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The Unai Emery-Mesut Ozil Feud Continues Taking An Uncertain Turn

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Since the beginning of the season, there have been rumors flying out regarding quarrels between Arsenal manager Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil.

Be it being subbed off during the 3-2 loss against Chelsea to being excluded from the squad in the victory over West Ham and most recently, eliminating the playmaker from the starting XI against Bournemouth.

Even though the gaffer and the player have denied any possibility of a bust-up, fans and pundits are getting more and more skeptical about the pair’s sour relationship as the season progresses.

The German’s exclusion from the starting line-up at Vitality Stadium drew a lot of eyes as many believed there was no genuine justification for the same. Emery added fuel to the fire when he hinted that he did not trust his best-paid player to do the job and cope up physically with 8th placed Bournemouth.

The Gunners came back in action after 2 weeks of international break. However, since Ozil was not a part of his national team, there was little need for him to be rested. Additionally, since the subsequent fixture was against FC Vorskla Poltava in The Europa League, it was well obvious that first team players will not feature as the London Giants had already made it to the next stage of the competition which further questions the decision for the Gunners’ No.10 to settle for being an unused substitute.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who got in a feud with the German and his agent last season, has reason to believe that Ozil should be ‘extremely concerned’ about his place in Emery’s plans for the future. The former English international revealed,

“Ozil must be asking himself why he is not in the team. He will point to the draw with Liverpool – Arsenal’s best performance of the season – and can say that result was delivered with him in the team.

“As a player, I would have been concerned reading Emery’s comments after the Bournemouth game. Emery will have been talking about the same things with Ozil day in, day out on the training pitch and will have felt that he had given the player enough chances. But I fully expect Ozil to come back into the side for this game.”

The last statement of Keown offers some hope to Arsenal fans as they would love to see their star midfielder back in action in the North London Derby. The former German international was the heart of the team as the Emirates outfit beat their fierce rivals 2-0 last season. Orchestrating every attack and getting the best out of his team-mates sufficed for Ozil to earn the man of the match title.

However, times were different back then as Arsene Wenger’s successor does not cut off slack for Ozil the same way and the widely reported bust-ups do not help much. It can only be speculated if the gaffer will include the playmaker in his starting XI.

I think Emery is getting the best out of Mesut Ozil. The tough-love approach used by the manager may be precisely what the playmaker needs and a few reminders time and again that he has to earn his place in the team irrespective of being the club’s highest-paid player can help.

I don’t think the former Sevilla boss would name the World Cup winner as one of his 5 captains if he did not believe in him and his ability. I would love to see our No.10 back in the starting line-up against Spurs but an unbeaten run of 18 games is enough for me to trust any decision made by Emery as long as the results continue to pour in.

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Revant Maheshwari
Ardent Arsenal lover. Represented school in Gothia Cup, Sweden as a defensive midfielder. CA aspirant. Student of Narsee Monjee College in Mumbai. Keen to share thoughts and opinions with other fans of the beautiful game.

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