Will Mesut Ozil now have to fight for his place at Arsenal?

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?



  1. gotanidea says:

    I think Emery would only use Ozil as a starter in home games or when they face weaker teams

    Wenger often said nice words for his players (Ozil and the others) in the interviews, but Ozil rarely makes perfect through balls and often makes bad first touches nowadays. We expect a playmaker to be able to distribute the ball, not keep losing the ball

    Therefore I guess the next home game would be Emery’s final judgement on Ozil. If he plays very well, he would keep his position in the next away match, otherwise there are many youngsters waiting to replace him

    1. ks-gunner says:

      Henry once came out and said that Fabregas was better than Ozil when it comes to playing football at Arsenal and fans where quick to judge him for that comment. Just why could Wenger not jump over his pride and get him back. Off crying in the corner again!

      1. gotanidea says:

        I agree with Henry that Fabregas has better ball control than Ozil. Ozil made some atrocious first touches in Man City and Chelsea games, which I have never seen Fabregas doing it that often

        Now that Giroud has gone, nobody else could convert Ozil’s set-piece deliveries into goals. Except maybe Mavropanos, because he is very tall

        1. Go ask Alice... says:

          Fabregas is not that good in a number ten role and we needed a different type of midfielder than Fabregas. Fabregas would have been more of the same with the same old result in the end. People complained about how soft we were but at same time would want Fabregas back as well as every forward thinking player the transfer window threw up. Even the winger this year, very forward orientated wingers, we need one more like that Croatian fellow Mourinho wanted, can’t remember his name but that’s what you need in front of your fullbacks. A Ray Parlour or a Freddy Ljungberg, can do it at both ends.

          1. antbadapple says:

            Ivan Perisic would be a great addition; yes in the mould of true workers with great quality 😉

  2. ks-gunner says:

    I always and maybe still have a soft spot for Mesut, but we need to be ruthless now as we are in big trouble. I dont think that Mesut game is suited for our style so i want him gone and be replaced with someone who would improve our game. To many similar players in our team and they all lack the same things. Same goes with Xhaka. There is no real diff between the likes of Xhaka Ramsey and Iwobi. Bench players at best all of them. So they should get used to play a secondary role in the team or just leave. Ramsey leaving wont be a disaster. He is no Sanchez and let alone not how some stupid fans before loved to say better than Bale, lol.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes, we have many midfielders that like to hog the ball and slow down the counter-attacks, but there is a lack of explosive wingers that are good with one-on-one situations and can score plenty of goals

      Luckily we still have Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Nelson and Smith-Rowe that still have the guts to take higher risks when possessing the ball

      1. ks-gunner says:

        Kids still have much to learn, till then we should stick with using Iwobi, Welback and maybe also Aubuma on the wings always. Not only in quality but also in players we are quit short. Sigh.

        1. Highbury44 says:

          It makes no difference who we play up front or in midfield until we get the defence sorted and at the moment that’s miles away☹️

        2. John Ibrahim says:

          kids need to play to learn and experience

          19yo Mbappe and co dont warm the bench to improve

  3. Jaydawg says:

    I think a few players will have a rude awakening this season and at the end of the season when new place era are brought in.

    Let’s see how it plays out when the times get tough. Who has the power the players or the manager. We will see

  4. Goonster says:

    The Ozil fan-girls would go into complete meltdown if Ozil was ever asked to fight for his place in the starting 11. They convinced themselves long time ago that Ozil is some sort of supernatural football cult hero for them at Arsenal.

    Remember they think that we should all just be grateful that Ozil is even at Arsenal. He is too good and too big for our sorry Arsenal. He is a world class player that should be playing for any of the Top clubs around Europe.

    We should just keep padding him with cotton-wool. He should just required to mop around, jog about in the opposition final each game with no responsibility whatsoever apart earning his £300,000 a week wages. While his supposed average / mediocre teammates earning 1/3 of his wages should be the ones running themselves into the ground each game in order to deliver the ball to the waiting Prince Ozil.


