Arsenal’s Özil Conundrum

A masterclass before being hoiked after 65 minutes, Unai Emery gave in to the pressure of playing Mesut Özil and it backfired significantly. Not only did it make him look weak, but Özil was so good that it’s a crime to not start him at the weekend. A conundrum for the ‘good ebenin’ specialist. What now for Arsenal?

Arsenal struggled without Mesut Özil

Arsenal this season have struggled to create chances. Mesut Özil enters the fray and the graph above shows what happens. You can argue that Liverpool’s sub-strength side meant it would be easier to poke holes, but what we saw in the miraculous 5-5 draw was that Özil is not done and dusted by no means.

So Many Questions

So what does Unai Emery do now? If it were up to me I’d leave. Two games in a row they had a two-goal lead and blew it, not to mention the tactical cluelessness from the Spaniard throughout the entirety of this campaign. Furthermore, the Arsenal we grew up to know and love/hate was the enjoyable-to-watch Arsenal. Emery’s side have been beyond flat this season; the only game they haven’t was last night. Did it just so happen that one of the world’s best creative midfielders was playing? Perhaps.

“We had decided beforehand [to take off Ozil],” said Emery. “He worked well in 65 minutes. We are going to play on Saturday, and in my mind there’s the possibility to use him again. Ozil played very well. He played a very good match.”

Mesut Özil has to start for Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepé would have watch last night in disbelief that they don’t have the World Cup winning number ten in behind them. It now comes as a point of Emery’s policy: if he allows Mesut to step back into the side then it gives the impression to the whole world that his squad can walk all over him. If he keeps freezing him out then he’ll continue to struggle in the league and be sacked. Time to bring Mesut Özil out from the cold.

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