Mikel Arteta’s team selection for last night’s 3-0 defeat to Man City raised some eyebrows, with the inclusion of some young players ahead of more senior options.

Not for the first time though, it was the absence of Mesut Ozil that provided the biggest talking point, with the German omitted completely from the match day squad despite the fact up to nine substitutes could be named.

There was no injury, no illness, and afterwards the Arsenal boss was quizzed about his decision to leave the highest paid player and biggest star out altogether.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta said, “It was for tactical reasons”, and didn’t go further.

In his post-game press conference, the 37 year old was a bit tiny more expansive, saying, “It was a tactical reason. I needed players in other positions as well and that’s why I decided to leave him out.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s what Unai Emery used to say when he left Ozil out of the squad when we all knew it wasn’t really for tactical reasons.

That with nine subs available to us, we couldn’t find any ‘tactical’ use for the German doesn’t make much sense. He wasn’t injured, nor was he ill, so you don’t need a first class degree in reading between the lines to figure there’s another reason as to why Arteta made that decision.

Whether it’s something he’ll talk about more in the coming days, or during his press conference later today as we prepare for the trip to Brighton Saturday remains to be seen.

But with football gone for three months, that Ozil immediately became the focus due to his absence is just one of the least surprising things we saw last night – and that includes whatever the hell that was from David Luiz.

Check out: Man City 3-0 Arsenal – player ratings

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Chim

Get rid of this guy from the team.

truj

Which one?

loose_cannon

Arteta, Freddie, Emery and sometimes Wenger in his last couple of seasons that have had issues with Ozil, so there’s only one common denominator here.

Chim

Ozil. As long as you have him in that team, you create an environment that does not help the team. Let’s cut our losses now and move on. No one should be bigger than the team.

Homer

Utter rubbish.
Where do people come up with this sorta stuff.

nygunner

I already wish the season had tactically never restarted.

Goonerrific

I’m not sure that tactically it did?

Cultured Determination

Ozil is needed as a CM to bring flow to our midfield play. forget the AM role cos teams no longer use AMs these days.
except that he has no fight, and will never track back/ be disciplined enough to defend as a CM.
 
best for him to leave, but then again i wouldnt leave my company either if they paid me a shit ton of money and didnt require me to work.

Riku

Ozil should be thought of as a forward not a midfield. Ozil as a false 9 , to hold up ball and win free kicks . No one hrkd the ball up yesterday. Nd since Alexis and gitiud left . Didn’t he score 4 against ludegotrtez in champ league in that position. False 9. Or on the left wing when hd eon world cup , left side of a give midfield. We couldn’t have done with him last night to keep ball.
He can run and close down defenders. Rather than scrap in midfield.

assistantref

Arteta tactically decided not to demoralize Ozil by including him in that clusterfuck.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Maybe he refused to play with #blacklivesmatter

Qwaliteee

He’ll be saying “Good Ebening” next…..

Gudang Bedil

We need Ozil’s creativity but he’s got some dire problems isn’t he? With Emery we can all argue, but now again with Arteta?

Chinaman

Seems like Raul and Co are instructing Arteta to freeze out Ozil in the hope that he leaves the club. I’m certain they tried this with Emery as well

Heavenly Chapecoense

What you said is absolutely true but I support them though.

Chinaman

I agree. Just feeling bad for Emery. Ozil ousting was the start of his downfall

Mpls

He did a whole lot other than that wrong, let’s not forget..

Public Elneny

What ‘creativity’ has Ozil displayed since his contract?
 
