Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Freddie on Ozil: I want players to be angry

Straight after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton last week, Mesut Ozil left the pitch gesturing angrily towards the sideline.

Some have suggested he was unhappy with Alexandre Lacazette, others than his ire was directed towards the dug-out and the decision to take the striker off when the Gunners needed goals.

Whatever the truth of it, it’s not something that’s bothering Freddie Ljungberg ahead of tonight’s encounter with Wet Ham at the London Stadium.

Asked about the incident by Sky Sports, he said, “I haven’t seen it, but what I’ve heard is that he was a little bit angry, but I think he should be angry.

“He should be angry with the team, with himself, with everything, because we want to win football games. I want angry players.

“There’s nothing more to it than that.”

He was also pressed on whether the German was in the right frame of mind to play this evening, and it was suggested the 31 year is key to Arsenal performing well.

“100%,” said Ljungberg about his readiness. “He’s a great football player, and I love his quality, we have other great players too but of course I want everybody to be happy.”

Today’s Arseblog match preview

Arsenal need a horse. And by horse I mean win.

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Is that why you are playing him out of position? I thought Emery freezing him out angered him enough.

VAR will solve the problem

I say play Lacazette in the number 10 position, behind Auba. He can hold the ball, skip challenges and have the vision. He helps out more in tracking back more than some of our midfielders. Dont think he can do too bad behind the front three of Auba, Martinelli/Saka and Pepe. Better solution than playing Auba out wide. Solves the problem of fitting both Auba and Laca together.


Remember when we played 4-4-2 with the Rosicky,Flamini,Fabregas and Hleb in midfield and everyone was making runs into space, intelligent runs, when our players knew how tonuse their brains and creativity and had the technical quality to perform that idea, also when their teammates were on the same wavelenght most of the time? If your answer is Yes, then you know it doesnt really matter if Laca is told to play in number 10 position, he should be intelligent enough, same as all our players, and know his qualities and his own style enough, to be able to adapt to… Read more »


He drops back and fights for the ball, that is true. And at times that is valuable. Other times, not best use of him. But the last few matches when the ball would come to him underneath, nothing was sticking. He was defended into anonymity. Ozil still has the ability to find open space through his movement, and has better touch and control. Say what you want about him, He’s still better than any other option we’ve got in the #10 position or if we’re going to play someone behind the striker. With our current return from Auba and Laca,… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

A smart coach knows Pépé has no confidence for now. He will instruct his players to let him send the ball into the stand or pass it to opposing goalkeeper, so to speak.


I haven’t seen it

Channeling his inner Wenger hahaha


He should direct his passion on the pitch when playing (and fight for the badge) not these tantrums they show after losing games or the nonsense sorry excuses. It doesn’t mean anything then.


Maybe you didn’t watch the game, but during it Ozil was shouting at his team mates on the left hand side to track back as he was doing exactly that. I know this doesn’t fit into your expectations of him, but he was doing exactly what you say. Maybe give some credit where it’s due. After all, he is an Arsenal player and you are (?) an Arsenal supporter.


But we don’t see the passion in the performance. Most players including ozil have had average/below average performances. There is no point blaming each other – everyone (bar the goalkeeper) should be accountable for the defeats. The senior players don’t play for the badge anymore. I can’t wait for all of them to move on so our upcoming young talent (with different mindset) can get opportunities and take this team forward.


Can’t help blind people to see.


His last two matches he has worked hard, played well with what he’s got to work with, and done all of the things he’s accused of not doing.

People have decided to go with the story rather than observe objectively. Perfect metaphor for the world today. And look where it’s getting us all.

Damn I’m in a dire mood these days.

Venga Bus

Is it not obvious that if you want a creator like Ozil on the pitch, then there has to be a designated DM protecting the back four. Then the massive space (Massive the way Arsenal allow it at the moment) for the marauding opposition attack on the transition wouldn’t be so available.
It’s sickening to watch .
Emery put Luiz there v Eintracht and up until his injury, we were stable , more so than I’ve seen in 12 months.
Point is, no DM, no Ozil.

Hiiiii guys

Defensive mid or not I want Ozil starting. If possible I want Arsenal buying a top class defensive midfielder partnered by a box to box Gendouzi and Ozil playing behind
Pepe Laca Auba
Managed by a top class manager


I’ve been replaying those first few minutes with Luiz in midfield in my head and i was sure my mind was playing tricks on me. We looked better balanced and we kept creating wave after wave of attack… It’s a shame it all went south when he got injured. I have not really written about it online as I thought I might have made it up in my head… Glad to see someone else noticed.


Would prefer tehm to be happy due to winning, but angry is good otherwise.

