Emery explains Ozil absence from Bournemouth win

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One of the most interesting aspects of Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth today was the fact that Mesut Ozil was not in the starting line-up.

Despite the fact that he was not away during the Interlull and basically had two weeks off, Unai Emery decided against using the playmaker and also shifted his formation to a 3-4-3 using all of his available centre-halves.

It was something he was asked about after the game and he suggested that he needed more physicality in the team to combat a hard-working Bournemouth side.

On the German’s absence, he said, “We thought how we can be better in the match today which is very demanding with the physicality and the intensity – but every player is important.

“Also today we tried with three centre backs like we’ve done at some stages this season and it’s another possibility for us to improve and find our best performance.”

There was no room for Ozil from the bench either, as Emery continued, “It depends how it is coming the match, how it is coming in the 90 minutes, and I decided for another option.

“In the beginning of the season we were speaking every day about being organised and competitive – and it’s the same today.”

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Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal – player ratings

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Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

He really is nicking a living isn’t he. Excellent management from Unai though to leave the diva on the pine.

Goonero
Goonero

Clichés aside, if you can’t rely on your best (paid) player to pull his weight on an away day against Bournemouth, just what are you saying about him? What message does that send going forward? When were the likes of Henry, Ronaldo, De Bruyne, Mahrez or any truly game changing player ever left to sit it out because of the physical threat or intensity of the opposition? Hopefully it’s just a translation quirk and that’s not what Emery truly means but that’s got to be one of the most damning things you could say about a player “we’re in for a scrap and you don’t have what it takes to come up top” and that’s a guy who regularly wears the armband…alarm bells are ringing.

para
para

Could it not be that Emery is building a “squad” rather than a “1st team and a 2nd team”? This requires players to comprehend that they will not always play every week and it reduces wear and tear on the players.

afan
afan

no, it just means you are not good enough for my team

sambo
sambo

Maybe its the evolution of Football, gone are the days Bournemouth away was a team of bad diet, no sports tech science backed players. They are all if not top quality footballers, very high level athletes. De Bruyne is a physical player in my eyes, definitely more robust than Ozil. Mahrez doesn’t start as much probably for the same reason as Ozil, he doesn’t track back and he isnt aggressive enough off the ball.

Junichi B
Junichi B

I don’t think Guardiola picks his team thinking about “physicality”… If Mahrez doesn’t start then it’s a purely technical decision. It would have been better if Unai said he left him (best paid player, best player, second captain…) on the bench for technical reasons…

afan
afan

emery just tells the truth

Ross Leach
Ross Leach

Refreshing. No more square pegs in round holes. Team priority over individuals. Ozil will be nice and fresh for 2 massive games coming up. COYG

Legrande
Legrande

We go tough and classy when we need to. Team selection today was fit for purpose. COYG

A Different George
A Different George

I must be missing something: Bournemouth is not an especially physical team; I saw no one bullied off the ball, except by Sokratis and Torreira. Bournemouth are pretty technical, like quick passing, etc. Very much like the top teams, except the individual quality is significantly lower. I think Ozil would have been a good choice, instead of Mkhitaryan or Iwobi.

I'm 14 again
I'm 14 again

The way I see it, if aggression is the reason Ozil was left out then he may also be on the bench for the Spurs game. We will probably see Ramsey ahead of Mhiki if it comes right down to it. I think Mhiki Could be good for that game. I expect Son to be a menace switching from right to left. We will need really good cover on both sides when defending. I’m sure Unai knows all this tho I don’t need to tell him how to set his team up. Here’s hoping we win them and keep a clean sheet

Ronny
Ronny

You make total sense. Dunno why you being downvoted.

I'm 14 again
I'm 14 again

I don’t know why myself. Hope someone sets me straight not just downvote

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

I suspect it may have to do with your suggestion that Mhki could be good to have against sp*rs, or that Ramsay could start ahead of Özil…seems to be a lot of negative feelings towards both these players at the moment (some of which is a bit unmerited imo).

clins
clins

thought ramsey should have played from the beginning today at the expense of xhaka. xhaka is a defensive midfielder, and playing him with torreira another defensive midfielder in front of three defenders against team like bouremounth made no sense. a more attacking player like ramsey would have been more ideal since we already had three defenders to cover the team.

What a 2nd Half from Arsenal
What a 2nd Half from Arsenal

Xhaka is a deep lying playmaker. We would have lost the game if Ramsey started. If ramsey was on the field, we would not have scored the 2nd goal the way we did because ramsey would have slowed the game down with his pointless turns and dilly dalllying.

A Different George
A Different George

Well, certainly you are right about Xhaka being a deep-lying midfielder.

