If there was one Arsenal player that I expected to get the old shepherd’s crook from Arsene Wenger then it was Mesut Ozil. But maybe the fact that the boss left the German on for the whole 90 minutes of torture against Monaco on Wednesday showed that Wenger has a blind spot when it comes to our club record signing.
And the inclusion of Ozil is not the only surprise because there is no Theo Walcott in the starting line up once again, or Tomas Rosicky, as Giroud, Cazorla and Coquelin keep their places. In fact the only two changes are at the back, with the tired and jaded looking Per Mertesacker dropping out in favour of the January transfer window signing Gabriel. And Oxlade-Chamberlain is rewarded for his abysmal gifting of that killer third goal with a starting place with Welbeck dropping to the bench.
I hope of course that the players respond to Wenger’s loyalty by putting right all the mistakes made in the Champions League. But if they don’t then the Frenchman will have some serious questions to answer about why he would stick with the same team that was so poor just a few short days ago.
And you have to wonder what the likes of Walcott and Rosicky think about it all…