The Arsenal fanbase have been divided over the German midfielder Mesut Ozil for many years, despite his record-breaking assist record, and it would appear that Emery became frustrated with the German’s play on Saturday evening against Chelsea. A report on FoxSports said that when he was replaced by Ramsey it could be a wake up call for Ozil…..
And about time, too, some would say.
Few players in the Premier League divide opinion as much as the 29-year-old playmaker, whose languid, often-unhurried approach can be so pleasing to the eye but also makes him a target of critics questioning his commitment.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was prepared to indulge in Ozil’s mercurial nature, saying the midfielder was misunderstood and could do things with the ball most others couldn’t. Even if it appeared to fly in the face of what many were seeing on the field.
Unai Emery, Wenger’s replacement, might be different.
Arsenal was tied 2-2 with Chelsea with 22 minutes to go in an exciting, end-to-end Premier League match on Saturday when Emery decided to remove Ozil and replace him with Aaron Ramsey.
What was telling was the reason Emery gave after the game, which Arsenal went on to lose 3-2.
“He works well,” Emery said, “but we needed to keep more pressing on the pitch.”
Emery is attempting to evolve Arsenal’s play, adding energy and pressing to the passing and highly technical approach pursued by Wenger in his 22 years in charge of the London club. Ozil, it appears, is going to have to change his ways to fit into a style that doesn’t come naturally to him.
So, like Ramsey after the City game, could Ozil find himself benched until he starts to play the pressing game and help out in defence when needed. Has the German grown too comfortable under Wenger and thought he would be an automatic starter no matter how he played?
I am thinking that Emery might have other ideas. What do you think?