    1. Go ask Alice... says:

      I’d run around for ninety minutes for a third of his wages, I’d do it with a huge smile on my face while listening to the Benny Hill theme tune.

    2. antbadapple says:

      He is no Dennis Bergkamp for sure and he is surely the benchmark No10 for our club and fans??

  5. Phil says:

    Ozil is without doubt the best footballer at our Club.What needs to happen is the Manager and player must work to get the best from him.Without Ozil we have very little creativity.To that there is no argument.The new system seems to have affected him more than anyone and there is no doubt this has shown in the two games we have played.There is also no doubt he seems to be struggling with the defensive duties he has now to produce and his attacking threat have been blunted.But Emery knows Arsenal will always be a better team with Ozil than without so the Manager will be determined to get the balance right for Ozil to perform.
    This is from an ardent Ozil fan I know but we need Ozil-Simple as that

    1. richie says:

      quit making excuses for ozil , the team/club doesn’t revolve around him

    2. A.ball08 says:

      Sorry Phil but I have to disagree with you on your take on ozil.
      If he is the best footballer at our club then we are in serious trouble.
      You can’t have 9 out field players putting in a shift for one player who might or might not turn up.
      He has had.more off days then on days for us over the seasons.
      When did he last turn up for a big game
      He is in inconsistent and for the pure pleasure of seeing him thread a killer ballthen 1 minute later watching an opposition player ghost past him because he can’t be bothered to run back is bloody frustrating
      Great players have the attributes of being gifted . Do incredible things with the ball ..you are happy to pay good money to watch them and know they would still put in a shift for the team
      Unfortuatly we dont have that kind of player at the moment. And ozil is certainly not that player.
      Personally I think his days are numbered unless he changes his style..
      Let me say money isn’t every thing but £350ka week for a maybe is a heck of a lot of money to back an inconsistent player

      1. Phil says:

        I can’t argue with his performances-they just have not been up to scratch.But Mesut Ozil is a wonderfully gifted footballer who we just have not been able to get the best from.But on on form Ozil is our biggest asset and I can only hope Emery can get his performance levels and consistentcy to where we need it to be.He is not a workhorse sort of player but I accept he must still have a sense of defensive duties.Emery needs to find a balance that works because as I say we are a better side with Ozil than without him

        1. JJPawn says:

          “19 – Alex Iwobi’s goal for @Arsenal yesterday ended a sequence of 19 passes and involved 10 of their players (all except Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang); the longest move for a goal so far in the 2018-19 Premier League. Encouraging.”

          This is how they played for Wenger. Emery messed up at PSG, until the players made him play with more freedom. Using Ozil means letting him make judgements on the field. Making him chase the ball is to destroy his creativity.

          What Emery should do is work on the defensive side of the ball better. Tightening up the goals conceded stat is key…

    3. snowden says:

      I agree with you. To the Ozil detractors. Good players don’t become bad players over night. Age may cause them to lose the speed they play at but not their skill. I am not saying Ozil has lost his speed.

      1. Chris says:

        Yeah, Ozil has not lost his speed…he never had it.

    4. Goonster says:

      Same old tired / cringeworthy excuses from the Ozil crowd. We have heard this same mental gymnastics and word salad from the Ozil cult for years now.
      It’s tired and overused.
      Ozil has had his extensive holiday since moving here. It’s always someone else’s fault but never Prince Ozil. What a coincidence. We have done each and everything to accommodate Ozil from day one, different formations, different olayer personnel, he has been played in different positions etc. But we end up with little to no improvement on Ozil’s side apart from excuses about each and everything but Ozil himself.

      You guys keep going on about Ozil is our best player blah blah, just because you have convinced yourself that he is, just because he played for Madrid and been in the German team for ages. At Arsenal he has been such a big big disappointment and let down.

