Iwobi: Hopefully Ozil continues to play


Alex Iwobi has hailed the impact of Mesut Ozil on the Arsenal team, and hopes that after a difficult period the German can play more often.

The 30 year old made just his second start of 2019 in the 3-0 win over BATE Borisov, and was instrumental in a much more controlled attacking display from the Gunners.

In particular he linked up well and often with Iwobi on the left, something that wasn’t lost on the Nigerian international when he spoke after the game.

“We know what Mesut’s like, we see him in training every day,” he said. “He’s world class.

“You know we’ll create a lot of chances with him in the side so we just have to hope that we put our chances away and we’re able to score three goals from it, like today.

“So hopefully he continues to play. It’s about trying to create space and makes the right runs.

“I know if I make a run he’ll be able to find me because he’s got the vision to spot it, so I just have to make it easier and try to make a run so that he can play the ball for me.”

It’s clear from what he’s saying that the players have missed him, so let’s hope he can find some form between now and may?

How did the players rate for you tonight?

Arsenal 3-0 BATE Borisov – player ratings

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Rayk 47

Would really love to know the truth of what has been going on between him and Emery.

Sadly, given the PR management on both sides, I wonder if we’ll ever really have the truth.


Upper management has to be backing emery on whatever is really going on. I’m not sure about the owners since they don’t really care about the day to day stuff lol IMO I think what happened at PSG has effected him with arsenal. Players didn’t respect him and went over him when there were problems. He wants to show that will not happen here and luckily he had a player in ozil that has his flaws. The only problem with Unai doing this and getting backing from Raul would be the team looks bad in the final third. Playing formation… Read more »


Regarding Emery, I wish people would stop saying “what happened at PSG” as if the only thing that happened at PSG was drama with star players, losing a title to Monaco, or the Barca comeback (thanks to the same type of dodgy refereeing at the Nou Camp we know too well). In his last season Emery won the title and both domestic cups there and did it playing some stunning football. Think the Ramsey goal against Fulham but they did it several times. The 4-0 defeat of Barca in the first leg was one of the most comprehensive wins over… Read more »


that’s what happens when you give dumb people money.


Blanc won everything at PSG and got pushed out or contract not renewed because he failed to get past the final 16 in CL. When you are at PSG with this ownership group and the way the rest of the league is set up you are expected to win everything domestically. It doesn’t matter if everything came together for Monaco in a magical season or they went further in CL. It’s all expectations and results driven. Mbappe, cavani, Neymar and etc you better play stunning ball. First off I think tuchel is a better manager than emery to begin with.… Read more »


This is exactly my point about PSG being a basketcase. It’s not a coach’s job to tell adults not to fight over a damn penalty. Saying “the players will figure it out” was his way of asking them to show more maturity. Maybe you expected him to chew them out publicly? Yeah that would’ve gone down well. It would’ve been spoken about privately in the dressing room where most coaches prefer to handle their business. About PSG’s expectations… If in Wenger’s first few years Arsenal’s leadership had PSG’s thirst for instant success, Arsene would’ve been fired for losing a title… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

I find the whole situation to be not that big an issue as the media portray. Obviously effort in training is part of the issue as well as consistency. He’s world class and by far our most creative player but he can do better. Emery is the coach who doesn’t give preferential treatment and that’s good I think. But we need to get top four this season otherwise the club is in real danger of undoing progress made under Wenger. Therefore, I hope we use Ozil because I can’t see us making top four.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Agree with all of that Jean Rlaphio except for the ‘world class’ bit. I think Ozil is a very good player but a bit short of that level imo…..we do need to use him more though absolutely no doubt.


Whoever says Ozil is not world class needs to pay more attention to game play than goals. Germany lost in WC and everyone spewed hate against Ozil. If you see just the highlights you will see he made amazing chances to put players in almost open goal places and they couldn’t head it in or shoot on target. There were easily 4-5 of those chances which shoild have been put off by smallest of teams let alone Germany. Having said that I do feel Ozil was not on par with his levels today. And whatever accolades people are giving him… Read more »


Too true. Going by the above (“we see him in training every day”) it makes the comments from the press conference about his training seem a bit silly. It’s clear players feel more free to make runs and link up when he’s on the pitch, so I’m with Iwobi, I hope he continues to get minutes. And if he gets a few consistent starts he might get a chance to build some form too, and you know how dangerous an in-form Ozil can be for us 😉


I want to see Emery cut this shit and start Ozil from now on with Xhaka and Torreira behind.

