I have been saying for some time that Unai Emery was gambling with his Arsenal future by phasing out Ramsey and Ozil, so our defeat in the Europa League could prove a turning point in his reign. Some Gooners have defended our manager for not selecting based on reputation but the argument has never been that Ozil hasn’t any flaws, more a question mark about were those replacing him any better? How many away games have the team been lacking any creativity? Yet we are meant to believe a man with most assists since arriving in North London doesn’t tactically suit some matches.
The League is one thing, knockout football is another. Mess around with our most realistic route to get back into the Champions League and suddenly the boss’s employers will ask questions? Stan Kroenke has a right to ask if a team can’t break down minnows, what’s someone on a reported 350,000 pounds a week doing back in the UK?
It makes next Thursday massive for Emery. He may have to swallow his pride and admit he was wrong about Ozil. Continuing to pick Iwobi over him is cutting your nose off to spite your face. I read on social media some Gooners point out that this remains Arsene Wenger’s squad. With that excuse, Emery can never do anything wrong.
This wasn’t the Champions of Spain we lost to, it was the best team in Belarus. But if you want to make comparisons? We beat the same team 4-2 last year with our fringe players. Also, I don’t think Wenger would field a back 5, 2 DMs, and drop Ramsey and Ozil in a must-win situation. Emery knows we need goals in the 2nd leg. Failure to advance will go down as one of our most humiliating results. If that happens while our best player sits at home, that’s a sackable offence.
Ozil, who has made sure to send out photos of himself fit and training, will realise that Emery’s lost huge credit with Gooners and might yet win this power battle…