Hope they harness the anger and turn it around this evening.


Yeah well perhaps the willock fantasy for freddie was over after 45 minutes last weekend. So put ozil in the 10, Pepe out wide and do what’s logical to win a football game.


Let’s hope you’re right!

Cultured determination

I wouldnt want goontang to be on the right. I want pepe on the right, martinelli on the left, auba up top, ozil supplying all the balls and tierny/ bellerin providing flank support. Eceryone else back in defence!


The gaffer heard you!


Angry is not really the emotion we want from our players as it tinged with a lack of control. Desire, hunger and focus is what is required. Not gesticulating after the fact apportioning blame elsewhere. It’s the fans who should be angry watching lacklustre displays paying top dollar

Michael Bolton Wanderers

I expect every arsenal player to be angry if we lose to Brighton


I’m glad at least one player showed some passion and anger, the others just walk back to the dug out slowly as if they don’t give a shit.
Maybe some of the players have just given up on Arsenal and want to move in the summer. Sad times.


Yes.. just like us fans!

Ya gooner

So angry…. but happy……
Got it!


Ozil’s importance increased the longer he sat in the stands, when in reality he’s been largely awful for years, there’s a clip of Liam Brady after the Brighton loss that’s well worth a listen. Ozil’s finished at the top level, we should do everything possible to usher him out the door permanently in January. Ornstein saying Emery wanted Maguire, Zaha and Partey. This is why I had more patience and understanding for Emery’s situation than most: We lost Iwobi, Rambo, Monreal, Koscielny, Cech. Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Elneny, which is a lot of experience. We signed Tierney who’d just had a double… Read more »

Ya gooner

Sacking emery was still the right thing to do. You forget he still had all those players in the run in and fucked it up. You can’t blame that on a lack of experience. Honestly football fans are so impatient, we got what we needed.

Freddie has had 1 week to turn things around and unfortunately 2 games in that week so how the hell do you have time to coach new ideas. It’s why I suspect he’s playing similar teams as too much of a change too quickly could result in the loss of the dressing room for starters.


I’ve never said anything about Freddie, I’m more than willing to give him a run, I’m just not sure any coach could build a cohesive defence and midfield with this current set of players. When Emery got us into 3rd it was a false position, the stats and the performances were evident in that, the question I always asked was, did I think another manager could get more out of that set of players? With injuries to Welbeck, Holding and Bellerin? And then Rambo breaking down again at the end? Aiming for 2 competitions? And I don’t think any manager… Read more »


Partey is the kind of signing that many of us have been craving for many years now. Protecting, sniffing out danger and stopping attacks. No top team in the biggest leagues has tried to win anything without a proper strong CDM. Except the Arsenal. We have been relegated from the top six league and there is little hope in the near future with Raul and KSE at the helm


Agree with most of that but I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for Emery considering some of his tactical and personnel choices.


Emery’s personal choices would have been Ozil+Mkhitaryan out, two light weight forwards, who aren’t built for the intensity of the PL, it’s hard to argue with either decision. He would have chose Zaha over Pepe, because he knew there’s an adaption period for players coming from abroad, Pepe May very well turn out to be the superior signing? But Zaha’s natural aggression would have been a big bonus. Emery never played with wing backs before, but Kolasinac isn’t a left back, and once Bellerin got injured, he didn’t trust Lichtstiner, didn’t trust Niles defensively, and he didn’t trust Chambers on… Read more »

A Different George

Match after match, Emery set us up, both in selection and tactically, as if we were up against a better side. He did this at Anfield, where it might be justified (it was, in fact, exactly the wrong tactics, but Liverpool is good enough to win against the right tactics too). But he also did it at home, against newly-promoted sides and relegation contenders. Not playing Ozil (or Ramsey), almost never playing Aubamayang and Lacazette together, etc. To me, the absolute symbol of his tenure was the at Man City last year when, with the game still in reach (no,… Read more »


I think you meant Dennis Suarez, not Ceballos!


Huh. I had already forgot about him.


We signed Denis Suarez because we could only make loans, Welbeck was injured, and you tend not to be able to lend top level players from club.
We took a punt, it didn’t work, but I’m not sure what other options we really had?


Again very sensible Rich


Pepe – clearly a handful for defenders – never started.
Auba – out of position
Özil – out of position
Willock – too much too soon, he’s not Fabregas

Still waiting to see a coach simply pick the best players on the team sheet in their best positions.

Over complicating matters.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You love Laca’s goals and link-up play, right? Coaches know Auba is better through the middle but they think Laca’s contribution compensates for that and brings even more benefits.