He’s completely finished

db10s

Yes and no. Only because we don’t have the personnel to do any better.   One thing that Ozil brings (not against the top teams) is the ability to keep the ball further forward. But that upside is greatly negated by his decline in creativity and non existent work rate off the ball.   Without Ozil, we become almost like a long ball team. Hit quick long balls to our fast attackers. We don’t have any “smart” players anymore to keep calm and smartly/slowly bring our play forward e.g Giroud, Santi, Rosicky, Cesc etc. This is one of the biggest… Read more »

2G_Gunner

Did Ozil take the agreed pay-cut? I remember there was some debate as to whether he was holding out or willing to take more of a cut. If he was unwilling then perhaps this was Arteta’s way of showing him that there are consequences

SarcasmB0t

Yeah, that’ll show him.

Who wouldn’t have taken a 12% pay cut so they could be part of THAT?

Nairo254gunna

I am a huge Ozil fan. I think he is graceful and a genius at the game really but to be honest, it is time to cut our losses here. He is just not doing it for the club and clearly the club is not doing it for him. As long as he is around we will not make any serious improvements to that position in minefield, and as long as he is around this “tactical reasons” thing will always be used as a reason for him not playing. Also, what a terrible season we are having. Such a shame.… Read more »

Mpls

Don’t know if you meant it, but “Minefield” is quite apt.

Faisal Narrage

I dunno, sounds completely reasonable to me.
Why is anyone surprised at a player who hasn’t shown up at all for any big away game to do so now?

We know what the reasons are; he played a 3-man midfield and would need someone to also do the physical work. That’s not or ever will be Ozil, so why have him?

I really don’t think there’s anything more to it.

db10s

Yup. You either get a better all rounded creative attacking midfielder (an Ozil upgrade) or you get a monster defensive midfielder and try to get the best out of Ozil.
 
We have done neither so this is what we’ll have to settle for till any additions to the squad are made. Whether they will be eventually made is another question.

Lanre

“Ozil is lazy, overrated” yet take him out of the team and we our game is worse by a mile. Someone say with a straight face that Ozil wouldn’t have been better out there than Willock. Our coaches are just fond of messing up the selection every single time instead of keeping it simple and just fielding your best 11. I just don’t get why the need to complicate. Ozil for willock, Pepe for saka, Martinelli at left wing, Auba up top and torreirra for Guen and we would have had a proper game instead of that limp dick we… Read more »

Ya Gooner

To be fair I don’t think anyone in their right mind saw that line up and thought we’d win. Even without the injuries and shit show

Mpls

I wonder if the calculus of densely packed matches we might actually have a chance of winning played into that lineup.

A Different George

When I saw the lineup, I assumed that Ozil and Torreira were left out because Arteta wanted them to play against Brighton. I think that’s why Luiz didn’t start too. I think Arteta thinks (thought?) that Mustafi/Luiz, despite the risks, was his best centre half pairing. But really, now, I don’t know anything.

Homer

Good comment.
What on earth Arteta was thinking … who the hell knows.
Xhaka can pass the ball long, and easily be bypassed by opposing players. Period.
Guendouzi … against big opposition away from home = mistake.
 
Arteta. What the Actual Fook are you doing….

db10s

I commented something similar above about Ozil.
 
But it did cross my mind that maybe Arteta didn’t want to field his best in this game with the odds against us. I don’t want any Arsenal manager to think like that but realistically we have the next game in just 2 days which is winnable. Given the forced lockdown and short preparation period, maybe this was the best option to manage our squad? I am clutching at straws but it does make some sense seeing how we now have two injuries and a super rusty (and suspended) defender…

Eeleen

Please make it all stop. I loved Ozil as a player, but this circus has to stop. It been going on for years now. It is distraction, embaressement. If needed and nothing else can be done, buy out his contract, just make this thing go away. No one will pay his wages, transfer will not happen this summer, but we can’t go to another season this hanging over us.   Same with Luiz. Make it stop. No player should be able to go to live TV after performance like yesterday and talk about wanting new contract. If we are going… Read more »

Rocky07

What a great comment.
I’ve loved watching Ozil at his best, but i feel sad for all involved; fans, team mates, Arteta and Ozil himself. He is obviously not happy with football, let’s put him out of his misery as well.

