down. Are there any questions open? He’s said he doesn’t want to play, he told us his thoughts, I don’t know why we should we keep talking about it.

“He was part of the team for a long time but not any more. For this team it’s over and he’s not part of our routine any more.”

Emery has been demanding more out of Ozil since he replaced Arsene Wenger in the Arsenal hot-seat, with the club’s former record-signing seemingly responding as his performances have improved of late.

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