Unai Emery explains why he dropped Mesut Ozil for Arsenal

The Arsenal manager sheds light on his decision to drop Mesut Ozil for Sunday's 2-1 win over Bournemouth

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil Photo: Puma

Unai Emery has suggested that Mesut Ozil wasn’t the right option for a “demanding” match at Bournemouth after the Arsenal star was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 2-1 win.

Ozil has made a mixed start to life under the Spanish head coach after subdued performances in Arsenal’s losses to Manchester City and Chelsea FC in the Premier League.

However, the World Cup winner was handed the captain’s armband for Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Leicester City in September, scoring a goal and making an assist at The Emirates.

Ozil has failed to contribute a goal or an assist in his last three Arsenal appearances as the north London side were held to successive draws with Crystal Palace, Liverpool FC and Wolves.

Emery made the controversial decision to drop Ozil to the bench for Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth and the move appeared to pay dividends given Arsenal eased to a 2-1 win over Bournemouth.

The Gunners star didn’t even make it off the bench at the Vitality Stadium as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a second-half winner for the Emirates Stadium outfit.

Speaking at his post-match media conference about the German star, Emery shed light on his decision to leave Ozil on the bench.

“We thought how we can be better in the match, a very demanding match with physicality and intensity,” Emery said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“But every player is important. We worked today and it is another possibility to improve or find our best performance in the squad.

“In the beginning of the season we were speaking every day about the need to be competitive. We need to be organised, we need the individual quality to improve our performance.

“It’s the same today. It depends. It depends how the match is going, what the result is. I decided for another option. We knew this is a difficult stadium, a difficult team.

“Seventeen matches we haven’t lost, but the last three matches we drew. We know that is not enough for us, for our objectives.”

Ozil signed a deal thought to be worth around £350,000 a week at the north London side in February 2018 to become the best-paid player in the club’s history.

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