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

I think you’ll find that many/most people would not agree that Xhaka is a defensive midfielder…a deep lying playmaker, yes, but not a defensive midfielder. I think our attack would have struggled to function today without at least one of Xhaka or Özil in the lineup. So with Özil not starting, Xhaka pretty much had to…you put Ramsay in his place and we have no one to build up play and not enough control of the ball in the midfield.

Goonerink

I think the problem lies in your terminology.
Dependant on your sources. IMHO (thanks fm)
DM is a positional label.
DLP is a role label.
In this sense xhaka is both.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

DM, DLP and even AM are all role labels.
The original position labels are just “Centre Midfielders”. Roles are really defined by the numbers; 6 being the deepest lying (defensive, deep-lying, etc.), 8s being box to box, 10 being advanced, etc.

A Different George
A Different George

Those numbers really originate from the W-M formation and have been adapted since. The 8 and the 10 were the right and left inside forwards, not midfielders at all, though slightly withdrawn compared to the two wingers (7 and 11) and the central attacker, the 9.

afan
afan

ozil is ALWAYS fresh, and he still plays crap

MrT
MrT

#afan, another Ozil fan

Runzac
Runzac

Very interesting indeed

DanR
DanR

Yet there was room for Mikhi? Clearly more to that story.

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

Mhki’s off the ball work is flying a bit under the radar at the moment, but I suspect that is why he was preferred to Özil.

SB Still
SB Still

Emery is raising the standards, boads well.

Boards_well
Boards_well

Its spelled “buds” well not boards well.

Boards_well
Boards_well

Damn autocorrect. It’s “bodes well”

Merteslacker
Merteslacker

Not sure how to interpret his explanation…it’s either Ozil was not in the best physical state to play, or he does not think Ozil is as industrious or capable to unlock he Bournemouth’s defense as Mkhi/Iwobi? Strange one…

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Or that Ozil is not as defensively aware and protective of the defensive players behind him like Mkhi and Iwobi are?

Knightly
Knightly

Talking about Iwobi, he’s the most direct of our attacking midfielders. He’s an underrated gem.

Irrational Gunner

Believe the first consideration for this game was a defensive team. Based on this explanation however, and the League being as tough as it is, will Ozil ever play again??? Massively glad we won, but if not, wouldn’t Emery been pounded for his team selection?

I'm 14 again
I'm 14 again

I enjoyed the win, but as soon as the players were greeting the fans, I began to think of the Spurs game. They are shit, but they’re really good shit at the moment. I think our team has done quite alright in big games this season except, maybe the City game. I think we were alright against Chelsea and L’Pool
I hope we pick the right squad and everything clicks for us on the day

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland
Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

It was clearly a message sent to Ozil. By the way, to Ozil savvy fans, wasn’t Emery able to see the km he runs and the tackles he put in during games ?

Alex
Alex

He’s not here to tackle and to run like an headless chicken. And yes, check the stats, he’s always been one of our most runners.

N10
N10

Emery’s the Boss. That’s it. So different from Wenger in many ways, and I think Ramsey and Ozil just can’t deal. Mixed feelings. I want to see the guys thrive, but no one likes a prima donna.

MateKiddleton
MateKiddleton

Nope, don’t see either Rambo or Ozil acting like prima donnas or carrying on like pork chops. Certainly not like Alexis.

N10
N10

Meh. I stand by what I said. Certainly not like Alexis, fine, but that’s irrelevant isn’t it.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

I wish my employer would pay me £350 million quid this week for doing nothing.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

Or even 350k

Yas
Yas

I am sure if you were one of the best midfielders in the world with the highest assist ratio in Europe for the last decade and won the world cup you could have demanded that sort of money from your employers….. Or more

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Bar is first year, he is not worth that money. Nothing personal.

afan
afan

this is true

afan
afan

ha, ha, yeah, that would be nice

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

The more I see of Emery the more I like. He’s totally ruthless, just like all the great managers are. The team should always be more important than the individual. Wenger would never have dropped Ozil because (a) he was too cosy with senior players, and (b) it would have made him look bad dropping one of his “star” players in whom he had invested so much. But Uni knew that a tough away game was not the place for a soft, grit-free luxury player like Ozil. So he dropped him. Good.

Nice win today. We rode our luck a bit, but I just love the fighting spirit that Emery has instilled in the team. The unbeaten run is no coincidence: it’s great management.

Now let’s smash the spuds.

DB's first touch
DB's first touch

To be fair, I suspect that Wenger did drop Özil a few times, but left him out of the squad entirely in those instances, using the good old flu excuse to spare everyone’s blushes.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

No: so not to bruise Ozil’s ego. How many “flu” and “muscle strain” injuries did Wenger’s pet players get when he wanted to drop them?

Emery isn’t afraid to say it as it is and just drop or sub underperforming players. Good.

