Emery insists Ozil decision was tactical


After Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Sp*rs in the Carabao Cup, Unai Emery reaffirmed that his decision not to include Mesut Ozil in the squad was tactical.

However, when asked if the German was a player that he could be tempted to sell when the January transfer window – a very unlikely scenario – he refused to commit to anything other than a change of subject.

“It’s a tactical decision because I thought that the players that were with us today were the best choices for this match,” Emery explained in his post-game press conference.

Asked how his ‘star’ man reacted to being excluded, he went on: “We are thinking of every player.

“We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing one game and not in another, it’s the decision. Today it was tactical.”

Ozil was awarded a bumper pay-rise in January which took his monthly earnings to around the £350,000 mark; a sum that dwarfs that of every other player in the squad.

Choosing not to use such a high-profile player obviously raises eyebrows and while a back injury has been cited in the past, this ‘tactical’ decision hints clearly at an uneasiness in their relationship.

“My focus now is analysing this match and also Saturday against Burnley is very important,” replied Emery when asked about the possibility of selling Ozil.

“We are going to assess every player, how they are tomorrow in training and for a difficult match against Burnley on Saturday.”

He then went on: “I am thinking about the match on Saturday, and not thinking about another situation.

“Every player is a big player. Every player. I decided not to play him. It’s only a tactical decision.”

Make of that what you will…

Arsenal 0-2 Sp*rs – player ratings

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The “are you selling him in January?” response – well, if the actual answer was “no” I think he’d simply have stated that. Which is not to say it’s then “yes”; it’s not a dichotomy. “I don’t know” is probably on the table too. This is all very unhelpful, this whole situation.

Anne Noyd

Has Ozil actually had a constant run at number 10 infront of Xhaka and Torreira yet? Madness, that is his bloody position. I can only think of the Leicester game, and he ran the show.
I really, really want to see that again before we write the obituaries.


Funny thing is, people point to the Leicester performance as his only good game this season. I have seen many players praised for their performances this season, but I have not seen a single player in Europe’s top 5 leagues have a performance that good this season. Everyone uses a 10/10 performance as the standard for Mesut, but does anyone know what a 7/10 performance from Mesut is like? People are criticising him for anything he does below his 10/10 performances. It’s rare to hear or even read about Mesut just having a good game, not an amazing or terrible… Read more »

Nacho Man

Well to be fair, even in the Leicester game, he was practically invisible in the first half. It was just Leicester attacking throughout the first half – Ozil came alive only in the second half. So even though it was a magnificent second-half performance, I wouldn’t call his performance over 90 mins a perfect 10/10. The problem with Ozil isn’t that people don’t appreciate his 7/10, it’s the fact that there just aren’t enough of them. Also he has yet to come alive in a big game this season – he only made 14 passes vs Chelsea, was poor against… Read more »


Again, where do his stats come from? His 7/10 performances are being missed by you too. Put any of those guys in an Arsenal side of the last 5 years and they would do less than Ozil has. Remember that Carzola, the best player at Arsenal in the last 6 years to me, also lost as part of this Arsenal team in big games. Ozil’s inconsistency has no stat backing it up, it’s only subjective. You can’t make Ozil’s stats if you are inconsistent, its impossible. It would mean he put up record breaking numbers in just a few games… Read more »

Forest gooner

He was woeful agaisnt palace and wolves


Who wasn’t?

Thierry Walcott

You have woeful choice of words.


Ramsey and Ozil likely to go. I just can’t see a positive from this…..


We’ll be lucky to get 30m for both. That’s the real problem. Look at liverpool swapping Coutinho and Sakho for Salah and van Dijk. That’s how you do business.


Liverpool also bought balotelli, Andy carol, Moreno, origi, lovren, a perma-crocked ninja turtle, and Dave, the bloke that did keepy ups outside St James park. Let’s not use them as our model fir transfers please.


We signed Torreira+Guendouzi for £33mill, Fabinho+Keita cost £100mill….
Price is what you pay and value is what you get.


Listen, the squad needs an overhaul and we all know it. Ramsey, though good, is not worth 300k a week. Ozil is a player who looks jaded and refusing to get on the Unai-train and not worth 350k a week. The squad is littered with players just not good enough that need to go and be upgraded on, especially in terms of mentality. They have to go and I’d prefer it sooner rather than later, so that emery can get the players he wants, who are willing to work as per his methods. We all expected a season or so… Read more »


Wicked good comment man. You say a lot but every sentence of this I agree! May I add: there IS shit happening behaind the scenes. There is a bit of poker and bluffing to all of this. Maybe some thing spectacular is in the works or maybe we’re going to chip away. All I know is that Emery has fucking earned a lot for himself, and it drives me nuts to hear people shit talk him after a couple of tough losses, with Holding Kolasinac and Bellerin out, Koscielny struggling to find form again, and the winter taking its toll… Read more »

A Different George

Unfortunately, because it would really be funny, the won’t lose to Villa. They will lose to Man City, if they get that far.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Ozil out, Rabiot in! That’s the plan.