Arse

This organisation is truly broken and it would take years to fix. Even if the right people were in charge. Can you imagine any well-run club where the Özil situation would be allowed to happen?

PapaXhakaLacaSaka

Bale at Real Madrid is kind of similar.

loose_cannon

Sanchez at United as well to an extent though they were able to loan him out, while still paying a huge chunk of his wages.

Charles

Better to send Ozil on loan next season to see out the “remains” of his contract (even if it means paying half of his salary). Many fans are just too tired of hearing the same old story about him. More than boring and tiring. It’s starting to feel like a sore.

Mpls

Yep, the players hold the cards once the contract is signed. If they don’t want to leave, they don’t have to unless some kind of rare breach of contract is found, or they’re bought out.   In most cases there might still be some small bit of use for the players – insignificant matches, dire need, etc. that means might as well just try to use them here or there rather than paying in full and getting absolutely no use out of it.   Of course the internal level of toxicity comes into that decision making. Question is, does he… Read more »

Deano

I think on the evidence of last night’s match Arteta is looking to the future. I doubt we are going to be spending much if anything this summer and I think he just wanted to see where we are.

To be honest we haven’t been close to Man City for some time. I guess we will find out more against Brighton.

Homer

More like he bent over and let his old boss wipe off his schwantz on him.
 

loose_cannon

That’s the 4th manager in as many years that has struggled with Ozil. Arteta started his Arsenal career by saying he would get the best out of him, it’s clearly gone horribly wrong but amazing that it’s happened so quickly.

Andy

The guy simply cannot be picked for away games because he can’t tackle or press.

attuhs

It’s a pity that we hear the same old excuses from Arteta too. Noone knows what the actual situation is, but this kind of communication and behavior only hurts the club.   This is professional football, if the team does not want Ozil, they may let him go and pay the clauses they have signed. Behaving like little children offends Arsenal.   ps. My opinion is that Ozil made the right choice to not receive the pay cut (btw there were a couple more that refused but only his name was made public). ps2. His performance on the pitch is… Read more »

Olivije Žirod

Well if something happend between Ozil and Arteta it must have happend yesterdey before the game. A day before the game Ozil’s twitter posted football is back which usually would mean he is playing the next game. Maybe we are just reading too much into it and Arteta just didn’t want to speak about this matter because he was furious about the game.

Naked Cygan

Ozil seems to be playing more Fortnite, so the late nights and bad posture has done his back and sleep. Should just loan him out to Sony Playstation.

Dispossesed by Torreira

I’m not sure why there’s been so much focus on Ozil. He wouldn’t have made us better or worse yesterday. He’s not been effective for us in the games he’s played for us. My love for him is bourne out of what he has done in the past. With his age and experience, you’d expect him to bring the same quality that Kevin de Bruyne does. Instead, I find myself hoping that he shows us a glimpse of his past self. Before the match, I had Willock in my team ahead of him yesterday. I truly don’t see anything from… Read more »

hustle6

I’m so happy so many of you have seen the light RE: Ozil.
 
He is no deity.
 
He’s barely a prem level footballer.
 
And he has the attitude of a petulant eunuch.
 
 
 

OBT

we are about 5-6 years away from competing for the top 4 again. i am not saying we should or were gonna beat city but the manner at which we wean t about about the game, from the line up to the player performance…shambolic.
we have now become a
Mid-table club
mid-table performances
mid-table coach
mid-table players
mid-table style of ownership/management
mid-table style recruiting

WellArsed

Apart from not reigniting the annoying “Özil saga,” his presence wouldn’t have made an iota of difference. That’s exactly the type of game where Özil fails to show up &/or constantly gets bullied off the ball. We were always going to get beaten and he wouldn’t have changed that at all.

Charles

The truth (as painful as it sounds) is that that this “lately” Ozil would have been more of a liability than an asset in this type of game

Paul Roberts

How long has his contract left to go please?