Sean
Sean

To be fair, if Ozil was fit to play and Wenger left him out of the squad saying he was ill, I think his ego would still be bruised. He would know why he’s been left out.

Jack
Jack

You are just factually incorrect. Wenger dropped star players, including specifically Ozil, on many occasions.

Rich
Rich

Emery will move Ozil on at the earliest opportunity, he’s clearly not going to put up with his inconsistency.
Emery is a dream come true, he knows exactly what he wants and exactly what he doesn’t.
Interesting Ozil has tweeted any nonsense about our win on social media, he’s usually all over it.
He wants to hope his social media game doesn’t drop to the level of his performances on the pitch, because a his big social media presence is about all he’s offering us.

santori
santori

There’s a lot of players that will be moved on before we even come to Ozil. Please.

MrT
MrT

As I said to you before Rich… if he can not accommodate Ozil into the team, Emery will be moved on 😉

Jack
Jack

Some people are so fickle. This very season (which is only 3 months old!) Ozil has had several fantastic displays.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

lol.

afan
afan

has he?, I must have blinked because I missed them

wix
wix

Good decision from Unai. Arsenal can’t use the best eleven every match, sometimes rotation and learn another club’s strategy are very important, against Bournemouth Unai thought this match were body challenge strategy that’s why he brought the fighter like Sead, Lucas, Granit and Iwobi in the midfield then use 3 defenders to minimize air duel in the penalty box.

Daniel
Daniel

It really seems like Emery actually tries to match his tactics and line up to the opponent instead of just hoping to play the same way every game

santori
santori

And to the players we have and their strengths/weaknesses.

gunner smith
gunner smith

Arsenal were lucky.Against any of the top sides,the defences could be
ripped to pieces more easily than by B’mouth.
For starters the gunners are too slow in the build up towards goal.By then the cavalry will be back and that’s how the gunners conceded when the ball was lost.
A lightning counter and the Cherry player was isolated and unmarked.
If you watch how Spurs beat the Blues it was a fast sweeping attack.
Now if a better Chelsea defence can wilt,the gunners will be in for a torrid time.
However the gunners attack can frighten the spurs if they speed up the
offensive and stop passing a hundred times.

santori
santori

We weren’t ripped to pieces against Liverpool and that was with Mustafi and Holding. Just saying…

afan
afan

if it wasn,t for emery we might have been, he was like our twelfth man that night

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

F this shit, let the man (Unai) live.
He’s the coach, and he will decide the tactics. I didn’t find it “interesting” at all; you know what you get with Ozil (creativity, little physicality or defensive work), so he made the best decision he felt he had in his disposal.

I really hope he’s not questioned every single time he benches Ozil.

santori
santori

Absolutely.

This was a (refreshing) change of tactics to suit the strength and weaknesses of players at his disposal.

santori
santori

Seems right.

This is not a game that would suit Ozil given our set up.

Frankly even Mhkitaryan struggled.

We are missing one more player out wide (right side) who can inject pace and add a bit of flair/guile. Nelson would have been interesting but he’s out on loan for some reason.

Come January if we can find someone, to balance the attack and provide option to Iwobi, it will put us in good stead to push to end of season.

Meanwhile between Ozil, Ramsey and Mhkitaryan, frankly feel we should consider impact of Brexit on future pricing for local made (particularly more matured products)

Therefore may be sensible to meet or come closer to Ramsey’s asking and consider letting the Armenian go particularly since he is also older.

I imagine our 3-4-3 is partly predicated by Auba being played top today to get the best out of him, partly bc of returning Cback option with Sokratis and partly to unleash better the attacking potential of Kolasinac whilst he fine tunes the defensive side.

Otherwise, we may return to 4-2-3-1 and Ozil pulling strings behind the CF.

In any case, good to see Emery continue to develop a different set up for potential use in the future.

santori
santori

The interesting thing was us taking off Torreira and keeping Mhkitaryan on. Maybe the Uruguayan was a bit leggy today bc of Internationals. He was caught too far up for the Cherries’ goal.

Thought we’d see Ramsey on for Mhkitaryan all the same and Torreira kept. We are still more secure with the wee man.

OTOH would have preferred to see AMN come on (earlier) on right side to add protection to Bellerin and maybe go at their defense with a bit more pace. The Nketiah sub was merely winding down the clock with Eddie getting little chance to get in to it.

Rk rk
Rk rk

Xhaka and Miki put on a joke of a performance.. and the physicality thing is just an excuse.

Dholio
Dholio

No complaints whatsoever. We got the 3 pts and needed to defend, not chase the game. Had circumstances been different, I suspect Ozil would have entered at some stage.
Was not crazy about closing game out with Xhaka Guenduzzi combo. Hearts in mouth whole time for me but they hung on. Thought Elneny could have been brought on to help shore things up but we got the 3pts so no major complaints

SG_Gooner
SG_Gooner

Mesut wasn’t on the pitch???

