Emery: Ozil and Sokratis rested for Europa League


Unai Emery says that with another game coming up on Sunday, he decided to rest both Mesut Ozil and Sokratis for the Europa League trip to Germany.

The Gunners face Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow night, and while the Greek international has played 90 minutes in all five Premier League games – as well as two internationals during the recent break – Ozil’s first appearance of the season came on Sunday at Watford.

He played 71′ minutes of the 2-2 draw, but the Arsenal boss has chosen to ‘rest’ him ahead of the weekend’s clash against Aston Villa at the Emirates.

Denying it was anything to do with a return to Germany, Emery said, “Sokratis and Mesut, they rest for this match.”

Pressed on whether the 30 year old needed a break, he continued, “Yes, I prefer after Sunday match to rest, to train, to be ready for Sunday.

“Now he’s going to be helping us not tomorrow but Sunday we are going to play another match.”

Which is fine at face value, but doesn’t really stack up when you consider the squad he took to Frankfurt, most of whom played at Vicarage Road in the dismal 2-2 draw. The likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe are likely to be in action tomorrow, and they too will be needed for Sunday.

As for the game itself, Emery is expecting a tough time against last season’s beaten semi-finalists.

“Really we have big respect for this team because last year they played in the semi-final with a big, big performance all season,” he said.

“They will be with their supporters pushing and excited to start with us and at the beginning it will be a really good match because two teams who want to do something important in this competition.”

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Sokratis played twice for Greece, but we’re only in September.

Ozil has played 71minutes since the Europa league final in May….

Just ridiculous….


Holding and Chambers please! And Auba on the bench at most. I would also like to see Willock and Guendouzi as a double pivot at the base of the midfield, with Ceballos at 10, but that can wait till Sunday I suppose.


Maybe it’s just because he’s my favourite player, but I always feel extra down when I hear Ozil isn’t in the squad, or is I’ll etc. To be honest it was the biggest surprise ever that he started against Watford but it was great to see

SB Still

I’ve not been a big fan for the past couple of seasons and it’s more a case of Ozil is not quite what this team needs. However this season IF we had a good defensive setup, this attack is what Ozil is in the team for.

While Emery says he is resting Ozil and Sokratis, we know the real reason. By extension of that approach and logic, can Emery drop/rest himself too, to take accountability for the shambolic performance last Sunday!

Reality check

Yeh someone needs to start making tapes or CDs before the game for Emery too.

Jean Ralphio

I think we should play to our strengths and be an attacking team. Why spend millions on attacking talent and sit back like we did at Watford? I want to see us attack relentlessly even if we’re winning 2 nil or 4 nil.


The only one which this team doesn’t need is Unai Emery. Before Kevin Broke the record for assists, it belong to Mesut. He has done proved himself by hey he can do best. Unai wants donkeys who run behind the ball and pass it to Kola. Get a good coach and see this attack firing.
My god even ole looks better now. Why can’t we get Ancelotti or someone like Pep, Poch or Klopp.


It seems that your video game console is missing you.
Perhaps return to it….


Somehow i’m just waiting for Ozil to burst into action as we know he can. Sometimes i think he “vibrates” at a different frequency to the rest of us.


Vibrates at a different frequency. He’s a lightweight flake who provides moments of brilliance but upsets the balance of the team because he puts in zero effort to win back the ball, rarely even jumps for a header and refuses to ever put his body on the line for his team. He sets a bad example to the youngsters and somehow seems to think he’s above getting his hands dirty. Can you imagine him in a klopp team? His work ethic is non existent. Some fans act like he’s a deity, but he’s not. We’ve had the one true God… Read more »


Saw that incident against Watford where he falls over the ball from no pressure ?

350k/w for that lad ?




That doesnt make any sence. Why take auba then ? If he play him 90 min i will lose my mind. Auba ( and others too like guendouzi ) need rest and ozil need to play.
Hope chambers is ahead of mustafi at least.


Because Auba is in prime shape and form. While Ozil could barely run in Watford.


Ozil probably isn’t match fit, considering how few he’s played.

Karma, you have a good point. Play Chambers. He looked good what he’s played so far. No Mustafi!

A Different George

I agree that Ozil is not fully match fit (how could he be, after less than one competitive match since spring?). I wonder if there is some process to bring a player to match fitness? I know–why not play him in a Europa League group match!

