Mikel Arteta knows that he will get his share of criticism for leaving out Mesut Ozil from the Arsenal FC squad for the 2020-21 season. And regardless of what most may think, he is comfortable and standing by his decision. But along with that comes some frustration because the 38-year-old coach failed to achieve in drawing the best out of the German defender.

The omission of Ozil was hardly a surprise. Most expected it considering the 32-year-old defender has yet to see action since the football restart. Despite getting ample playing time before the COVID-19 pandemic, things just changed. Some allege that this had something to do with Ozil’s attitude but Arteta stressed that it had nothing to do with his behavior, Sky Sports reported.

"He has had the opportunities like everybody else. I'm sad that I had to leave three players out of this list but I tried to look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it,” Arteta said. "It's nothing related to [Ozil's] behavior. It's my decision."

Oddly, Arteta said that he came close to unleashing the best out of Ozil. Unfortunately, that came short of meeting his expectations, hinting that there could be more to what he was looking for in the German player.

"My job is to get the best out of every player to contribute to the team performance," Arteta said. "At the moment I feel that I have failed because I want the best possible Mesut for the team.”

In a previous post, Ozil aired his dismay on his Instagram account. The German mentioned how his loyalty to the Gunners practically went to waste although he is not giving up. He vows to continue to fight for a chance to play even if the outlook is not looking so good.

"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," Ozil said.

Arteta understands the sentiment of Ozil and where he is coming from. He says that everyone is free to express their feelings but reiterated that it was his decision and that his conscience was clear.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal Getty Images | Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool