Not using Ozil is simply poor decision making by Emery

.Mesut Ozil, Unai Emery and Arsenal by Uche

Football as a collective sport is a strange game. It has so many aspects to it that it is nearly impossible to get a unanimous decision on any one thing. When you are playing golf for instance and you underperform, obviously it is your fault. You have no teammates. It is just you. Football, however, is the one sport where an entire team can be atrocious in their performance and only one or two people get blamed for it. Specifically, people like Mesut Ozil and Paul Pogba. This is a serious matter, because until we come to grips with this problem, the same issues will continue to plague us.

Arsenal has had a lot of problems since the Invincibles were dismantled. I will not go into the details because most of us are familiar with this story. But one of the biggest problems we have right now is poor decision making. So today I want to talk about that decision making because we are struggling to create chances and win games. We have some decent players in our ranks. When you have players like Aubameyang, Pepe, Lacazette, Ozil, Tierney and Ceballos in your team and still lose to teams like Sheffield United, you cannot just blame it on talent. A lot of it has to do with decision making. For instance, how is it that virtually every Arsenal player minus Aubameyang underperforms but still gets into that team? Yet Mesut Ozil, our most creative player by a mile, cannot even make the bench? That is just poor decision making. This is clearly not about performance. It is about the money he earns. But he didn’t steal that money. We agreed to pay him that money and when we made the decision to pay him 350k a week rather than lose him and Sanchez on a free, we knew Ozil had become inconsistent with his performances. Yet we gave him that contract. And he is not the only inconsistent player in our ranks. Don’t even get me started with our defenders and goalie.

To cut a long story short, the season has not gone far. We still have time to put a few things right and perhaps qualify for Champions league. We need to make better decisions, tactically and otherwise. For a start, don’t freeze out your most creative player when no other player can do it better. That is foolish and irresponsible. If you were my boss and your idea of punishing me for ‘underperforming’ in your company is to pay me a pile of money and give me no work to do, you are even worse at your job than I am.

Ozil is going nowhere. For that amount of money, he will run down his contract and you have to pay him anyway. So, play him! At least make him work for his money and for the benefit of the team. Xhaka gets into that same team in spite of countless terrible performances and there are others like him in there. Don’t tell me this is about merit. Willock, Saka, Ceballos and others may work harder and show more zeal, still, all of them combined cannot match the wizardry of Ozil. No pun intended.

There are some things you just cannot coach. Let us use Ozil to our benefit while we have him. That is smart decision making. Look at all the chances we created against Liverpool in that Carabao cup. When was the last time we scored five goals in a game? We have got Wolves next and that is one team that knows how to bite. Get Ozil back in that starting lineup for God’s sake!

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria


  1. I’d rather boo Emery not the players.
    We need to send this dude back to Transylvania ASAP before 4th place finish is out of reach. Realistically that’s the highest point I see Arsenal reaching this season considering the way we’ve flattered to deceive in every match we’ve played in EPL this season. I can’t name a match in EPL this season where we’ve been able to show our best only flashes. Only one moment I can recall was the first half against watford, the only EPL match Ozil started I think. I remembered the bubble of optimism surrounding the club when we started this season. Everyone was conviced our squad was good enough for a top 3 finish and our front three is as good as Liverpool. While they haven’t really played together enough to suggest they won’t reach the level, the crucial thing lacking in the Arsenal starting 11 in EPL this season is the inability to attain balance. Look at Man city, Liverpool, Chelsea even Leicester you can hardly find and overly weak link in the group and that’s the thing we are lacking. The main culprit is none other than Mr Dracula our clueless manager. Xhaka has never excelled as a holding midfielder even when he had Ramsey and torriera covering for him. He still makes mistakes consistently, llike mustafi, yet the manager ignores and keep on using him in a position where it’s obvious there are better candidates (torriera played the position well last season and chambers show enough at Fulham at the position to be their player of the season). Freezing ozil out allegedly for lack of effort. I remembered how Ozil played in the preseason. He was playing with a point to prove. But since we got Ceballos ( who is on Ozil level in any playmaking aspect) and isn’t even a traditional 10, we expect him to be our courting o or Silva, guess what? Ceballos hasn’t been good but not outstanding this season and might need more time and our strikers may try but they aren’t built to create chances themselves and score except for Pepe who seem to have forgotten one pair of his scoring boots in France

  2. If I were Emery I will give Ozil a run of 10 premier league games and if he fails to deliver then axing him out will be justified.

    There is some sort of pressure on him so he should convert that to positive energy and deliver on the pitch.

