Unai Emery discusses Mesut Ozil’s reaction to Arsenal substitution
The Arsenal manager was fine with Mesut Ozil's reaction to being substituted at Crystal Palace on Sunday
Unai Emery has insisted that Mesut Ozil’s disgruntled reaction to being substituted was “normal” in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The former Germany international started the Premier League clash at Selhurst Park as the World Cup winner looked to build upon an impressive performance at The Emirates last week.
Ozil scored one goal and made one assist in a 3-1 victory over Leicester City at The Emirates last week as the stand-in captain produced his best display under Emery so far.
However, the Arsenal manager opted to withdraw Ozil in the 68th minute with the clash delicately poised at 2-1.
The German star threw his gloves to the ground and stormed to the bench in a clear show of dissatisfaction with the manager’s decision to sacrifice Ozil for Danny Welbeck.
Arsenal ended up drawing 2-2 with Palace after Luka Milivojevic netted a late equaliser for home side.
However, Emery accepted that Ozil’s reaction was perfectly normal when asked about the German playmaker during his post-match media conference at Selhurst Park.
“It is normal not to be happy,” Emery said.
“I like the players like him who show the character when we are not playing well, and when I substituted him at 2-1 usually every player wants to continue playing.”
Welbeck was unable to inspire the Gunners to a 12th successive victory in all competitions as Palace became the first Premier League club to deny Emery’s side since Chelsea FC in August.
Quizzed about his decision to sacrifice Ozil for Welbeck in the second half, the Arsenal manager said:
“In the last match away in the Premier League, against Fulham, we played like that and did a very good job.
“I think we lost a little of our possession with the ball and the match was more about the transition, like in our last matches.
“Also, with Danny and Laca, I wanted to find one good transition between two players and also more goals. Also, in free-kicks defensively, they were pushing and put a ninth player on the pitch for free-kicks to find more chances to score. Danny Welbeck is very good in these situations, both defensively and offensively.”
Ozil moved to Arsenal in a £42.5m deal from La Liga side Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window to improve their attacking options under Arsene Wenger.
While the 30-year-old won three FA Cup titles under the Frenchman, Ozil was unable to fire the Gunners to their first Premier League title since 2004.
Ozil will be hoping to start against Liverpool FC at The Emirates in their next Premier League game on Saturday 3 November.