Mikel Arteta says his conscience is clear and he’s comfortable looking Mesut Ozil in the eye after axing him from his Arsenal squad.
Ozil slammed the club in an angry statement on Wednesday after learning his Gunners career is all but finished.
Arteta has left the German out of his 25-man squad for both the Europa League and now the Premier League meaning Ozil cannot feature for Arsenal until at least February.
But the Gunners boss says he has no regrets over his decision.
“My conscience is very calm because I have been very fair with him,” said Arteta. “I have to try and look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it.
“I have this feeling with Mesut.”
Arteta continued: “Honestly I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players.
In some moments I was able to get close to that and at the moment I’ve not been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out.
“Here I feel at the moment, today, that I have failed. I want the best possible Mesut for the team.”
“It is my responsibility. It is nothing related to any behaviour or pay cuts. It’s not true. It’s my decision.”
His statement on Wednesday read: “I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I’ve not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being.
“Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.
“As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays.
“I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.
“Before the Coronavirus outbreak I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way I would say my performances were on a really good level.
“But then things changed, again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.”