Mesut Ozil has become a subject of huge debate at the Arsenal. The German playmaker is considered one of the best players in the world in his position, but he has failed to impress Unai Emery since the Spaniard has taken charge of the club.
Ozil is currently the highest-paid player at the club, but he has played just one league game this season. In the recent weeks, Emery has refrained from including the 31-year-old even in his match-day squads, and his decision has perplexed the majority of the club’s fanbase. Furthermore, the Spaniard manager has also shied away from giving any substantial explanation of Ozil’s omission from his squad.
Fans’ dissatisfaction with Emery over Ozil amongst other things hit the peak last week when the Gunners blew up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace at the Emirates. During the frustrating second half of the game, Arsenal fans could be heard chanting Ozil’s name at full volume. It appears that the message was received by the people-in-charge at the club, and subsequently Ozil was given a spot in the starting eleven for the Carabao Cup tie with Liverpool on Wednesday.
Ozil turned it around for himself at Anfield
The German playmaker was arguably the best player on the pitch before he was withdrawn by Emery in the 65th-minute. He was heavily involved in Arsenal’s first and third goals, and he produced a brilliant assist for the fourth.
The decision to withdraw Ozil, while the game was still hanging in balance, further confused some fans. However, following the game, Emery cleared that it was pre-decided that the playmaker would not play the entire game.
The Arsenal manager also revealed that he was pleased with Ozil’s performance and that the 31-year-old could feature against Wolverhampton Wolves on Saturday.
“He played as we want, with experience and his skill to help the team,” Emery said.
“We decided beforehand that it was better for him to have a rest. He worked really well for 65 minutes.
“In my mind is the possibility to use him again (in the Premier League).”
Arsenal did bow out to Liverpool on penalties in the end, but Ozil’s performance on the night was more significant for the fans. The North London side have severely lacked creativity in the midfield as they continue to struggle in the league. Following a bright start to the season, they have already fallen four points behind the top-four. Furthermore, their recent performances don’t inspire much confidence. The free-flowing football from Arsene Wenger’s days has disappeared and the team often find itself labouring for points in games.
However, the thought of Ozil’s return to the starting eleven has reignited some hope among the fanbase. If he is given an opportunity this weekend, all eyes will be on him.