Arsenal’s injury problems will come into sharp focus again with the news that Mesut Ozil picked up a knee ligament strain before half-time, yet played the full 90 minutes against Chelsea last weekend.
According to Arsene Wenger, the German felt a ‘crack’ in his knee, but seemed all right and was allowed to continue and play the full game.
In an interview with beIN Sport, the Arsenal manager said, “He had a little problem just before he went out at half-time. He had a little pain with his knee, he felt a crack.
“I said to our physio to keep an eye on him and if there was anything wrong with him, tell me because when you’re 1-0 down, you want to keep your offensive players on the pitch.
“I am deeply shocked. He wasn’t involved in a collision with anybody It was just after making a pass with the outside of his foot that he injured his leg so it’s very hard to believe that you can damage your ligament with just making a simple pass and it’s very difficult to take that he will be out for a while.”
While the decision to leave him on will come under some scrutiny, it’s not the first time that Ozil has played on through injury. Away to Bayern Munich last season in the Champions League, he pulled his hamstring in the first few minutes but continued until half-time resulting in a lengthy absence subsequently.
However, given that Arsenal did have Tomas Rosicky, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell on the bench, it does seem odd that they took a risk with a player that the manager seems to view as pivotal. Of course there’s the issue of their relative quality, but when you look at the outcome it’s impossible not to look at it as a bad idea from both sides.
Ozil is expected to be out until mid-December at the earliest.