Neil Warnock has no doubt Mesut Ozil will come good again with Unai Emery’s Arsenal – but would welcome the star playmaker to Cardiff City if things do not work out.
Ozil sat out the Gunners’ 3-1 win over West Ham last weekend through illness, with head coach Emery forced to deny reports of a rift between himself and the former Real Madrid player.
International retirement following Germany’s World Cup exit has also contributed towards a turbulent spell for Ozil but, as Cardiff prepare to host Arsenal on Sunday, Warnock has backed him to turn things around.
“Players play for certain managers and, for whatever reason, with others they don’t,” he said.
“When you’re a top player like Ozil is – seen it all and done it all- it’s only a matter of time until players like that click.”
Asked whether he felt Ozil would play in the Welsh capital, Warnock jokingly replied: “I’ve got enough worries. He can come and play for me if he wants.”
Cardiff’s veteran manager professed his admiration for ex-Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss Emery but also reflected fondly upon his previous jousts with Arsene Wenger.
“I’ve been pitting my wits against Wenger for so many years it’s untrue really,” Warnock said.
“My favourite story is when I went with Sheffield United for my 1000th game at the Emirates. We’re in the centre circle and I’m looking up to Arsene and I said: ‘Look at the dugouts Arsene, they’re miles away. You’ll not hear me today.’
“And he looked nonchalantly at both dugouts and said: ‘Neil, you will find a way.’
“I’ve had some good times with Arsene and I was sad – the grass is not always greener but I like the new chap.
“I like Emery. I think he’s got great vision and he’s got some good players, hasn’t he? The top six clubs we look on with envy when you look at the players they have, but it’s great to pit your wits against them.”