Don't boo Paul Davis

Rabiot joins us every transfer window


He is going somewhere now seemingly

A Different George

And what could settle a dressing room more than adding Rabiot? Perhaps we can get Ballotelli too.


The positives are we have a manager who’s identified what he wants and also what he doesn’t want. Ozil just isn’t consistent enough, and as much as I’d like us to keep Rambo, Emery has again taken a look and decided he wanted to go in a different direction. Fans wanted a change in style, but with a change in style, we’ll need players with a different set of characteristics. Emery deserves a season or two to get his house in order, and I’d imagine in that period we’ll see a good few more than Ozil+Rambo fall by the wayside.… Read more »


Maybe we can get a rabiot and some cash for them 2? We will throw in our miki too 😀

SB Still

Is it £350K a month as stated in the article or a week?

While we didn’t lose it was win but 2 losses in a row, it’s going to be difficult.

The injury situation in defence is not helping matters. The two goals conceded today were sloppy and can’t expect to win a cup tie. We really need to get back to basics with the players we have available.


Surely £350,000 p/w is based on bonuses?
If he’s not playing? He’s missing out on those bonuses?
If we get a bid of £10mill? I think we’ll take it.

petr cech' s helmet

Its bollox talk, almost Wengeresc . Give him time and he’ll get the hang of it.


To be be honest, we know what we’re getting with Ozil and he’s not justifying the money he’s being paid. I’m struggling to think of a top team with a player like Ozil and, let’s not forget, the 4-2 against spurs came without Ozil in the side. To those who push the “part of his job is using what he has” line, yes, I get it but that doesn’t mean a manager shouldn’t have to start a player he doesn’t think is up to his standards. I think some people have read too much in to the “head coach” title… Read more »

ricky rick

Dude, you’re spot on. He’s good, but he’s expensive AND he doesn’t quite fit the style of the manager. I think we all understood that some players would flourish under Emery’s style and some would wilt. I remember an Arseblog podcast from the beginning of the year wondering if Ozil might be one of those to struggle.


I’m not an Ozil fan but this line of reasoning does not help anyone. Where do I even start… “the 4-2 against spurs came without Ozil in the side” – It is quite amazing that you try to use this as an argument against Ozil *immediately after* a 0-2 loss against, you know, the same Spurs side. As if neither the twentysomething players who actually suited up for us and the white team didn’t do anything. “We’ve not won the league with Ozil, I doubt we ever would, and we aren’t getting our money’s worth” – Have we won the… Read more »


I’m not using that performance as an argument against Ozil, but it shows that we are capable of top performances without him in the side. To act like we lost last night because Ozil didn’t play seems a stretch to me because we’ve had good performances without him. You’re right, we haven’t won the league with any of the players in the current roster so why should the manager not be able to build his own side? If you expect Ozil to start every game because he’s Ozil then you’ve already accepted he’s different to other players in the squad.… Read more »

Swiss Arsenal Fan

I have read your beginning and you just have to know that every club ( real,Barca, mncity etc.) can deliver world-class performances without their top players. This is no argument, I’m sry for you.


I think yesterday’s loss has more to do with defenders than Ozil. Yesterday, we were missing Kola, Mus, Bel and Rob. Whether you agree or not but that was a better line up to play against these Scums.


Its a complex situation. A great coach would be able to figure out how to setup his team to include the best #10 in football today. However, if the coach doesn’t want to use a system with a #10, then those wages absolutely must be reallocated to players that fit his system. Although.. it’s really hard to convince anyone that Ozil would not be an upgrade from Iwobi or Mhiki. Even if he’s a square peg in a round hole, he’s miles better than both. Also, Germany won tons of games with Ozil on the left.


Ozil is far from the best #10 in football today.

Not even good enough to play for Soton. Useless, lazy, overrated player who is better at fortnite than football.


What an utter load of nonsense.


If a great coach can do that why do none of the current top clubs or coaches play with a traditional number 10?

Another Paul

Sanchez ? Pogba ?


Neither of those players are number 10s like Ozil..


Whatever the reason, it didn’t work.


Yeah, OK. Bye-bye mate.


The trouble with not selecting Ozil is that we do not have any players who can play his role effectively. Ramsey is not a NO .10 IMO and Miki and Iwobi are good players but not world beaters. Ozil produced one of his best ever displays for us vs Leicester (granted not many of them this season or last) but surely we have to try and get that player playing rather than not being selected at all. It doesn’t make sense, he must just not buy into Emery’s vision for him. Shame because although Ozil can be a bit naff… Read more »


I’m going to shoot the moon here and say that perhaps it is tactical. Player management tactical. And match tactical as a result.