You could argue that, as head coach, the recruitment aspect wasn’t up to him (Dennis Suarez pursuit aside). But it doesn’t explain playing Xhaka over Torreira at DM or playing Torreira as a free-roaming 8. And it doesn’t explain us playing 5 at the back and two DMs against middling opposition at home. And it doesn’t explain a whole host of baffling tactical decisions throughout his tenure.


I do feel that while the performances under Emery in his first season in charge were marginally better than the final year under Arsene – Results and overall stats may suggest otherwise, but we reached the Europa League final and were off the top 4 by 1 point. The summer transfer business was far too much change all at once, and echoes what Arsene suggested can happen when you make too many changes, speaking in 2015 he said: “Firstly [the demand for new signings] is most of the time to calm anxiety for the fans. It is reassuring to have… Read more »

A Different George

The return of “we’re only one point behind City and Emery should be given a chance” Rich. It’s essential to that narrative that Ozil is “finished at the top level.” It simply does not matter what you see on the pitch, you need to believe this for your story to make any sense. The rest of us prefer to watch the game.


I’ve not missed watching an Arsenal game for well over a decade. Ozil signed back in 2013, he’s now into his 7th season. He’s one paced, lacks intensity, inconsistent, a joy to watch at times, but the negatives far outweigh the positives, and by a country mile….. He’s simply not worth £15 million a year, and anyone who’s watched Arsenal could tell you that, the last decent run of form he put together, was the first half of the 2015/16 season. He’s the most overrated player we’ve had In my 26 years of supporting Arsenal, some of his touches are… Read more »


Very sensible Rich; i agree on your assessment of Ozil. We have been awful in both phases of the game, and whether Ozil is actually doing his defensive part or not, then he likewise deserves his share of blame. Note – Ozil was tracking and tried to put in a defensive shift… doesnt change the fact that he is woeful at defending, even when he tries. He lacks defensive aggressiveness, has terrible body shape in a block; it is very easily, elementary even, to pass around Ozil. Even when he is trying to be effective defensively. Poor guy needs to… Read more »


If it were ever anywhere close to ‘his share’ I might agree with you. Goes for Xhaka as well.

There are 11 players out there. Bernd gets a pass. He’s earned it.


Every one of our first team, bar the CBs would be welcomed into the Leicester squad tomorrow. Of course Emery was not making enough of what he had


Not a chance Bellerin might be better than Pereira, but Bellerin’s been injured, and Pereira is certainly a better fit than Lichtstiner, Niles or Chambers as a right back. Chilwell would walk into our left back slot. Soyuncu+Evans would walk into our centre back slot. Ndidi, Maddison, Tielemans would all walk into our midfield. Vardy is a very good striker, and I’d probably take Perez over Nelson and Saka in the immediate. Rodgers inherited a fantastic set of first team players, all maturing at the right time. Instead of stealing Rodgers, we should be looking at the guys behind the… Read more »


“We lost Iwobi, Rambo, Monreal, Koscielny, Cech. Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Elneny, which is a lot of experience.” I’m sorry, we didn’t lose these players, they aren’t down the back of the sofa or misplaced on a bus. Emery allowed them to be seen as surplus to requirements. Ramsey – was frozen out at the start of last season, much in the same way that Ozil has been, and then brought back in once the contract was off the table – a move Emery sanctioned, the idea that he doesn’t choose which players to work wth is farcical – once brought back… Read more »


Elneny is playing well, he’d be an option for the midfield, he’s always reliable.

Viju Jacob

Freddie shouldn’t squander the amount of goodwill he had when he took over and he needs to keep it simple and settled, be it first XI or formation. I just cannot wrap my head around both this in the first two matches.

Ya gooner

Agreed, back to basics 4-3-3 every footballer knows how to play in that formation if in their correct positions.


Just remember that this bunch didn’t like Alexis because of his ‘win or die’ attitude and in my opinion, once we take all of the politics out of the situation regarding his transfer, the departure of Alexis was the start of the malaise we’re seeing now. He was hell bent on winning which was bizarrely deemed as ‘disruptive’ and the fact that he was the one ultimately given the boot still bothers me. It proved to the rest of the team that there’s no accountability or pressure. That’s why I’m really liking what I’m hearing from Freddie. He’s telling it… Read more »


It was more of a ‘keep the ball or die’ with alexis. The only thing was hell bent on was keeping the ball so long after he should have passed it that he would run down blind alleys and turn it over to the other team.
He then went on to do exactly the same thing at united which is why he was dropped.
I guess it was his winning mentality that asked for a transfer and won him a nice fat paycheck too.