      Best player stands out, is the go to individual, wins you games consistently etc. Ozil has never been or done any of that.

      He is a good player that if someone that has never watched Arsenal was to watch us, trust me they would not pick out Ozil as the best player in the team. Consistently he is the worst or one of the worst player on for us.

    5. Goonster says:

      Sorry but its about about getting personnel that fit and make the team better. Why should we waste our time on trying to make a single individual look good instead of working to make the whole team play better?

      And to top it off, if that player happens to be Ozil then forget it. He is the weakest and most one dimensional so called world class player I have ever come across at Arsenal. It’s always excuses galore with him 24/7 and 365 days on his side.

      1. Phil says:

        Ok – I understand what your saying and will not argue with you because I have said on many occasions that although I love Ozil as a footballer I see how frustrating he is to supporters and just why he divides opinions so much.
        The point I am making is that Emery will get Ozil playing to his tactical press but will it blunt Ozils creative performance?If it does (as it certainly did in the first two games) then Emery has an issue.Does he ignore Ozil from the team altogether or does he adapt his methods to bring out more from the player.Ozil’s workrate has always been questioned but it’s proven that he puts in more of a shift than is thought.Ozil will never be a Ramsey Torreira Viera Fabregas etc etc He is unique as a footballer and we don’t always recognise how fortunate we are to have him at Arsenal.Of this !anager can get Ozil performing to a consistent level of performance then Arsenal will be the better for it.

        1. Goonster says:

          We should feel fortunate to have Ozil at Arsenal?
          For real, some of you guys need to get out of your little Ozil bubble.
          We had players like Bergkamp, Henry, Rvp, Pires, Cesc, Wright, Vieira, etc, and you want me to feel fortunate to have a a weak, one dimensional okay player like Ozil?

          Why do you think he was dropped from Madrid. Look at Germany. Look at his time as Arsenal. It’s all the same criticism and divide etc..

          He is an okay player that has piggybacked off other players hardwork and talent to make him look better than he really is.

          1. Chabaloah says:

            We had players like that… We don’t anymore and haven’t for a long time. Ozil creatively is still our most prolific at creating, still has some of the best statics in the PL for a creative player.

            I’m not a fan of any player unless they perform and let us be clear – nobody has been an amazing player for us for the past few years when you factor in injury time, minutes played ect besides Sanchez who quite clearly left.

            Ozil is trying to adapt, it has blunted him but you don’t develop lungs over night. You cannot suddenly start sprinting over a pitch and running for a full 45 minutes without nearly a year’s worth of training. Professional runners will tell you this. It takes time. You try and a few sprint training exercises or long distance running and then try to control a ball or think clearly enough to pass a ball. Just because he is an athlete does not mean he won’t find it hard at first. He needs time like everyone else.

            None of our players have the lungs for that apart from Ramsey because Wenger never played that way. Ozil covers a lot of ground but his style is distinctly to drift into space. He will adapt I’m sure but it might take him longer to do so. I’m just saying give the dude some time much like the others get.

        2. Chris says:

          The club cannot be ‘fortunate’ to have a player. He is paid a shitload of money to take a languid stroll around the pitch while his friends earn their meagre salaries. I would say Ozil is the one that is fortunate to be at a club like Arsenal where he does not really have to break a sweat to pocket 350K a week. When he resigned from the Germany national team, did they do everything they could to try and keep him? No! They just told him ‘OK, bye, Mr. Ozil.’ If he were really an asset to the team at least one person would have tried to persuade him and the powers that be to stay on.

          1. Arnold B Ngereza says:

            january if there is buyer we should take even $20 miln (inter milan) may be and bring in two good quality wingers.

