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Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery have been at loggerheads since day one of the Spaniard’s tenure at Arsenal. From being hooked off at half time to now not even making Europa League match day squads, the German certainly isn’t a favourite of his manager. Here’s why Mesut Ozil will outlast Unai Emery at Arsenal:
We’ll start with 4 words: World Cup winning midfielder. That alone surely warrants Ozil’s involvement in games at least from the bench?
With a monstrous wage of £350,000 per week, the Gunners are just burning cash at a ridiculous rate. Emery could actually use the former German international’s qualities for the benefit of the team. Even if he’s not your favourite, he’s still useful as a sub when it’s not going well.
Granted that the powers of the now 31 year-old are no longer what they were. He’s lost a yard of pace and his performances aren’t as consistent as they were 3-4 years ago. But form is temporary, class is permanent. The man is a generational talent and still has the ability to unlock a defence when the team is uninspired. His vision is unparalleled, he’s a good finisher in the box and still creates chances galore in games.
You only have to look at the 60 minutes he played against Watford, his only Premier League minutes this season. He put through Maitland-Niles with an inch perfect ball, who then set up Aubameyang for a simple tap in. In the limited time he has had, he’s proven his worth to the team in terms of creativity. I find it criminal how the Gabonese striker is being deprived of Ozil’s genius, just because ‘he doesn’t run enough’.
Speaking of not running enough, the former Real Madrid attacking midfielder had an impressive pre-season, working hard every game whilst being his usual creative self on the pitch. But now he’s being frozen out, without valid justification from Emery in the media. It just makes no sense.
If Arsenal were playing brilliantly week in week out with a vision, style of play and a best XI, no one would question Emery’s stance. Ozil can be marmite, I don’t deny that. He sometimes goes missing in games, looks lethargic and isn’t always the first name on team sheet. His body language doesn’t do him any favours, especially in last year’s Europa League final.
But when you’re begging for creativity, relying on one of the best goal scorers in world football to bail you out every game and have failed to establish a best XI, surely it’s time to change strategy? Not according to the former PSG manager. Persisting with Lucas Torreira, a DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER, as a number 10, there’s no excuse and questions deserve to be asked.
At this point, I genuinely believe it’s just stubbornness and question of ego. Emery fell out with big egos in France with the likes of Neymar and Ben Arfa, perhaps he wants to stamp his authority of the red of North London’s big name? If so, it just seems detrimental to the culture at the club. He’s a respected figure in the dressing room and his treatment won’t exactly make the side any happier.
Ozil’s cryptic messages on Twitter and commitment to the club are only gaining support from the fan base. Yes, he’s not box office, but he can be a game changer that at least deserves a place on the bench.
We saw the deterioration of Pogba and Mourinho’s relationship. Even the Special One couldn’t survive the sack. This looks far worse. The German isn’t budging, that’s for sure. £350K a week, long term contract and a connection with the fan base. He’s under no pressure to leave.
Unai Emery however. Already calls for the sack, questions over team selections and questions over his impact at the Emirates since arriving. His contract runs out at the end of the season, Ozil’s doesn’t. If Arsenal don’t distinctly improve under the Spaniard from now until May, I know who my money’s on to outlast the other.