Ozil must NOT start for Arsenal but SHOULD feature

Arsene Wenger is a big fan of the Arsenal and Germany international star Mesut Ozil, clearly. The Frenchman would not have made the creative midfielder his record signing or kept putting him in the Arsenal starting line-up when all the TV pundits and many fans were on his back if he did not rate the player highly.

And that was evident again today as he spoke about the German star in his pre-match press conference reported by Arsenal.com. Not only did the manager wax lyrical about the qualities of Ozil and what he adds to the team, Wenger suggested that having players like Ozil, Giroud and Koscielny back from lengthy injury spells could benefit us as they will be much fresher than those who have played most of the games in the first half of the season.

The Arsenal boss said, “He is an exceptional football player. He always gives you continuity in your game. He’s a very creative player and ideally you want all your best players available.

“The advantage of these players – for example Giroud, Koscielny, Debuchy, Ozil – at the moment where most of the players in the league have played 26 or 27 games in their legs, they have four or five.

“If we can get them ready and fresh and competitive, it can give us a new [impetus].”

The manager also revealed that the German was back in training and would definitely be in the Arsenal squad for the visit of Stoke City to the Emirates stadium on Sunday.

Wenger said, “He will have a training session on Friday with the squad. He will certainly be available for selection on Sunday. Will I start him or not? I haven’t decided yet.”

Let me help you Arsene, and explain why it would be a big mistake to start Ozil against the Potters. For all his qualities, Ozil is not the man for a physical battle and that is what we can expect from Stoke. Ozil is a bit rusty as well and after so long out through injury, he is not going to be up to the frenetic speed that I expect and he is not going to be throwing himself into tackles.

Arsenal cannot afford to carry any passengers against a determined and physical opponent, especially in the midfield area and we do not want Ozil to come back and perform badly either, as it would do nothing for his confidence. But as long as we can stand up to that at the start, the game could be perfect for Ozil to come on and use his skills against a tiring team in the last 20 minutes or so. Do you agree Gooners?

Tags Stoke Wenger


  1. Great to have Ozil back, but agree he should come on as sub.
    Cazorla has been in great form and should not be replaced as central MF.
    Big question is should Theo start against the boot boys? Good to have Giroud back, but he owes us big time.

    1. I don’t think Theo OR Ozil should start…I hate Stoke..they are a bunch of thugs as far as I am concerned..especially Shawcross….and I think Theo will be too nervous of them ( who will try to stop him by ANY means) perhaps he could come on for a short time as a sub….You have to play the team you are up against….but this game is not for the talented footballers..this is a job for the tough bully boys

      1. Let’s not forget the referee also. This is our home game and our fans should create an intimidating environment for the BRUTAL tactics the rugby team adopted from the PULIS era. Our fans should harass the violen tShawcross all the time, just like those rubbish disgusting Stoke fans do to Ramsey.

    1. Sorry but just tired of the same article and question being asked. We did this already with ‘Santi’s happy to move over for Ozil’ about 10 articles back.

      Santi keeps his deserved place in the starting lineup. Mesut has to prove worth from bench like everyone else.

  2. Not sure about this. If he is as fit and strong as Wenger says then maybe he should start.
    I’d like to see a line up like this if everyone is fit:
    Debuchy Per, (Only because of the Stoke height), Kos, Gibbs
    Cazorla, Coquelin
    Ox, Ozil Sanchez

    Bench: Martinez, Monreal, Rosicky/Ramsey, Walcott, Flamini, Chambers, Akpom

    It certainly is going to be a weekend full of messy games and freak goals due to the extreme wind in the U.K.
    I know the Emirates is pretty well shielded but not a weekend I’d like to be a goal keeper!
    Shoot from distance I’d say!

  3. He cant rate him that highly otherwise he wouldnt keep putting him out on the left wing where he is wasted! Everyone knows his strengths are as an attacking midfielder just behind the striker

      1. What thumbs down? My tongue was firmly in my cheek when I said this (not up AWs derrière)

        But do people actually believe that Ozil is somehow a better player or more influential than Messi. Jeez he is only 2 letters short of being the Messiah (coincidence?).

        I wanna see Ozil (when he gets a chance) rediscover the form that made Real Madrid:) by him.

  4. This is not a game to come back from an injury to i would start theo and ozil late on 70 minutes maybe as any kind of fragility in them will be made into another lengthy stretch on the treatment table we all know stoke are a bunch of dirty b*****ds when it comes down to it…..Adam tried pullin alexi’s head off in the last game and peter crouch looked like he was climbing a ladder every time he went for a header we need to play rough crouch will start we know that so one of our guys to give him a big “accidental” kick in the shin should do the trick…..

  5. I’d definitely play Coquelin. We need to snap some legs as well. I’d go:
    Debuchy Mert Kos Gibbs
    Rosicky Cazorla
    Ox Giroud Alexis
    Pace on the wings and from the midfield. Giroud to battle with their CBs and Coquelin to snap legs. I reckon this would work a treat.

    1. Yeh, this works nicely!

      Bit of steel mixed with creativity in midfield, pace to burn on the wings (and a goal threat on the left;), with Oli the Glaswegian up front.

      And hopefully a solid defense (grabs for Rosemary beads and says 35 Hail Marys).


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