Sunday, March 3, 2024

Emery on Ozil’s absences and starting him in the North London derby

Unai Emery says he’s yet to decide if Mesut Ozil will start the North London derby tomorrow, but that the German’s recent availability is good for the team.

His absences have been well publicised, with stats going around about just how many games he’s missed over the course of his career in North London. However, he’s back in the fold over the last couple of weeks, and he put in an excellent performance against Bournemouth on Wednesday, with a goal and an assist to his name.

The Spaniard explained the fact he’s been out of the team so much this season in the build-up to tomorrow’s game.

“The first thing is that he had injuries,” he said. “Sometimes he’s had a bad back and then he’s sick. That’s the reason.

“I spoke with him and I’ve spoken to you, telling you about when he can be consistent and available to do training, to take the rhythm and the confidence to be able to play matches. That’s better for us.”

As for tomorrow’s team, Emery wouldn’t be drawn on Ozil’s participation, continuing, “For us, we are doing a plan for a lot of matches and each match is different, whether it’s home or away, the opposition and how we are in each moment.

“The most important thing is whether each player can be OK for tomorrow. Then we decide to play.

“With this, we’ll decide whether Mesut will play tomorrow.”

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my name is bob

Fabulous player, not sure he’ll start tomorrow but I did see him tracking back a lot vs. Bournemouth…

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Don’t think that’s the best way to rate his performance. Goals, assists, key passes, chances created… I don’t think our crap defensive record has much to do with Özil not contributing. Our defensive record is actually better with him on the pitch.


‘Our defensive record is actually better with him on the pitch. ‘

Not true, and not a logical way to rate our defensive performances.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Please illuminate us with your logic.


Stating that we played better defensively because player X is present, who in this case is notoriously known to not be a defensive contributor and without looking at the actual factors that affect any defensive improvement.. is a shallow method of analysis. Maybe not even a method of analysis. You don’t need me to tell you that.

PC Police

Player X’s presence can boost his teammates’ confidence and thus making them better at their roles.

Player X may also contribute to a more efficient attack, increasing expected goals and thus reducing the pressure to defend. 2-0 doesn’t invite as many defensive substitutions and formation changes as 1-0.


But he never said that we have a better defensive record BECAUSE he’s on the pitch. Just the fact that we might happen to have a better record with him at least signifies that he’s likely not the reason for our poor record.
do you get me? it is confusing no matter how many times I read it


Added to his lack of consistent pressing, his fake attempt at headers and being disposed in dangerous areas.Yes Red Sky to on to something but Ozil image has been fabricated to stay in people’s head. He won’t start this weekend and there is a reason why.He is simply not good enough to be in the starting 11. Iwobi, Mkhi and Ramsey are ahead of him and offer a more solid team balance with the necessary creativity.


How about we just agree that our defense is no worse with him on the pitch, and our offense is better. That has to be a plus. If we can’t stop the other team from scoring, we better score a lot. With him on the pitch our chances to score goes up


But quantifying it would help understand it . Objectivity over subjectivity.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You are the one who made an unsubstantiated statement that our defensive record is better with a player who does not like to defend. Had you said we create more chances most would agree. Why resorting to fake news ?

Bob's Mexican Cousin

But it’s not unsubstantiated is it?

Özil doesn’t play many away games and our away form is terrible. Take a deeper dive at the data and you’ll see.


It is true

my name is bob

I don’t rate Ozil based on his defensive prowess either… just mentioning it because it’s something that Emery clearly looks for, and Ozil was working extremely hard against Bournemouth


He even made a tackle and pushed somone over covering Jenks

Vic Kasule

Please play him.

Thierry Walcott

Emery must be available in our moment to create an opportunity for Ozil to show consistency of his best performance against the gobblins. COYG

A Different George

But you forgot to say “good morning.”


good ebening


Homeless goblins*


Yes it is our way, we must take the capacity with one voice to play with intensity as protagonists on the pitch.


and our idea with him, in this moment is like for any other player


I really love the way he says “idea”, easily one of his top 5 words.


I feel we’ll play 3-4-2-1 again. Probably Micki and Iwobi will start in the flanks.
A lot of work off the ball will be required, support for the wingbacks and running up and down the lines.


Don’t think he’ll start Ozil tomorrow. Reckon it’ll be back 3, SL at RWB, with Miki, Rambo and Iwobi behind Laca

A Different George

I would love to see a side tomorrow that includes Xhaka and Torreira behind Ozil, and both Lacazette and Aubameyang ahead of him. Just play as if we were at home–2-4 sounds fine to me.

Tasmanian Jesus

I’d rather have Mkhi in, and just one striker.
He’s been looking like Mkhi from the Dortmund days recently, and that guy was lethal!


I hope he plays Miki. He was the best player against Bournemouth


Oi. With our fullbacks? Are you serious?


I appreciate the sentiment of this comment, but no: we’ve looked much more cohesive in attack the last few games in a 4-2-3-1 with both Miki and Iwobi on the pitch, and only one of the strikers, not both. Personally, I’d play Ozil at 10, but I reckon he’s going to go with Ramsey instead. Then you’ve got one of Auba/Laca and one of Ozil/Rambo to come on in the second half. Not half bad, that.


