Arsene Wenger defends Mesut Ozil decision after Arsenal’s loss at Stoke
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger defends his decision not to play Mesut Özil from the start after loss to Stoke
Arsene Wenger stood by his decision not to start Mesut Ozil after Arsenal were beaten at Stoke.
Ozil, who sat out last weekend’s win over Sunderland, replaced Lukas Podolski in the 66th minute at the Britannia Stadium before Jonathan Walters netted a 76th-minute penalty to dent Arsenal’s title hopes.
Wenger said that the playmaker could have started the game but insisted that he introduced the Germany international at the “right moment”.
“He was fit to start,” said Wenger. “He has played many many games. He came on at the right moment I think. But we just conceded a goal.
I felt we had a good defensive performance and overall we are unlucky to lose this game
“When we started to pin them back on that long ball we were dominating. We had some dangerous situations even if we did’t have any clear-cut chances but we conceded that penalty.”
Wenger, whose side are now four points behind league leaders Chelsea, felt that his side did not deserve to be beaten by the Potters.
“I felt we had a good defensive performance and overall we are unlucky to lose this game,” he continued.
“Offensively we didn’t create enough and our offensive game was poor considering our standards. At the end of the day we didn’t score because of that.
“We conceded a goal that was a nice gift from the referee but it can happen.”