In news that will come as no surprise to pretty much any Arsenal fan, Mesut Ozil isn’t expected to start today’s crucial Premier League clash against Manchester United.
The 30-year-old playmaker earned Man Of The Match plaudits for his display against Bournemouth a couple of weeks ago, but was then subsequently benched for the next game against Tottenham and was then borderline anonymous during the 3-1 defeat to Rennes on Thursday night in the Europa League.
Ozil has endured a difficult relationship with Unai Emery since the former Sevilla boss took over from Arsene Wenger in the summer, often being benched or left out of the match day squad altogether under the Spaniard’s stewardship.
Arsene Wenger believes the £350,000-a-week contract Ozil signed in January 2018 made the German playmaker too complacent, with the former Gunners boss admitting he wishes he’d been a bit tougher with Ozil when he was in charge.
And now, according to The Times, Ozil is set for another bench role for one of Arsenal’s biggest games of the season.
It is believed that Emery has three concerns over Ozil.
The Gunners gaffer doesn’t believe Ozil works hard enough off the ball, doesn’t track back and has a tendency to pull out of tackles.
Against a United team that demolished Arsenal on the counter attack in a 3-1 FA Cup fourth round victory at the Emirates in January, not tracking back isn’t really an option for Emery, who will likely look for more physical options against an in-form United team today.
But what do you think? Should Ozil start or does he deserve to be benched?