Greg in Seattle

Agree, myrtle. This is so freaking obviously our best midfield setup that I want to punch a goddamn wall whenever it’s NOT what we run out there.


I do not believe this has anything to do with form. Mustafi and Xhaka keep getting playing time and people want to say this decision is based on Mesut’s form. No way I am buying that argument. Also, now we have another confirmation from a player that Özil is working hard in training.


Hoping this isn’t building into Pogba-Mourinho situation where one has to go to get the other turned back into world class player by being happy with the format of play.


I got your point but you must agree that it turned out quite nicely for them in the end…


Fortunately we haven’t yet reached the end and there’s still a reasonable chance that we could snatch the 4th place trophy from them.


Getting shot of that stain on humanity always seems to turn out nicely.

Cliff Bastin

I think they are both players who need absolute freedom with the rest of the team covering for their defensive shortcomings. At least Emery doesn’t shoehorn Ozil into a role that doesn’t fit him like what Maureen did to Pogba.

Kwame Ampadu Down

I’m sorry but that is a daft comparison. Mourinho alienated pretty much all of his squad & ridiculed individual team members on a regular basis for no reason. Pogba is he lost high profile but you could go through Utd’s squad & pick loads of players who have been liberated by Mourinho leaving. Emery cl3arly has a problem with Ozil…and may not be handling it too well. Mourinho is simply an absolute cunt. Totally different situations.

Parisian Weetabix

Thing is, with Pogba and Mourinho there was obvious, explicit animosity. Whereas there hasn’t actually been anything of the sort between Emery and Ozil – almost all commentary on their relationship is conjecture based on the fact that Ozil’s not playing and whatever vague comments Emery makes in his press conferences. The fans are frustrated over the creativity issues and the lack of transparency, which gets blown up into the “situation” where everyone assumes they must for some reason hate each other, a la Pogba and Mourinho. Overlooking other factors such as: – Ozil has always been wildly inconsistent. –… Read more »


If this was twitter, I’d say “instant follow”. Great comment. The weird thing about fans and pundits overdosing on Özil/Emery is they refuse to see the issue as a continuation from last season and the mysterious “winter break” Wenger gave Özil. If anything, both Wenger and Emery have tried to protect Özil – Wenger giving him time off, Emery telling the press “tactical reasons” instead of “Özil’s sick again” , then giving him the motivational captain’s armband when he can. And if Özil’s illnesses are just that – illnesses – then there’s actually no bad guy in this story. But… Read more »


I don’t think Ozil or Emery are similar personalities to mourinho and Pogba. He also isn’t asking Ozil to screen the back 4 and inhibiting his play, Ozil isn’t 25 and the long term future of the side. The manager isn’t being a sour wanker and the morale amongst players seems good, they’re also obviously not downing tools. I don’t in all honesty think it’s even close to the situation at united.


It worked out well for Manu in the end. Though that says something about Pogba’s professionalism. He is doing all the defensive work and still being offensive now. Not something that he couldn’t do for Mourinho. Though attackers like Martial and Rashford have way more freedom now. But nothing that should have seen drop of form by Pogba. I absolutely hate it when some world class players only perform for specific managers. For me they lose that class. Messi and Ronaldo or even Aguero amongst others have never dropped performance because of that. Thats real class.

Faisal Narrage

I do wonder how much of Iwobi’s outspokenness about Ozil playing is also due to his own predicament.

Many of Iwobi’s own naysayers seem to transfer the feeling that he’s “replaced” Ozil in the squad by deeming him not good enough and going for him. Having Ozil on the squad also thus removes that pressure from him, and gets some of the fans off his back.


Maybe some of that, but also on the pitch Ìwobi looks at Özil like a big brother. Mesut is his reference, the guy who’s always in space for a pass. He makes him a better player (Alexis used to combine really well with him too).

I’ll also point out that if there was even a hint of a young player like Iwobi repeatedly missing training sessions for illness and stuff like that, this fanbase would absolutely shred him. He’d be gone in the next window. No excuses.

Matty Cakes

Let’s not forget that Wenger had issues with sickness / back problems regarding Ozil. Last season he missed over a quarter of Prem games.
Emery runs a meritocracy not a mezutocracy, so if you don’t train well in the week, you ain’t getting in the team at the weekend


Ah..here comes Sanellhi’s PA to clear out all the mystery.Btw,what’s our summer budget gonna be?Is Monchi really coming in?How much do we have to pay clubs to sell them Mustafi?

