We suspect this might be one of those stories where people read the headline and make an quip like ‘Yeah, because they were crap’.
And they might well have been, but following the game Unai Emery went into a bit more detail about why he made the changes he did during the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Xhaka was taken off at half-time and replaced by Lucas Torreira, while Ozil was replaced by Aaron Ramsey in the 68th minute.
Speaking about the Swiss international, the boss said, “This is a tactical decision because he also had a yellow card.
“We didn’t want to take the risk with the yellow card and we wanted to give a chance to other players we have in the middle.”
And on Ozil, who completed an uncharacteristically meagre 15 passes in his almost 70 minutes, he explained, “I decided to change it because I think we needed a little more of a push in the middle, so that we couldn’t let Chelsea progress easily with the ball.
“We were defending too deep and we needed a push, so for that I brought on Aaron to push up more and recover the ball to continue attacking.”
The Spaniard is still counting heavily on the German to produce this season though, saying, “We need him. He helps us with his quality and also I want to push him to be competitive in every match.
“I am happy with Mesut. With him I am going to do the same work, help him and demand also that he works every day.
“At the moment he is doing that and I am happy. In the process, he is one player that I am sure is going to have a good season.”