    6. Arnold B Ngereza says:

      That’s not true when he came off against chelsea we were better i think Guandouzi needs to be deployed in #8 role is way way better than xhaka and ramsey and torreira in #6 and lechsteiner in #2 we will have a different balance and if we could should bring in more players in january may be 5 of them in order to chase for number 3 or 4 spot. and yes Emery needs more time same as did Klopp and pep they didn’t hit a ground running and it took them atleast two transfer windows to get things right.

      1. Arnold B Ngereza says:

        And having Ozil in 1st 11 sometimes is like playing with 10 men dont really like his body language and he can say f..word as many as he wants when he was about to be substituted, vs chelsea but the true is, he is the opposite of what Emery wants on his tactics (pressing game) and that was a huge mistakes done by wenger to extend his contract in such a big chuck of money for a player like him.

  6. Chiza says:

    Emery dropping Ozil to the bench would make a big statement not just in arsenal but in the premier league at large…..it would take a lot of courage and determination for Emery to do that…….Dropping Ozil to the bench has it’s advantages and disadvantages

    1.it would enable mikhitaryan play his best role as a number 10…..I believe he is the number 10 emery needs
    2.it would make other fumbling players pick up and their improve their games knowing very well that anybody can be dropped since a player like Ozil can be dropped
    3.it would make Ozil improve his game
    4.it would make us unpredictable against opponents since most of them target Ozil as a weaklink…..
    5.it would currently give us better balance

    1.Ozil could disrupt the dressing room through his frustration of being dropped
    2.he could pick up problems with Emery

    Emery has to make a big decision…. To be honest I don’t see Ozil improving…he can’t simply play the pressing game…it is not just in him…you can’t force or make a snail run like a cheetah….mikhitaryan is even a bit better at pressing and defending

    1. A.ball08 says:

      If the boss can get a tune out of him then I will be over the moon.
      What infuriates me as a fan of great footballers and not just our team is potential great players who waste there talents for one reason or another.
      We have had countless… I thought nasri could have been a world beater but his head and ego got the better of him and he water so much
      Plenty more a d just hope ozil doesn’t to the same

      1. ozziegunner says:

        Ozil doesn’t appear to be the type of personality, who would disrupt the dressing room.

  7. Chiza says:

    All eyes on Emery…I’m eagerly waiting to see what decisions he is going to take on these players(bellerin,Ramsey,cech,Ozil and mustafi)…..big big big big big big big decisions he has to make…decisions that could make or mar his arsenal career……and these decisions would enable us know if Emery is really determined to succeed in arsenal or just another Wenger clone who is just here to make arsenal fans pass through more pain….hopefully Emery makes the right decisions because I want to see him succeed….simple and that’s all I have to say……still your sweet Chiza!!!!!

  8. Innit says:

    Ozil May be earning £300,000 plus but that shouldn’t make Emery choose him to start. If he under-performs then he needs to be dropped until he does.

    1. Drop him to the bench
    2. Start Mkhitaryan in CAM instead
    3. Work on Ozil’s conditioning ie running/building muscle as well as mentally
    4. Then play Ozil against low and mid-table teams and cup matches. See If he improves
    5. If he plays at a high standard then promote him back to starter

    1. A.ball08 says:

      Then if he can’managed that
      Sell him in January

      1. Innit says:

        Yes. His salary is ridiculously high. If he doesn’t perform at a higher quality then we need to free up wages.

    2. McLovin says:

      Özil has one of the biggest social media following among professional football players. I reckon he would be a big name in the Chinese market. Surely some Chinese team could buy him from us and offer him even bigger wages?

      1. antbadapple says:

        Good call.. i could see that happening at some point in his career !

  9. Durand says:

    Honestly 10 players should be worried about being dropped. Guendouzi is only player that deserves his spot; so long as he keeps his current form. I’d drop the others, except the 2 CB’s, because not sure Holding or Mavroporas would do better.

    Lichtsteiner. Sokratis. Mustafi. Monreal
    Ramsey (AMN hurt) Torreria. Guendouzi
    Welbeck. Lacazette. Aubamayang

    These guys can press; Welbeck work more than Ozil and Mhki, and Auba and Laca play excellent together.