Ace Boogie

Early on I bought the narrative that Mesut didn’t fit Emery’s “style/system” blah blah blah, but as time has gone by I’m thinking this is more an Emery issue than a Mesut one. Mesut still has plenty to offer this team but Emery is leaving him out time and time again. Why’s he being “rest”? He’s played ~70 minutes all season, he actually needs these minutes, even for an hour. I see people writing ozil is finished this or that but is he really? Is Emery not to be seriously looked at for his use, or lack there of of… Read more »


Yep Emery the same guy that drove Ramsey out of the club, on a free transfer no less. As we saw at PSG, Emery appears out of his depth with star players.


Emery did not drive Ramsey out of the club. That’s bullshit. He was first name on the team sheet every week under emery. Board made the decision not to give Ramsey what he wanted – basically the same deal as Ozil. Can’t really blame them, and no way you should be putting that on emery.


You’re right it was the board that forced Ramsey out but as he was prepared to sign the contract that was on the table then they were certainly to blame


If you seriously believe that Ramsey was signing the contract you probably still believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny as well.


We should put everything on Emery. He can’t do an opt of good for this club.


That, sir, is idiotic.
Just baseless nonsense.

A Different George

Ramsey wanted “basically” the same deal as Ozil. Sort of, except maybe 100,000 a week less. But why quibble over details.


@adifferent George…Ramsey’s deal with Juve is worth 400k/wk…I’m not quibbling over any details.


Stop with this ridiculous agenda. If you’re going to slate the manager do it on actual facts and not fanciful nonsense!


I was already slightly dubious about that narrative regarding Mesut and Emery’s ‘system’ last season, but thought that might have just been my bias towards a personal favourite player. However a year into Unai’s tenure, that doubt’s only grown stronger. I get it, Ozil’s definitely not a great ball-winner, but as far as I’m concerned, if you can’t afford to cover 1 player in your team defensively, then that says a whole lot more about the system than the player. And I’ve always thought the whole ‘Ozil can’t play away games’ is just complete horse-shit. With the exception of big… Read more »

Reality check

Yep, everyone seems to have bought into the British press’ narrative that Ozil has to be a Kante in defense or he’s no good. This witch-hunt followed him ever since he tore England a new one in Africa, properly embarrassed the so called golden generation.


@realitycheck…uhm yeah…you definitely need a reality check…


Or the finale of the U21 Euro finale in 2009 trashing England 4-0.


Couldn’t agree with you more. This “Ozil can’t play in physical away game” is the biggest BS I’ve ever heard. People are parroting theory that’s not true. It’s never a problem before Emery was here.


Nonsense comment. In today’s game, there can be no passengers. The luxury, one-way guy is no good. Every team in the Prem has the same/similar analytics, data and preparation. And, barring a few outlier very bottom teams, one weakness can easily be exploited – as we see regularly. And Watford, while not a powerhouse side, have some good players and are no pushovers, especially on their ground. The margins are so fine amongst the top half of the table. Ozil is NOT a physical player. He’s always easily pushed off the ball. Too easily. He loses the ball. A lot.… Read more »


” Ozil is not a physical player. He’s always pushed off the ball. Too easily. He loses the ball. alot” what a load of crap you just written there. I went to the game against watford and Ozil and ceballos hardly lost the ball. thats Ozil one strength he keeps the ball very well infact. He never had physical presence so uses his technical ability to shield the ball. When willock and nelson came on against watford they got bullied and lost the ball countless times and yet they have more physical attributes. We lost the midfield battle when him… Read more »

A Different George

I’ve brought up this incident before, because I think it says a great deal about Emery. At Man City last year, we were losing and outplayed, but still in the match. With Ozil on the bench, Emery brought on Dennis Suarez, who had arrived three days earlier, had probably had one training session (or none), and had played only a few minutes the entire season.


There’s a definite whiff of “I won’t get Neymared again” from Emery regarding Ozil.

Dave M

Rest?! Holy $hit this guy has a good gig!

Man Manny

Has Emery been sacked yet?
I was half expecting to see the yellow headline on skysport on Monday.


Since when has Arsenal had a knee jerk reaction and sacked a manager. For heavens sake we are only 5 matches in with new players who haven’t yet gelled and others coming back from injury.

Man Manny

A chick that will grow into a cock is determined the day it hatches.


