Emery may not want him and Arsenal may want to get rid of his hefty pay packet but right now, if Ozil doesn’t play against an in form Leicester, it’s tantamount to negligence. Emery has to put his personal feelings aside and realise that with Arsenal misfiring and lacking creativity, he has to start.
Ceballos is injured, Xhaka is absent and it’s too much to expect of Maitland Niles and Joe Willock to fill the void. Guendouzi has gone off the boil recently, so that leaves Ozil as the prime provider. Sometimes, circumstances help those that need it and Ozil falls into that category and despite the fractured relationship with his coach, and that’s clearly what it is, he MUST play.
I, like many supporters, are fearing the worst at Leicester and Emery’s suggestion that he will play a back three, concerns me even more.
Perhaps he has a radical plan but of late, his tactical ability has been missing, so it’s fingers crossed against a free flowing and free scoring Leicester City. Emery has never been under such pressure since his arrival and it’s hard to see how Arsenal are going to improve significantly to win this encounter.
As I’ve said many times in recent weeks, the Gunners are fragile at the back, creatively bereft in the middle and lack assertiveness up front but one has to remain optimistic that the side will come good. If not, the real problems begin, with Chelsea conjuring up results against the odds in the Champions League and looking steady in the Premiership.
Leicester are also a threat to Arsenal’s ambition and have the bit between their teeth, looking far better than when they won the title.
Having promoted Ozil’s cause, he needs to show up and bring his full box of tricks if only to advertise himself for a possible transfer in January. There will be takers, of course there will but he won’t harm his chances by putting on a show.
With the overall quality of Leicester, it will take a solid performance from every player to get a positive result and if Torreira isn’t used in some capacity, we must assume that Emery has enjoyed his impasse with Ozil to such a degree that he has found a new target.
What has changed so drastically with Torreira ?
He had a decent first season and was one of the go to players last term. Performances were patchy towards the end of the season with persistent rumours of the player being unsettled and his desire to move clubs. It’s rumoured that the little ankle snapper is to have talks with the club to determine his future and I’ve a nasty feeling that if Emery stays, Torreira won’t.
Saturday could be a watershed for Arsenal and Emery. Three points have never been so important and a good performance is long overdue.
Cross everything you can, it’s come to that.