    Maybe Iwobi for Welbeck if he prefers bit of creativity over pressing.

    Ozil and Mhki off the bench if we need a spark, plus it sends a message to those two to put in a full shift or else.

    We need a win more than we need to pamper or accommodate mollycoddles. Pains me to start Ramsey, but AMN would be my choice if healthy, and Ramsey MAY put in a full shift, where Xhaka is slow and struggling a bit in this system.

    1. Durand says:

      I thought Emery said he prefers a 4-1-4-1 because its better suited to pressing, or am I mistaken? Some help please if I’m wrong. Why haven’t we seen this yet?

      Maybe he doesn’t think we have the right players for the formation and way he wants to press?

      Just kinda thinking out loud here

  10. JJPawn says:

    God, what an awful set of fans Arsenal is cursed with. Ozil on the bench? What a laughing stock for fans. If Emery wants Ozil to chase the ball, and the fans want Ozil to chase the ball, we might as well give up on the maestro. Why not just sell him for nothing, after all, what is the point of keeping a player unable to perform? It is not the fault of the forwards that they are so tired they cannot even take a point blank shot at goal? How many shots went high? Three point blank shots. Why? Their tired legs are not able to go through be ball, and the foot drops ever so slightly. Soon Emery would have destroyed their confidence. Soon Emery will have injuries to players. When that happens with this stupid suicide ball, Arsenal will drop down to about 10th.

    1. Khangunners says:

      Pure crap i have to say. They missed there chances first half how are you blaming fatigue??. Emery has his ideas and am fully behind him. We gave wenger 20 years and won 0 titles for almost 12 years lets be patient and support our team. I believe unai is the right guy but he needs support from the board and owner to get us out of this mess we are in. If we look at it objectively we have a shit squad no real quality.Fans need to see this and just back the team as it is gonna be a painful season for us. I know we will make it coyg!

      1. ozziegunner says:


    2. Lugdush says:

      Ozil wa not who assist that almost goals, was he?? The only way we can affort to have a player with zero defensive reaponsability is if he can gave a messi kind of income…40 plus goals plus assist..messi is one of the only player who i watched walking in the pitch because thats his game, like ozil…but in how many goals ozil has participation?? Even in his so remembered 19 assist season..ozil is not defensive but even not so attaking kind of player…he doesnt deserve the kind og wages we paid him. Never…jesus, even hazard earns less

  11. FunkyD says:

    Ozil performed below average in the last two games with or without pace, his passes against man city were so awful, he lost the ball frequently. Do you need pace to hold onto the ball nd make a decent pass? If I was the coach, I would happily bench him with his performance so far. Playing like someone that is depressed, it just pains me, with the huge amount he earns yet offers little. Ozil please up your game! you used to be very swift with the ball but now, you play llike a camel. I pray you get your form back

    1. Chabaloah says:

      Try running hard like you’ve never done before and then control a ball. It’s not easy no matter who you are if your legs are not used to that workload. I bet after a hard leg session you can barely walk up stairs or think straight. The same for Ozil or any of our players who are not used to pressing continuously which is running a lot and coupled with short sprints. You need time to adapt.

  12. ackshay says:

    One thing i have noticed is that emery training has been kicking the crap out of our players. They have looked dead tired past the 70 min vs city and chelsea. Big example is bellerin, whether you like him or not the man never stops running even he makes wrong choices. I remember seeing bending over like he has no gas left vs chelsea after a forward run instead of returning. He may jog or walk back but never have i seen him tired like that and there were some counterattack where he was evidently missing.

    I think it’s temporary since emery will ease off the training once we are physically in shape. Having been accustomed to wenger light training it’s normal that they will take time to adapt. Also some have said they were happy to train hard again.