With both Laca and Auba, there is no room for Miki or Iwobi. I think one of the latter will start. I am uncertain as to Özil. Rambo is also in there..


I think we are really at our best with only one of the strikers up top. I feel that Emery is starting to realize this too. I just hope they can both score enough and he rotates them properly to keep them both happy.


That’s my view too with what we’ve seen so far.

I like the format we had with 1 striker and 2 playmaking forwards who can pitch in with goals. Until we see something else, that’s my favorite formula. And Mkhi and Ozil seem to have found a good wavelength.

If we can rotate and sub Laca and Auba and they’re both still getting in the goals, that’s fantastic.


I don’t agree with your team but I 100% agree with that sentiment. Just forget this is an away game and smash them. They are there for the taking.


Some of this could be just smoothing the past over, but it almost makes you wonder if some of Emery’s previous comments about needing ‘full commitment’ had to do with Ozil just not being physically healthy enough to be ‘fully committed’. We all know it’s pretty difficult to be fully committed with a bad back or when ill. And while Emery has done fabulously well at getting up to speed with english press conferences in a short amount of time, surely there are nuances that don’t quite come across.

Drew Dewsall

As far as I am concerned Arsenal are simply a much more dangerous team with Mesut in the 1st 11. I also think he works harder than people give him credit for.


Agreed, and just his presence makes the other (especially offensive) players do much more. They run more and show for the ball more because they know he can start something good.

Also, I hear a lot from pundits about how Ozil’s work rate is bad, but in offense he has a fantastic work rate. He always moves into dangerous spaces and makes runs to pull players away from the man on the ball. For our main creative outlet, that should be the work he is judged on, and he does it in abundance.




Not sure I buy this “Ozil is fragile” narrative. Koscielny, Monreal, Mkhi, Lichsteiner, Kola, and even hector have all been in and out out of the team due to small recurring injuries, but they were picked almost as soon as they were available.

I just think that there are other factors that are used to judge Ozil besides his performances. If he was questioned based purely on what he contributes, and compared to others on our team and other teams who play in similar positions, many of the arguments about him could be easily avoided.


I think it’s become almost impossible to second guess Unai Emery’s starting lineups, however….. It’s absolutely guaranteed that ppl will find a reason to be pissed off whoever he decides to start.

The way he’s spoken about intensity+rotation, I’d be surprised not to see a fair few changes tomorrow, and I don’t think we have any choice but to go with an attacking lineup, we simply don’t have the personnel to play defensively.


With premier league pitch quality (mostly) home and away should make far less difference than it used to


Xhaka and Lucas, Mhiki Özil Auba, Laca

Time to bring the Arsenal


The LMAO combo never took off… it is time.

Canuck Gunner

You left out Xhaka and Laca. Add an XL in there, so it’s LMXLAO
Could be translated to Laugh My X-tra Large Ass Off as we destroy those homeless bums.


I’m an Ozil critic. But of his attitude only, not his skills. That’s always been my story. If he serves the team well, I support him. Converse applies if he puts himself first. Right: He’s earned a start. MOMENTUM is essential in football as in everything else. This is especially the case with someone like Ozil, whose issues are in his head and nowhere else. That’s not minimizing by any means. On the contrary. I’m just describing. Give him the start. He’s in third gear. Final point: It says something that he’s well-liked by a good number of his teammates.… Read more »


I agree. But I would also understand if Emery decided not to go down that route. I know this is a hard thing for many fans here to accept – but we have to take a leap of faith and trust the manager on this and support the team.
Well, not HAVE to, but it would be nice.


Ozil has historically been very good vs Spurs and United, would start him in at least one of these matches


Whatever the real reason was for Ozil missing so much time – injuries or to try and push him out – looks like Ozil is hungry for football and wants to impress, which is fantastic for us.


Just play him man!


I think we’ll start with basically the same team and formation as against Bournemouth, except with Xhaka instead of Guendouzi in midfield. Jenko to start at RWB again. It’s telling that both Micky and Iwobi look so much better with Ozil in the team. If we can get 2 of those 3 into real form then 4th is definitely there for the taking. Maybe 3rd. Front three of Ozil – Auba – Micky then. Auba will start, because we’ll play on the counter. Laca will come on later to cause havoc and score the 3rd goal of a 3-1 rout.… Read more »


Don’t think Auba will start as Laca is suspended for Europe so more likely Laca starts with Auba coming on to push them back second half. I fancy Ramsey for this game.


Fair fucks Emery…….. non commital but Ozil is coming back….. he’s coming back


I am admidetly one of the peps not tro happy with özil, he drops out in to many games, especially big ones with high intensity, and the club did a big mistake to allow someone which even back them was not always convincing such an astronomic weekly wage. All that said, I enjoy his good moments a lot, And always want him to succeed for us, yet the past disappointments in big games leaves me in doubts he will be starting against Spurs.

yea mon

Emery will be a fool not to start Ozil tommorrow.

Arsenala Vista Baby

The other team is not playing at home either. Let Ozil kick the stadium door again.

Keith Bird

I support EVERY Arsenal player coz that’s what we should do right? I think I am right in saying that özil got to 50 assists quicker than any other prem player. Let’s support the boys and be mindful that they are human beings as well. #whatdoyouthinkofshit COYG

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