Emery responds to Ozil’s Arsenal scapegoat claim

Date published: Friday 18th October 2019 8:56

Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil remains an “important player” for Arsenal after the German complained that he has been made to feel like a scapegoat at the Emirates.

Ozil has made just two appearances for The Gunners so far this season, with his only Premier League minutes coming in the 2-2 draw at Watford.

The former Real Madrid man hasn’t made the squad for the past three league games, with Emery stating that others were more deserving of a place.

That has led to suggestions that Ozil could leave in January, but the 31-year-old says he wants to remain in north London at least until the end of his contract in 2021.

In conversation with the Athletic, the playmaker also took aim at his critics and how he is portrayed.

“If we don’t do well in a big game, it’s always my fault,” Ozil said.

“If that’s true, how do you explain our results in the big games when I wasn’t involved? There’s no real difference.

“I know people expect me to offer more, dictate play and make the difference — I do, too — but it’s not that straightforward.

“I’m not the only player in the team and, don’t forget, some of our opponents are simply better than us.”



Emery has been criticised by some Arsenal fans for the way he appears to have frozen Ozil out in recent weeks.

But ahead of Monday’s trip to Sheffield United, the Spaniard insists that he remains in his plans.

“We are in our way and we live in the present,” said Emery, when asked if he thought Ozil was made a scapegoat. “In this present we are looking for the best way to be competitive, to play each match with our best quality and best mentality.

“Mesut Ozil, for us, is important. Sometimes one player could be important playing or could be important being on the bench or could be important preparing for the next match.

“This is our mentality and this is the way we want to create with 25 players in the squad.

“Mesut Ozil is in the same way and I told you now for the last three weeks he is working and improving and being better in the training. If we need him we are going use him.”


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