AxedArsenalmanager Unai Emeryhas detailed exactly why he droppedMesut Ozilfrom the team, claiming the German playmaker did not provide enough ‘aggressive pressure’.
The Spanish coach parted ways with the Gunners at the end of last month and has now been replaced by Mikel Arteta, with Freddie Ljungberg having taken charge in the interim.
Prior to Saturday’s game atEverton, Ozil had started every league game under Ljungberg despite only featuring once in the first 20 games of the season under Emery.
The former Arsenal boss had always been reluctant to go into too much detail about why there was no place for Ozil in his squad, but he has now explained his thinking.
He told BBC Sport: ‘I’ve had a lot of conversations with Mesut Ozil. He’s a very important player for the team. There are games in which you see Mesut’s brilliance, linking with the attack.
‘But also I had to find players around him so he felt comfortable. Also the team needed to feel solid.
‘And when you, little by little, have to build a team that is aggressive, intense, as well as structured for good pressure, we also had to find a space for Mesut as he gives us an important part of the game, which is his brilliant talent.
‘To do so I had to find the right connections between players; the right tactics. I was very motivated to try to find that. I wanted Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut to work together, each one of them with their own characteristics.
‘But there were times when I had to leave one of them out of the XI.
‘Ozil is a very important player if you can find a way to make it work with other players. He has talent that allows other players to be better, but when you want a bit more aggressive pressure he does not have the best qualities for that. ’
Despite Ozil getting more game time under Ljungberg, he missed the Everton match with a knock while the Swede says he would not have picked him anyway after his reaction to being subbed against Manchester City last weekend.
MORE:Mikel Arteta’s stern message to Per Mertesacker and Arsenal coaches after appointment
MORE:Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta reveals his plan for ‘massive player’ Mesut Ozil