I need more inside scoop!


I personally feel selling Mustafi would be a mistake unless we get a world class defender to replace him. For whatever his mistakes, is see his commitment to defend on par with Chelsea’s golden defenders. He does lack mental stamina and thats evident in all thise mistakes but other than that I feel he is better than average for sure. And still not in his peak years. Hopefully he will do better. I remember his first season in and only time we used to perform bad was when he was out injured. I think he needs better man management.


I think ozil is facing psychological battles

Olivije Žirod

He was in doubt for playing in WC because of back issues. I don’t get why would he would risk world cup if he wasn’t injured. He stopped playing in Pl when we lost all chances for top 4. Wenger was keeping him fresh for EL game probably mainly because of his back injury. He wasn’t the only one. Ramsey and Koscielny also got the same treatement. Ramsey wasn’t in the squad 5 times since 1st of the March, Koscielny 4 times and once was on the bench (all that before injury) and Ozil wasn’t in the squad 6 times… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

Koscielny who’s achilles injury the whole world knew Arsenal had been trying to manage for ages before it finally snapped. How on earth has that situation any relevance whatsoever to the point you are trying to make ?


Ozil was no better than average today.
He didn’t play badly, but I don’t understand how some are creaming their pants.
If we can extract some value out of him until the summer? Then great…. but I really hope we get short of him this summer.

Thought Iwobi was really positive again today, he’s really improved this season, he’s getting into very good positions, just needs to add a ruthlessness in front of goal, he’s fast becoming one of my favourite players.


He was more than decent. But If I was screaming regularly every week for him to be played, I’d be underwhelmed.

Goonerooni 48

“We know what Mesut’s like, we see him in training every day,” he (Iwobi) said. “He’s world class.”

So why doesn’t Unai Emery see Ozil training every day?


Am I wrong, but to me it appears that a number of Arsenal players seem to mentioning how good Ozil is, and how he creates more chances for the team when he is out on the pitch. Iwobi today, and there were others about a week or two ago that basically said the same thing, I just can’t remember who they were. To me, it appears at least some of the players are sliding with Ozil. That could be an early warning that Emery could eventually lose the players support, and thus the team.


It’s funny how inconsequential this whole ‘losing the dressing room’ aspect seems. Majority of these players should be sold soon enough because they’re not good enough to where we want to get. Just like Liverpool & City did.
I hope club management can see that clearly.


I’m all for Ozil not starting if he if he doesn’t work his ass off on the training ground, but at least have him on the bench. He might not have the brightest performances, but you can see how it changes players attacking mentality “run, he’ll find you”.

Whatever it is between Mesut & Unai, I hope it ends v soon or preferably now. It’ll do good for the team & fans….


Iwobi!? What are u doing brother? What chances did Ozil create other than bungling a shot in the box?


Another clear message to everyone . Emery have all the team against. In fact no one could agree with his strange selections


I had a beer with one of the journalists who cover Arsenal yesterday after the game and he said that all the players rate Emery highly. Clearly they also rate Ozil- both can be true.


This ozil crusade by fans and media has gone on way to long, we have a few very hard away games coming up that could see us pinch 4th shouldn’t we as fans be supporting the team regardless of ozil or any other individual player. I support Arsenal fc and It’s crunch time and the arsenal needs us fans to encourage and support them until it’s over. Instead of all this moaning and crying evey time we loose or play crap, we fans could make such a difference in our remaining games.why not lay of the negativity and actually try… Read more »


“we see him in training every day”

I’m sure Iwobi said this without thinking (i.e. I’m not accusing him of any ulterior motives) but that’s kind of an interesting statement with regard to Emery’s “I ask him […] to be available for us for training, when you can train consistently” remark. Or maybe I’m overthinking things again.

Glasgow Gooner

You know it makes sense.


If Unai had dropped Holding would there be as much fuss?

Holding was more crucial to our winning run than Ozil was.


We wanted big players on big contracts, we got them, they don’t always perform.

If dropping a player who has been at a turbulent world cup and personally. Wouldn’t giving that time to the player to recuperate physically and mentally, but at the same time giving some kind of message a good thing. We don’t know what is going on inside. But the players are all itk and there is no mutiny.