Emery has a tactic, but Ozil plays a certain way, and they’re not lining up.

Emery learned his lessons about these conflicts at PSG, and he’s managing his players.

Let’s hope they both get it right.


Emery is trying to shoot the moon, too. Finishing in the top four in the league and winning European trophies without having your best players on side? Not getting your team selection right until the second half? He can’t go on like this.


Ozil started when fit last season and we came sixth.


Your point being?
Like what do you think, logically speaking, actually follows from this statement?


@ Bob, you were alive last season and we came sixth.


Really, you’re saying that someone who plays for Arsenal has the same impact on last seasons results as some dude on the internet?


And you were alive when Donald trump was elected

Don't boo Paul Davis

There is a difference between “best” and “most talented” players.


Which is why he needs transfer windows. Our squad is so strange, if we play a back 4 we can’t play kola, if we play a 3 we can’t play monreal at wingback. No welbeck now so he can’t play laca and auba together as he probably wants and have the requisite cover on the bench. We’ve gone 22 games unbeaten, I think emery is doing a good job. He does, however, need backing and there’s a reason the club brought people like Raul and Sven to the club. I’m amazed how impatient people are being right now.


Very well said, currently our manager has to be reactionary due to the personnel available instead of being able to interchange players based on form due to his preferred system.

A lot of people are simply too reactionary


My thoughts exactly Bob.


I am leaning towards the Emery not having tactic or style of play. Thats why he relies on halftime to correct his ‘mistakes/tactic’ all the time. I mean its over 23 games in and he still cant fix our defending style. We cant be conceding stupid 1st half goals and think the manager has a handle on the situation.


Do you honestly think that? Have you not heard every interview with one of our players, each one of them mentions how tactical & detailed Unai’s work is? I think some of us can actually see what he’s trying to do, trying to get the right ‘balance’ in the starting 11 even though we don’t have a balanced squad which then turns into a mess, eg. Laca and Auba not starting together, Ozil not as a no. 10 in front of Xhaka & Torreira etc.. . Give him couple of transfer windows to get the players he wants & players… Read more »


I am not doubting his passion or how tactical he is. For me its in the results we are getting. The point i am making is half the season in
the defending hasn’t changed a bit from our 1st game. I mean look at the Southampton game its easy to scapegoat Ozil but we lost that game because of the same issue (poor defending). It doesn’t matter whether we have injuries or not we always concede. Its telling that in the EPL we only have 3 clean sheets.


But we do have a style of play, it’s just difficult to implement when we don’t have a balanced squad. It’s clear we are a possession based team who build from the back, we’re compact and play a high line and press when we lose possession, we use attacking fullbacks and he likes proper holding midfielders, we use inverted wingers etc. It’s not exactly easy for a manager to implement a style when he has no like for like subs or natural backups to players in the squad. I thought the Arseblog readership was pretty considered but the amount of… Read more »


I couldn’t agree more with you Bob. It’s been going downhill recently… Unfortunately….


I don’t get why people are mad with Emery.. he should stick with his principles.. In the Modern game every outfield player should be ready to get stuck in not just be a genius when given time n space.. No one can argue he is a frustrating player, he expects even referee’s to concur to his notion when he executes an awkward turn and losses the ball crying foul play while absolutely refusing to run like a child.. He probably thinks he’s the best ever player in his own head which doesn’t help the cause.. you can’t really coach this… Read more »

Lord Bendnter

99% sure he’s going to be sold. You don’t leave out your highest earner for a derby game. And not even having him on the bench said a lot.
Is he being saved for the “physical” game against Burnley?
Sure sounds like they don’t want him to get injured. Sounds pretty certain to me we are letting him go in January

Yankee Gooner

Manager who has AFC at 1-2-2 against rival clubs this season (Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Sp*rs, Man U) seems to be willing to throw our star under the bus to put his stamp on the club. Good times. Obviously this season is an improvement (so far) over last, but all the team is doing so far is beating the teams it is supposed to beat. I’m going to try to withhold judgment until the season is over, but I can’t help thinking that we might be seeing the same glass of water but just calling it half-full.


For Christ sake, City and Chelsea were first two games. They are two of the best teams in league. How many of our players can get in to Liv, Chelsea or City?
Last season we did not even beat teams which we were supposed to beat.
I don’t know why people are not understanding that we are having defensive crisis. Holiding, Mustafi, bellerin, Kola all are out. Boss and Monreal are just back.


Bullshit. At least be honest.


IF he doesn’t feature this weekend, then there is something more to the story.

Otherwise it could be as Emery says.

He just returned from injury and Ramsey did not feature.

So makes sense to protect him for weekend particularly since Mhkitaryan and Ramsey are similar to Ozil.