But if a tree falls in the forest and you have a fox who meets a turtle on a riverbank, what then? Should we keep Emery?


Should play Ozil, a bit of consistency might bring out the magic touch we know he has.


Here we go… Give big big respect to Frankfurt shall we. Passive

Fireman Sam

One thing is for sure: they won’t respect us if they watch the Watford game again. We can expect them to punish our continual brain farts.


Ozil “rested”…lol…poor wee lamb definitely put an intense 70 mins in against Watford…it’s a wonder he managed to get out of bed the next day…


I lose faith in him a bit more with every interview. He seems pretty clueless to be honest. Have really hoped he manages to get this team back in the CL but each week I doubt that a little more. Think the sooner he’s gone, the better. He’s not the guy we need right now. Notion terms of defensive tactics, not in terms of leadership. Try to get Mikel, give Freddie a try or get someone like Allegri. Emery had his chances, he has blown them all.


I believe you, Unai. Thousands don’t, but I do.


I’m trying to, at least.


Maybe that phrase is lost in translation!


Did anyone criticising Emery for this stop to think that maybe, just maybe, he is trying to help a player who has been through a traumatic episode recently by not picking him for a match in Germany…….where he’s not exactly flavour of the month currently & might ship a bit of abuse from the crowd which is the last thing he needs at the minute ?


No, because he’s been ‘resting’ Ozil since he got here.


I think you’re right on.

Monkey Joe

On Sunday we need to let our board know that we vote for #EmeryOut and we want it before October 31 come what may. #EmeryOut means #EmeryOut.


Why are you trying to destabilise the club at the beginning of the season? Don’t lessen any chance we have of success. Back the club until we either win or mathematically have no chance in all competitions.

Monkey Joe

Have some vision. He is car crash. Why waste another season with this plonker? He had his and he blew it.


What toxic rubbish

Peter Story Teller

We’d be no worse with Freddie temporarily in charge until someone suitable comes along. Who knows he might actually know what 11 guys are meant to do on a football pitch?


So does you mean we shall spend another season outside champion league and maybe europa league and start to worry? Seriously?


This guy is a clown. No playing philosophy, changing and chopping guys regularly. Changing to random formations in every game and praying that it might work. I agree it took both Klopp and Pep a few transfer windows to get going but we know how they wanted their teams to play both from Dortmund and Barcelona. Last few years AW was past his best but still he had a playing philosophy that made teams fear Arsenal. They knew that this team has not 2 but 8 attacking players all over the pitch. Now the teams know that the only attacking… Read more »


özil resting bwhahaha oh my G. Just play a back3 emery


Emery’s words, though clear seem to give a strange meaning when put together. Maybe he is still trying to translate the words from his language in his head( instead of speaking the thought,) like you do when learning a new language.


Bring on Arteta or Alegri and make Wenger CEO.


I am 100% sure this is Emerys decision to rest Özil. No change, if he wants him to play, he plays Mesut. And if thinks özil not suited for the upcoming match, they always find a way to communicate this like ” he is ill ….or rested in favor of premiere league” Emery clearly is the wrong person to manage arsenal. No good gameplan, always changing system before match day. Playing his favorite players every match…. Özil in a system “which works”, and not a system which suits him best, is a better player than every midfielder we have in… Read more »


Im actually glad Emery didnt bring Özil along….coz the shit show that is coming our way at Franfurt will only fall on other players plate and most importantly on Emery’s doorsteps!!
His incompetence in match management during games are all to see with his sideline antics. You prepare your team beforehand properly….not keep barking instructions to players on what to do during the match itself!!! And keep changing the lineup game by game and worst….half by half.
Ridiculous. Unacceptable


An away game “Leaving Ozil at home” Actually think its a very good idea. I love Ozil and still believe he is one of the best attacking midfielders in world football today. His defending qualities is where the problem is, but than again, defending was never hes strong point as a player like him should play with strong defensive midfielders to give him freedom going forward.
Besides Ozil at this point and time is not match fit.
We need players that will work hard and is match fit specially away from home.


Sokratis is a clear decision, but no way Ozil should be rested. Doesn’t need to play the full match, but give him 45-60 minutes again as he clearly is not in top match shape. Worst case bring him on for the final 30 minutes or so. This is the perfect match for him to get some more playing time and get into better shape.