    1. I agree, let’s give him a final chance. I am sure Arsenal wont have worse results then without him.
      …but Emery is clear problem, cos I dnt see him change, forget his Sevilla glory days, and understand that Arsenal will never be Sevilla.

  3. Ozil was not the only underperformers last season, but he rarely became the game changer and he could not carry the team either. He has had too many chances to perform as a no 10, but he always disappointed

    If two assists in a whole season is what you call wizardry, I think some fans have lowered their standards or they are simply delusional because of Ozil’s fancy touches. Assign Ceballos as no 10 for five games in a row and we might see the difference

    Using a demotivated and lacklustre no 10 that has disappointed for many seasons is not a smart decision. It’s better to gamble on Ceballos first, since he hasn’t failed us yet

    1. It’s true last season was not good for Ozil, but except for 2 assists, he did score 5 goals from only 11 shots.

      Don’t judge Ozil by last season after such a long career. His 3 starts this year have yielded on average better performances than Ceballos who HAS been playing regularly.

      And no matter how many time facts are shown to you, you always harp about last season and then say he’s been crap ‘for years’.

    2. Fans only look at the end product but overlook his other contribution on the pitch. Last season or so, he was the player who made the most successful passes in the opposition’s third. Nowadays we spend so little time in that area and no build up plays whatsoever, no wonder we struggled to score goals. Keep on believing pre-assist is a myth 😂

  4. Exactly.

    Remember why people were calling for Ozil to be dropped in the first place: he was ineffective, made poor decisions and didn’t track back. He came across as lazy and demotivated. This is why he was dropped. I assume this is what Emery sees in training as well which is why he won’t play him, as others work harder.

    Yes he played well against Liverpool and created a lot but there were 3 very inexperienced players in that defence. If we’d been playing a full strength ‘Pool side it would have been a different matter.

    People are quick to forget why something happened in the first place when the alternative looks like the obvious answer to our current problems.

    1. If you think Ozil’s passes against Liverpool were good because of their young defenders, you should learn more about football.

      At best you could MAYBE say it was PARTIALLY because of their mediocre midfielders, but their midfielders were Milner, Lallana, Oxlade – not exactly an U23 trio is it?

      1. Oh OK, so the tactical awareness, positioning, and marking of their back line has nothing to do with the amount of opportunities created by the attacking team?

        Learn more about football. Nice one 👍🏻

  5. @gotanidea
    If your argument is that Ozil underperformed last season then I think you should agree he should be given a chance this season like Xhaka had been given. Ozil has always been blamed for Arsenal’s poor performances but how can you explain this season. You can’t expect Ozil to flourish in a team that has no proper midfield balance.
    Ceballos needs time and is not helped by Emery shuffling his positions. That was why he struggled in Madrid.
    I’m not saying Ozil deserves to start every match. Infact I don’t think he should start most of away matches because of previous record with them but he should have been given a chance like Mustafi and Xhaka. You can’t tell me Ozil is worse than either

  6. Off topic

    Did anyone read Xhaka’s statement in full? It’s worded in such a way that he doesn’t openly apologize in my opinion.

    He acknowledges his poor reaction, but only said sorry for those fans who thought he was disrespectful. Implying that his actions could be subjective.

    Very disappointing, and I get the feeling he wouldn’t mind being out of the team anyway, when we also consider his maternity leave comments.

    Maybe am I reading too much into it, or that his statement is just poorly worded, but I am not getting a lot of sincerity from it.

    1. Apparently TMJW, the original statement was in German and it’s the translation which is wrong as pointed out by a Swiss fan on another blog.

    2. @ThirdmanJW
      Youre are reading too much into it.
      I read it also and feel he got his point across and was sincere enough in explaining the situation from his side. He doesn’t have to apologise for being human, or for defending his actions. Fans like you who think he does, need to cop on and get over yourselves. He owes you F all…

      1. You’re definitely wrong about him not having to apologize NY_Gunner, unless you think 99.9% of pundits, ex-pros, fans, journalists, etc have got it wrong? In fact, I am yet to see a single person saying otherwise. So you’re definitely in the 0.01% on this one.

        So I guess you wouldn’t mind our players regularly telling us to f*** o** then? Clearly you wouldn’t even want an apology.

  7. Emery said he was a ‘coward’ when he played football professionally and now he’s also a coward as a professional coach too,END OF STORY! NOBODY is to blame for this mess except him, he made his bed and now let him rot in it until he f”ks off to wherever he came from! Ozil really is right in his caption ‘you make me laugh’ dig at him, how he landed this job out of all those so called contenders makes you really laugh. It’s like the one time James Bond movie actor George laizenby story but in emery’s case a fiasco!

