Freddie Ljungberg has his say on whether Ozil still has something to offer Arsenal

Former Arsenal player and interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has stated that Mesut Ozil should still be staring for Arsenal.

The former Swedish winger, who was speaking to The Athletic said that a solution could still be found for Mesut Ozil’s situation at Arsenal.

The former German international has been out in the cold at Arsenal this season as he has not been included in both the Premier League and Europa League squads for the club.

Despite being the club’s top earner, the former Real Madrid playmaker remains a spectator without a minute of football in any competition this season.

And now Ljungberg, who coached the player in his brief stint as the interim coach has offered his assessment of the situation.

Ljungberg believes that both club and player, who he says is still a great talent, need to come to a compromise to find a solution to the situation.

The Swede told The Athletic:

“Mesut is a great football player, we know that,”

“We all have different opinions and everybody needs to accept that people have different opinions.

“For me, maybe the way football has gone now sometimes he’s not as athletic defensively. Let’s say when you play Man City you don’t have the ball and need to just run after them, maybe you need more athletic players.

“What I tried to do, what I believed in, was that when you play teams who, on paper, you’re a bigger club than or you think they’ll have a low block and you need someone to unlock it, Mesut has the total quality to do that. I think there is a space for a player like that in those kinds of games.

“But then as well you need to have a communication with the player — not just Mesut, every player. There are different games that suit certain players and other games suit others. The days of playing every single minute of every game maybe are just not happening that often anymore.

“When I left in the summer he was in the squads and now he’s not. What’s happened there, I can’t answer. I don’t know if something else has happened, I have no clue. But if you look at pure football qualities, I think my answer is quite obvious.

“When I was interim coach, I would play him in the games when I thought he could unlock defences, even if I knew his defensive job was not as good as some other players. So that’s my opinion; there should be a space in certain games.”

Tags Freddie Ljungberg Mesut Ozil


  1. Freddie has said it all….Ozil should be playing without a doubt…nobody does it better in his position in this club…’s obvious his exclusion has nothing to do with his ability…..if it is claimed that the EPL is too physical,is the Europa too??

    1. It is not at Arteta fault if MO not playing. It was board that prevent him to pick Ozil. It was just internal problems between MO and board.

  2. So how many people have to voice their opinion about Ozil before we realize there is something fishy. Here is a previous coach who admits that Oil is a great player and should have a place on the team, yet MA insists that he was put aside just for football reasons. When you see the performance of our midfield and offense, what the coach says doesn’t add up.

  3. “For me, maybe the way football has gone now sometimes he’s not as athletic defensively.”

    I expect some people to only focus on that as a validation of their prejudice that Ozil just doesn’t cut it anymore in the League and they’ll rave about how MA dropped him purely for footballing reasons. They’ll completely ignore every other thing FL said.

    A previous article noted that Ozil was “holding us back”. And you wonder how far/well we’ve sailed since we ditched our “Jonah” from the boat. And please don’t tell me how we won an FA cup and CS without him. Dude has 3 FA cups and 1 CS to his name.

  4. The noise is deafening from those who are anti Ozil!!!

    Here is a fellow player, coach, manager and a true Gooner, coming out and officially giving his PROFESSIONAL opinion on the capability and worth of Mesut Ozil… it seems this statement has stunned MO’s knockers into a self denial mode!!!

    Nothing to do with him questioning MA’s decision by the way, just the first real take from somebody who has been there, seen it and done it.

    1. @ken
      Ljumberg dropped Ozil himself and you lot went for him then. Lol
      Ozil divides opinion wherever he goes. There must be a reason why.
      So, you can laud all the positive statements made by those football people backing Ozil but then get sensitive with those that say the opposite about Ozil. Picking and choosing what to believe and accept. 😊

      I know it’s really difficult for us all to accept defeat on anything dear to us. Our deep held beliefs and conclusions are a hard thing to let go. Like you and the Ozil thing. You can’t accept that you were wrong to over rate and overhype him.

      Again, you can all keep getting emotional and sensitive about the Ozil issue but reality does not care about our individual FEELINGS. Ozil had been exposed as an overrated and overhyped player in the EPL. He is finished, gone at the end of this season and you can’t change that.

      Madrid got rid.
      Arsenal can’t wait to get rid.
      Germany couldn’t wait for him to step down.

      All these 3 entities can’t all be wrong and you the Ozil fan-crowd being the correct / Right ones on this issue. Surely.

      1. Goonster, I thought you would react 🤔🤣.

        I’ve never over hyped MO, but what I have questioned is why he was dropped and how have we improved (that’s the key question – improved) without him.

        Why has Aubameyang’s goals dried up and why are we not creating?

        1. Ken: Allow me to answer your question.
          Ozil had been exposed as an under rated and under hyped player in the EPL. Why you might ask? We win when he plays and we loose when he doesn’t. Facts are facts and opinions without facts are just opinions.

          1. lcw, it’s so obvious, but folk are too prejudiced to see it and/or can’t admit to being wrong – if MA decides to still freeze MO out, I just hope ESR is given a chance before we haven’t to find a minimum of £40,000,000 to replace Ozil.

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