Cultured determination

Yup agreed. Alexis was a good player until his ego got the better of him and he hogged the ball and played final pass EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Frank Bascombe

So, you’ve access to the dressing room and thus, can tell us with authority, that the players didn’t like Alexis and further, why. Nice one.


Talk about revisionist history! Alexis’s hogging was a net negative in his last season.

Dan Nichols

i want him to be angry, i fucking am and im not getting £350 k a week for the privilege

Aussie Gunner

I think i might be the only one in thinking David Luiz and Torreira might be an interesting option in the midfield. Luiz was instrumental for Conte in Chelsea’s last title win mopping “shit” in the middle.

Have your fantastic four up front do their thing and give the midfield a solid base. Also how bad an mavrapanos be?


Was also thinking the same Aussie. Luiz might want to be closer to the action and his carelessness might cost less higher up the pitch then in CB position. Put Holding/Chambers or Sokratis/Chambers as Holding is still injured (just not Mustafi whatever happened). Ozil in front of those 2 DMs and 3 attackers in front.

Aussie Gunner

Exactly Dom. I think having Luiz in the midfield will also give us some control.


I’d quite happy put Chambers in there as an option for DM as well. Player of the season playing largely there for Fulham


I actually think Luiz is better as a DM, though he’s previously said he prefers CB. He played there a little under Benitez at Chelsea and on occasionally at PSG. It’s also probably why he’s so much better in a 3, it’s easier for him to step into midfield with the other CBs covering.

SLC Gooner

Agree, I think we were actually looking OK with Luiz there a couple matches ago, until he got that chest injury. Or Chambers would be an option if he’s not needed at RB or CB. Seems like either would give us more defensive solidity, plus both are decent with their feet and passing.


How can the players be angry and happy at the same time?


If their wife tells them they have the biggest penis, of all the players in the team.

Giuseppe Hovno

It’s so nice to hear from a manager who actually makes sense and is comprehensible


Lol. instead we got a riddler who wants his players angry AND happy at the same time.

Patty knight

Isn’t this what Emery was saying?
Is Freddy trying to be a poor man’s version of Emery?


Everyone angry ! Want to see Ozil stick one on the next defender who gives away a needless goal . Then see the defender pimp slap ozil because he pulled out of a challenge in the build up to the goal. Then Per strangles mustafi because mustafi . Then then xhaka swears at a fan in the crowd who then responds that xhaka has a chocolate right foot , xhaka gets angry and upset and has a crank in the centre circle . Then Freddie round house kicks mike Dean . This is all to a soundtrack of Phill Collins… Read more »

jatinder kumar

He looks like Emery 2.0


Did you realize that in virtually every game, in every team, in every season….there are players either playing injured or not playing and the fans are not aware of the situation or decisions being made? Now, let’s make sure the fans influence and criticize the player selections more….right?


Happy or angry?


The whole problem for Unai started when he tried to fit in Ozil into an efficient system. We weren’t doing well to begin with but then we went into tinkering mode as he struggled to find some sort of midfield balance. Here’s the evolution of the midfield inbalance – Ceballos out injured. – Put Ozil up top, you gain his vision but you lose a bit of f ball edge. Not to say Ozil does not put on the effort bc we’ve seen him win the ball for us but he does not sustain it. – Then go to a… Read more »

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Alright lads, own up.

Which one of you comedians told Stan about the relegation parachute payments?


……………………………Laca……………………………… Auba………………………………………………………Pepe ……………………………Ozil……………………………….. …………….Granit………………….Guendouzi……………. Kolasinac………………………………………………Bellerin ………………..Luiz……………Sokratis…………………… ………………………….Leno………………………………. Now is not the time for too much chop and change system or otherwise. We need familiarity and simply more hard work. We also need a predictable structure in midfield even if it is far from perfect. Something familiar to the players before is key. They need to know their positional responsibilities instead of what Llungberg had been trying. Most important is wide players Auba and Pepe have been negligent. They need to track back and work off ball WAY more particularly when our fullbacks are committed up front. Ditto Ozi. I have… Read more »

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Here’s what I would pick (I hear Holding is injured)


Bellerin Chambers Sokratis Tierney

Luiz Torriera

Pepe Ozil Martinelli


And here is what I fear Freddie will go for:


Bellerin Luiz Mustafi Kolasinac

Xhaka Guendouzi

Aubameyang Torriera Ozil


Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Rumours from Italy are that Ancelotti is about to become available after a big fall out with the owner (Ancelotti is not a yes man – just what we need but I bet the board won’t want him).. In the cold light of day, let’s look at some facts (from Wiki) “Ancelotti is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League three times (twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid), and one of only two to have managed teams in four finals. He has won the FIFA Club World Cup twice, managing Milan and Real… Read more »

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