  8. I think it will be terrible to have Ozil and Xhaka in the same midfield.

    With Gunedouzi’s recent performances he should not be dropped. So imagine a midfield of Ozil, Xhaka and Gunedouzi?!

    That midfield will be run pass by easily.

    So one of Ozil or Xhaka has to be dropped.


    Aubameyang, Ozil, Pepe…

    Gunedouzi, Xhaka…

    Tierney, Luiz, Holding, Bellerin…


    Is this line up strong enough?!!!

  9. Unfortunately I think Xhaka should now be dropped in place of Ozil and Torreira joins them in the midfield 3.

    Torreira and Guendouzi should be able to do some sort of marking to reduce the defensive pressure on Ozil.

    If I were Emery I will test this line up against Wolves.


    Aubameyang, Ozil, Pepe…

    Guendouzi, Torreira…

    Tierney, Luiz, Sokratis, Bellerin…


  10. I agree with the post is most respects, but what I cannot agree with is the sentence that days that Özil is not being selected because of his salary. That is the stupidest thing I have seen on this site, and believe me, we all have been guilty of making stupid comments. Please inform us on what basis this is being broadcast?

    That statement is grossly unfair to both Emery and Özil. There is no evidence to suggest such a thing. Sure, there are reasons why Emery does not, or did not pick him, but to suggest it is because of his salary???

    1. First of all, don’t call my opinion stupid. Calm down and articulate your own argument. The issue with Ozil is about money because paying him that much when we are no longer earning the kind of money we used to earn when we were playing Champions league football, has become a burden on the club’s wallet. So by freezing him out, the manager and club are trying to make him leave. So yes it is about money. Secondly, the club is terrified of keeping Ozil because better performing players like Auba and Laca will demand pay parity. It is all about money my friend. That is also why we let Ramsey leave in his prime. Money! He was demanding pay parity with Ozil and at first we agreed but then we began to see that this could be a slippery slope because other big players would demand big pay packets as well. So we pulled back from the deal. Ramsey said so himself. That is why we let Ramsey leave and that is why we are currently trying to push Ozil out. Money. So don’t call my opinions stupid. Feel free to counter it with an intelligent argument of your own. But no name calling necessary.

      1. I am not going to speculate on speculation. Where are the facts and the actual evidence to back up what you’re saying? Did someone in the club management actually say that? Did the player say it?

        If we have evidence of truth, we can argue, but until then, my position remains unchanged.

        1. Josh Kroenke said, “It’s no secret that we have a Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget right now. That’s a fact. And one that we’re figuring out how to face internally at the moment. That doesn’t mean that my father or I have ever said anything about any restrictions on spending. We know where we need to be and we know the areas we need to address on the pitch.”

          That’s a fact, Raul is working on the reduction of our wage bill.

  11. By continuing to play Socratis and Luis in tandem you fail to remedy our defensive problems.They are both inadequate and at their age they will never improve and will therefor continue to be liabilities who will be exposed by our opponents starting with Wolves tomorrow.Sorry to sound so gloomy but even if we had a strong midfield and attack we would continue to ship goals.Our back four should consist of Bellerin,Chambers, Holding and Tierney.The sooner they are played together the better.Xhaka should be left out on the basis of his playing ability, nothing else.

    1. To a certain degree I agree with you Grandad.

      However Sokratis and Luiz have both made improvements in their game – Sok wrestles less, Luiz fouls less and both have slightly improved their positioning. Nothing revolutionary, but as you pointed out its hard to change their game at their stage of their career, improvement is still improvement though.

      The other problem is that Holding is not ready to step back into the PL squad. I, like almost everyone else, was hoping that Holding would come back with his pre-injury form intact. Sadly (as was to be probably expected) this just hasn’t been the case and he has looked out of sorts in the last two games he did play. Chambers may get moved across to CB once Bellerin is ready to take back his RB spot (looks about ready now imo) but Holding still needs some time.

      This has left us with no other options other than Luiz and Sok as the CB options 🤷‍♂️

      With regards to Xhaka – I agree he should be replaced in the squad as we have better options and can make a much better balance now, but I can see where he fitted into the squad and setup we have been playing so far and why Emery has persisted with playing him. He is much better suited to stepping back into the backline to help with long balls over the top and clearances than any other midfielder so far including Torreira. Add on his long range passing as another strength to help set forwards going from a defensive set up and its not hard to see why he has got given the game time imo 🤷‍♂️

  12. “If you were my boss and your idea of punishing me for ‘underperforming’ in your company is to pay me a pile of money and give me no work to do, you are even worse at your job than I am.”

    This is so true 😂

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