We only have one asset that can engage and beat players one on one at the moment in Iwobi.

Don’t see why some fans are all too eager to wank off the press.

Lets take the gaffer’s word for what it is.


Was thinking the same as blogs. something has really turned sour with ozil and team management.
It appears they will not treat him with kid gloves.
Emery obviously favours leaving ozil out of the team and playing an inexperienced 19 year old in midfield. Unfortunately Iwobi, Gwendouzi have not repayed the managers faith in them.
Going to be a struggle keeping up with the top4 this season. We are just not able to compete with an already weak defence/ midfield being made more weaker.


Faith does not play games. I think if given the chance, we would all run our hearts out for this club on the pitch. But football is about much more than just faith and hard work, ability has to be backed up by those and not the other way around. I know Iwobi and Guendouzi are great players, but just like Ozil, they need a setup that will get the best out of them. Currently Iwobi is being shepherded to the corner flag or out wide because he is supposed to work in the half space only. He is an… Read more »


Is it because “He’s Arsene Wenger’s man”?

Anthony Hylton

Why is there such a big shock about this? If you have a manager that plays a formation that doesn’t accomodate a player who plays as a number 10 what is the shock and awe. This team based on what I saw yesterday is crying out for pace out wide and players from wide who can chip in with goals. We haven’t had that since Walcott and Alexis both left.

Moving Ozil on will be a difficult task due to the high wages he is on.


Emery doesn’t use wingers either. You will notice when he makes signings.


I am hoping that Emery will see the need to bring more pace into this side. city have sterling, mahrez, walker etc. pool have salah. we struggle in this dept.


Even at £50k per week you would have ask if Ozil is value for money. For his salary you could expect a top quality centre back and wide player that scores goals.

Time to get brutal if we want to succeed and no10 doesn’t really fit modern football.


Maybe, but Ramsey and Ozil are both very talented players. Probably the best two players we have excluding the two strikers. It is mindboggling that Emrai does not want to accommodate them into his squad. Not matter any formation, it is football. This is not logical. The coach must take some blame.


Blame for what?! Why are people acting like either player is irreplaceable? I recall back during the January window, most supporters initially wanted to keep Alexis (look at him now), while others conceded privately Ozil stayed because no other big European side wanted him. As for Ramsey, oxlade and Wilshire are hardly pulling up trees and many were insisting they stay too.

Point is, embrace change and trust the process. Its already brought us a Torreira


I’ll be honest I have no idea what is going on here but could there be more to it than just Ozil, not being suited to the game or not being physical enough for the game. Could we be looking at a scenario where mentally he is not okay? We know he has suffered with Germany and could we now be seeing a player really struggling with his mental well-being? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, maybe the boss just doesn’t fancy him but when he has played in his preferred position this season he has done well so… Read more »


When he first arrived I was over the moon. I had loved him, his eye for a pass, his brilliance of movement, his effortlessness efforts. All was enamouring about him. But not anymore. I wish, Ozil would play good and consistently, more. It’s not true he doesn’t play good against better teams but he doesn’t turn up for matches at the level he did for Madrid and Germany. Maybe, it was about having better team mates or maybe he had more fire and more to prove to then but he hasn’t been that good for Arsenal averaging out over the… Read more »




They all played in good sides, better than what he is playing in. One man doesn’t make a team, he is not a superhero. Chelsea are and have been better than us, Man City are and have been better than us, Alexis’s big game goals came from Ozil, Ronaldinho and Zidane played in such top teams, quality-wise that they possess every type of trophy they competed in. So Ozil I supposed to match these guys in this Arsenal side? I’m sorry, but even Messi is not good enough to win a World Cup with Argentina and they have a very… Read more »


I have discussed just that point. You know that’s kinda the problem with most fans, very few see the whole view. But are the first to table their half baked view. Lol.
Just making things toxic.


The Leicester and Fulham games were great fun, but we are capable of beating those sides without Ozil. I just don’t see his value and want the resources used on more effective and consistent performers. We only ever see flashes of brilliance each season that don’t really move the team forward.


Flashes of brilliance?? Surely that is just nonsense, he was consistently the most creative player in the league for three seasons.

Glasgow Gooner

He’s our best player and can offer beautiful football…give him a game ffs

Glasgow Gooner

With the Adidas deal on the horizon and Ozil their star man. The timing seems a little odd.


Um… pretty sure adidas’ star man is a little Argentine at Barcelona.


it doesn,t matter if he plays against burnley or not, it wont change things


This Ozil sentimentality is the type of thinking that has held us back for too long. Yes he is our best player but he is showing an extreme character flaw on the most basic level. If your boss thinks your not up to it prove him wrong, its that simple. Obviously he is not responding well to no longer being indulged and having to prove himself again.