I think we should trust Unai on face value when he says there are ways to psychologically motivate a player.


I absolutely 100% agree.
And the answer is no.


Wenger got decent seasons out of him because he built the team around his strengths and still managed to squeeze in Ramsey into the same lineup.

But arm around the shoulder and building the team around Ozil would be going back to the old ways.

We wanted to make more modern football, we got a manager to implement at least the foundations of it and a coach who is skills in the individual development. In particular the younger talents we have so many of.

Surely we should be backing the manager.


*a coach who is skilled in the individual development in such a system


Cue weirdos acting like this is some sort of dig at the manager. Would love to know what’s going on behind the scenes though. Regardless, thought we looked better with him on the pitch and playing (what I assume) is Emery’s preferred formation


So Emery wants Ozil to be available for trainings, but Iwobi says he sees Ozil in training everyday. And apparently trains well.


Just don’t understand people who criticised Iwobi. Everything good comes from the left for a reason and if he isn’t scoring he has made many key passes leading to goals

Same with Granit, solid today. There is a reason he is starting ahead of Torreira

Same with Mustafi. A Clean sheet today but people blabbering trite as per usual about his mistakes

He wasn’t the one responsible for us slipping at Soton, BHA or West Ham. And he scored an important goal again.

Arsenal fans need a reality check.

John C

If you actually watch the games nothing good comes down the left just lots of wasted possession.

There can not be a player in the league who gets so much attacking possession with so little end product, there certainly isn’t one at any other club aiming for top 4.

I love to see his touch to goal/assist ratio compared to his contemporaries like Sane or Martial, only then will some people get just how bad he is.


In reality, there’s only three players in the entire league who contribute more to their team’s xG total, and one of them is Kolasinac. The other two are Salah and Hazard (xG assisted info from understat.com).

Iwobi isn’t perfect, but he’s much more influential at creating goalscoring chances than it appears. He’s very very far from being bad.

John C

Haha nice try but all you’ve just done is prove my point. Only 3 players have contributed more to their teams xG total, one of them being the left back who plays behind him in a defensive position. All that shows is that a lot of our play comes down the left but that’s to be expected considering our right hand side has been hard hit by injuries to Mkhitaryan and Bellerin. That doesn’t mean he contributes a lot, just the 4th highest percentage of what is probably a low(ish) team figure. As I said, the damning part of that… Read more »


Alex Iwobi is also 2nd (behind Sane) among Premier League u23 players in xG assisted per 90. The thing about these comparisons we’re making is, it’s Iwobi vs Sane, Martial, Hazard, and Salah. Those last four are expensive imports. If you want Iwobi out of the team, you need to sign that calibre of player. Let’s put it another way, Iwobi’s on 3 goals and 4 assists now. If he matures and puts up 8 goals and 10 assists next season, you could say he compares favourably with those 4 expensive imports. So he’s not far off, and he’s properly… Read more »

John C

He doesn’t look like he’s ever going to score or assist and when he does there’s always a large chunk of luck involved. He also isn’t a young inexperienced player, he’s played 130 matches for us and if he hasn’t figured it out by now playing in a highly offensive team alongside world class attackers he never will. If we want to start challenging for the league he needs to be replaced as a matter of urgency as for me he’s by far the weakest player in our team. We need to be realistic and not let sentiment and the… Read more »


Arsenal fans are the most entitled lot.

Last season they were moaning about Wenger and talking trite about how they did not mind being outside top 4 and in europa, how they would give the new manager 3 or 4 seasons bc he would be err new.


Never Happen

I enjoyed the final sentence summary
of your key point

Kwame Ampadu Down

Agreed Never Happen. Very nice of santori to post his comment & include everyone’s else response on our behalf.

John C

If you actually watch the games nothing good comes down the left just lots of wasted possession.

There can not be a player in the league who gets so much attacking possession with so little end product, there certainly isn’t one at any other club aiming for top 4.

I love to see his touch to goal/assist ratio compared to his contemporaries like Sane or Martial, only then will some people get just how bad he is.


Regardless of the reason the best case scenario is that they figure it out and get the best from Ozil and more to the point, that he is self-motivated to give his best. We won’t be able to replace his quality for years if he goes and a performing Ozil in our squad is a huge force multiplier.


We clearly need Ozil. Just hope his situation gets sorted soon.

Frank Bascombe

Mesut is a world-class footballer.