Nordin
Nordin

Is Emery turning to become those English coaches and commentators?? We need to be “physical”, “aggressive “, “hard-working”, “competitive”
No room for a classynworld class playmaker. Very sad. Ok we getting the results. So were some other “physical & hardworking” teams. Where is the beautiful football gonna come now? Where is the finesse goona exist from?? Very sad. So it is now just results?

Nordin
Nordin

And it is many supporters, probably English or supporters of English-type of football, same thinking as those English coaches and commentators, just hate Ozil for what he can offer (creativity, vision, awesome defence spliting pasess) but kept focusing on what he cant, or at least not to the level that they are expecting (getting on the opponents faces, sliding tackles, hard body checks)
I for once will not want my beloved team to become another version of Stoke or Burnley

Chilli
Chilli

that’s ridiculous. We have scored some of the best goals this season, so how are we even close to becoming the Orcs?

sambo
sambo

The Orcs hahaha i missed that term.

Jack
Jack

I mean I don’t agree with the sentiment of the original comment at all- results are and should be the main concern- but most of those beautiful goals involved Ozil in some way.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

You pick the best team to the job vs that opponent. Bournemouth was identifed as a physical team, and the manager has opted to field a more physical side to combat it. Clearly Ozil isnt the type of player to make that team. Doesnt mean he is useless and we should get rid of him. Ozil on his day is the best player we have and certain games and opponents will allow him to thrive. Todays opponent wasnt one of them.

Naija Gunner
Naija Gunner

It was a gamble but it paid off 👍🏾

Thesoulofpdavis
Thesoulofpdavis

I think we are jumping to too many conclusions. Yes Ozil has been off over the interlull, but if we could get through Bournemouth without him and save him for the bigger games over the next few weeks then that must be a positive.

So far Emery has shown that he does not rush players back but also he truly believes in his own ability to find solutions with the players available. It’s almost as if he has a plan A, B, C etc… We should be pleased. I loved Wenger but it often felt that big players were not protected enough and often rushed through recovery. Too many games we played an overly strong team only to lose key players for the games that mattered.

WallyT
WallyT

Emery decides who plays and who doesn’t based on the nature of the opposition and the attitudes of the players before the game. I’m sure that’s not all there is to the story; fingers crossed, this will propel Ozil into even greater heights and still keep all others on their toes. I wasn’t happy we didn’t go for Sarri, but after seeing all the man has is a good style of football and nothing more; I’m happy with Emery who is more of a tactician, substitutions and match day squads are selected based on the needs of the game. Ozil is great, but Emery knows he can be greater and he will do anything to push him further. #Emeryknows

Jean Ralphio
Jean Ralphio

How about we praise Emery for thinking tactically. Why do we assume that Ozil is underperforming and that this serves as a warning to Ozil? This team has on the past been dependent on one or two players to perform. Now it’s not and that helps with the whole resilience thing.

Mark
Mark

The big question to me is how Ozil will respond to the benching going forward. Will he put his head down and work to earn the manager’s trust or will he sulk and come out in the next match he plays drifting around the pitch.

ArcticMarty
ArcticMarty

Ozil getting a lot of flack in the comments, Clearlt a much better player than mkhitaryan though.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Clearly not.

santori
santori

Mhkitaryan was poor but he covered a lot of ground.

Laca-Sead
Laca-Sead

Did not shock me. What interest me is his reaction. Great players turn up when their egos has been stung. Let’s wait and see but if he can bang 3 past Spuds…

Rams
Rams

We win but deffence line is poor.. Next match with bitter rivals Spurs ..

zigzag
zigzag

How long are we gonna continue to have this discussion?

He’s always been a wonderful luxury item that we’ve never truly been able to afford – it’s not even Mesut’s fault. He’s fair weather -which is just not sustainable unless you’re a Man City or PSG.

I like him, but he just doesn’t work for us. We’re not big enough to accommodate him.

Gereoma
Gereoma

Arsenal vs Bournemouth, was a game we would have comfortably lost under Wenger. We knew that under a very tasking manager, that Ozil would be benched. One thing about football is that any player can improve( Iwobi is becoming a mainstay at wide-left, thanks to hardwork), Ozil did not feel the need to improve under Wenger; he was a regular, rain or shine. Emry is not afraid of Ozil, on the contrary Ozil should be very careful from now on. Emry does not like Ozil’s game; he is only introducing Ramsy to see if Arsenal can get a fee off him in January. Emry is highly tactical; he knows the problem with the squad. He wants to offload some players and get in new ones in January. He is a snake waiting to bite, players should be very careful.