  13. Valentine chitiya says:

    squad rotation is healthy to the team

  14. Nakul says:

    If we have to play a pressing game we can’t play ozil xhaka and Ramsey in the same 11.
    There is no disputing their talents however they are not at all effective defensively and are slow.

    Only 1 of them can be a liability however that too is smtn that Emery wants to eradicate. Everybody presses.

  15. AndersS says:

    Yes, Özil is a worry.
    He is layer with great offensive skills but no defensive skills and really no will to defensively for the team.
    If we want him to be our great playmaker, it means the rest will have to work harder defensively.
    But if you with Ôzil play the likes of Mkitharyan and Ramsey, who don’t really defend, we will have a team with only the 4 at the back + maybe 2 midfielders defending, and that is just not enough. We have seen this type of play for years, and it just doesn’t work in the long run.
    So basically I think Özil, Mkitharyan and Ramsey should be fighting for 1 place in tough games and 2 places against teams, that sit back.

  16. Nakul says:

    Ramsey will always divide opinion. He is a traditional no 8. Gerard lampard kinda player. It is difficult to find a place for such players in today’s teams.

    In his position in the past you could be forgiven for not being good at tackling or interceptions as long as you had a huge stamina to last the game and run all over the pitch. There will be occasions when they show defensive side of the game but not on a clever consistent basis.

    When the whole team presses you cannot have ur no8 on holiday. Guendouzi has more confidence on theball

  17. Valentine chitiya says:

    yah everyone has to fight for his position,that’s the foundation of a strong team,the more the team rotates tha more we will be jelling as a team

  18. ozziegunner says:

    I believe Ozil was unfairly called out for special criticism at the last World Cup as part of a generally poor performing German team. As a result he retired from the National team.
    Ozil’s future playing career is now tied to Arsenal and I and others expected him to knuckle down and prove the doubters wrong. If he doesnt he should be sold.

  19. John Ibrahim says:

    Emery will led us to glory…he needs time

    once we hammer west ham….it will all be good and back to normal business

  20. Go ask Alice... says:

    It will be interesting to watch developments here. Emery wants his players to perform a certain way, we know Ozil will never buy into that fully. At the same time Ozil is our most creative player, well Mkhit might give him some competition along with Ramsey maybe and possibly a new boy. But at the moment its still Ozil. If Emery had complete say on things I’d imagine Ozil would probably not have gotten that raise and most likely he’d have been sold. What to do now, can Emery get him to deliver again and would it be enough to sway Emery. I think they want hard workers, even Pep knows the difference that a bit of hard work can bring to the top professionals. I don’t ever see Ozil adopting that approach and I don’t see a manager wanting to cow down to a player. Stay tuned folks, to be continued.

  21. Dexter says:

    I’m a big critic of ozil…but I saw this on goal.com today.

    “Since he signed for Arsenal in September 2013, he has given the most Premier League assists (50) and created the most big chances (61). He is second only to David Silva in assists from open play (37 to 35).
    He is second in most chances created to Christian Eriksen (480 to 478), although the Spurs man has played 29 more matches in that time. In the chances created from open play category, Ozil (353) is second only to Eden Hazard (410). Those numbers are all according to Opta Data.”

    Apparently, we all see ozil as a lazy player who don’t deserve to play but his statistics say otherwise. Stats is a bitch. Isn’t it?

    1. Chabaloah says:

      This right here is why he is our most expensive player. I’m sure he will adapt but needs time to get his muscles used to running that much and his lungs used to the workload. Increasing intensity in training will lead to a dip in form temporarily but it usually yields better results long term.

      I see Ozil trying which is good.

  22. jon fox says:

    Being a realist, I see no long term future for the wimpish OZIL under Emery. I see no way he will be at Arsenal ar start of next season. The club are bound to unload him somehow, rather than keep paying £17 mill a year wages for another Walcott, in terms of wimpishness. Great talent , no “balls”. That is the realistic truth.

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