Despite returning to fitness and taking part in training this week, Unai Emery once again left Mesut Ozil out of the squad for an away game.
It’s the kind of decision which will always come under the microscope when you lose, as the Gunners did going down 1-0 to West Ham, but the Arsenal head coach sounded unrepentant afterwards, even as he admitted having more attacking options on the bench would have been useful.
The German’s absence was something he was quizzed about following the game, and the Spaniard insisted the players he picked should have been able to get the job done.
“We had enough players to win today and impose our gameplan, and impose our tactical quality against them,” he said.
“Maybe for the bench, some attacking players could have helped. We decided that the players here were the best for this match.
“We’ve won with him, we’ve lost with him,” he continued, referencing Ozil. “No one player makes the difference between winning and losing the game.
“Today the players who were here are the players who deserved to be in this match. We could have won or lost, like we can with him.
“We continue working with every player because they are all important, but today the decision was to come with these players.”
Hmmm. It remains an unhealthy situation, one that needs to be sorted, and Emery’s assertion that ‘No one player makes the difference between winning and losing the game’, doesn’t really hold true because that can often be the difference in a tight game.