Arsenal manager Unai Emery explains Mesut Ozil absence: ‘I picked players who deserved to play’

For the second time this season Emery snubbed Ozil due to 'tactical reasons'

Luke Brown
London Stadium
Saturday 12 January 2019 16:31
Comments
Arsenal boss Unai Emery explains Mesut Ozil absence for West Ham game

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said that he “chose the players who deserved to play” in the club’s 1-0 defeat by West Ham on Saturday, having once again left Mesut Ozil out of his matchday squad.

Ozil has not featured for Arsenal since he was substituted at half-time in the 1-1 draw with Brighton on Boxing Day. Since then he has struggled with a knee injury but earlier this week Emery confirmed he had returned to full training.

It is the second time this season that Emery has left the club’s highest paid player out of his matchday squad because of ‘tactical reasons’ rather than injury, with the Arsenal manager suggesting after the loss to West Ham that Ozil was undeserving of a place in his squad.

“I can say this week that he has worked normally [in training],” Emery said at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“But, like I have said, we have won with him and lost with him, and today I chose the players who deserved to play in this match.

“I decided that these players were the best for this match.

“We had enough players to win today. The quality is there. And I chose the players who deserved to play in this match.”

Arsenal were desperately poor in their loss to West Ham, a result which could see them fall six points behind top four rivals Chelsea ahead of their crunch match next Saturday.

Declan Rice fired West Ham into a thoroughly deserved second-half lead, after the home side had dominated the first-half. Emery responded by introducing Aaron Ramsey but lacked other attacking options on the bench, instead turning to defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira and full-back Hector Bellerin.

Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal's squad 

“It is a bad result,” said Emery, who may yet see his side drop to sixth if Manchester United beat Tottenham by three goals or more at Wembley on Sunday.

“The gameplan and the control that we needed — we cannot do that like we did here. We did not concede a lot of chances but we conceded metres on the pitch and they took a lot from corners, especially from the one they scored.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in