Mikel Arteta had to be pushed to expand on his reasons for leaving Mesut Ozil out of his 20-man squad after initially answering with just five words: “It was a tactical reason.”
The Arsenal manager was pretty brusque in his interview after their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City and initially did not want to expand on leaving Ozil out of his 20-man squad.
But he was pushed and eventually answered: “Because I need players in other positions as well, so that’s why I decided to leave him out.”
Arteta chose to play both Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka against City, leaving record signing Nicolas Pepe on the bench and leaving out Ozil altogether.
Reacting to the team news, which also saw David Luiz benched before a disastrous cameo, Jamie Carragher said: “Well to be honest I think that’s Arsenal going forward, that’s what I’d like to see next season.
“I wouldn’t really want to see those players involved to be honest next season, whether Mikel Arteta’s thinking like that.
“I think he is with David Luiz, I don’t think he will be there next season and I think Ozil has been a problem for the last few managers really that they can’t get him out because of the wages he’s on.
“Whether it’s a tactical decision because it’s away at Man City and they’re not going to have much of the ball, is he someone to come off the bench and really do anything from there with energy or pace?”