needs to be roughed up if he is to turn his form around, according to club legend Tony Adams.

The Arsenal star has endured a slow start to the season, as his side began the campaign with back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and then local rivals Chelsea.

Adams captained Arsenal during a brilliant era of success under , but believes the current crop of players are too soft.


And Adams has taken aim at Ozil and believes he needs to be given the Dennis Bergkamp treatment by his team-mates.

‘If you have solidity and strength in your team, then Ozil is a great asset. He’s a World Cup winner and a class act,’ said Adams.

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‘He’s like Bergkamp, who cruised through his first couple of years at the Arsenal.

‘We had to get him a little bit toughened up but Ozil hasn’t got the people around him to push him and get him going.

‘There’s only so much a coach can do. It starts in training. We used to kick Dennis. (Steve) Bouldy would kick him up in the air again and again.

‘After a while of this he turned round and stamped on Bouldy and said ‘I’ve had enough of you effing kicking me, you’re going to get a little bit back here’.

‘We all said ‘aye, aye, he’s a got a bit about him — Hallelujah’.

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‘But it’s all become a little bit too nice there. You can’t criticise or say bad things.

‘When I was at the club, if people weren’t pulling their weight, I’d tell them. If you haven’t got leaders, you get anarchy. People just do what they want to do.

‘The game has changed and it’s not about kicking people now but it is still about aggression.

‘It’s about tracking runners, getting in behind teams, getting down the throats of opponents and really testing their touch.’

Unai Emery has spoken at length about getting the best out of Ozil, but so far has yet to inspire a noticeable turnaround at the club.

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Arsenal have an excellent chance to get the first points of their season with a home clash against West Ham on Saturday.



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