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Emery reveals concerning reason Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s win over Liege

Unai Emery has claimed Mesut Ozil didn’t deserve a place in his squad for Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday.


Unai Emery has claimed Mesut Ozil didn’t deserve a place in his squad for Arsenal’s 4-0 victory over Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Ozil was left out of the squad that drew 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night with many assuming the German playmaker would then be recalled for the visit of Standard Liege.

Emery made wholesale changes to his starting eleven for the Europa League group stage clash but it was a huge surprise when Ozil was once again left out of the squad when the teams were announced last night.

Dani Ceballos was handed a start alongside Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock in midfield while Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles supported youngster Gabriel Martinelli in attack meaning there was no place for Ozil.

The former Real Madrid superstar wasn’t even named on the bench with Emery opting for Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac, Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his outfield subs.

Speaking after the 4-0 victory over Standard Liege last night, Emery confirmed Ozil’s absence was strictly tactical as he felt other players deserved their place in the Arsenal squad ahead of him.

Emery told

on why Ozil wasn’t included in the matchday squad…
I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us. When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.

on what Ozil has to do to get back in the squad…
He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same. Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match.

If Emery feels Maitland-Niles deserved to start in attack more than Ozil then fair enough but to not have him on the bench was an insult considering the amount of changes he made and the level of opposition.

Last night was the perfect opportunity to give Ozil some minutes but instead Emery chose to freeze him out even further, deepening what has already become a hugely concerning situation at Arsenal.

Ozil doesn’t deserve to start right now, no doubt about that and it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions without knowing the full story, but he doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s getting from Emery.

He’s one of Arsenal’s most talents players and by far the highest earner at the club so the manager should be finding a way to get the best out of him, not freezing him out of the squad. Mesut has played just 142 minutes during two appearances all season so Arsenal are wasting millions in wages without getting anything in return.

It’s obvious the boss wants Ozil out of Arsenal as soon as possible but for as long as he’s still at the club, Emery should be looking to utilise him when possible so it’s a concern that he didn’t take the opportunity last night to get him back on the field.

The worry is the rift between Ozil and Emery may start to overshadow any good work that’s being done on the pitch so the sooner the situation is resolved, the better for Arsenal FC.

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