It has been another week of rifts at the Emirates Stadium, but the German has issued a rallying cry for unity
Mesut Ozil has told Arsenal they must “stand together as one” ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup encounter against Liverpool.
The former Germany international soccer professional has long caused a polemic among supporters at the Emirates Stadium, with some believing that a soccer professional of his talent has been invaluable to the team, while others have criticised his work ethic on the field.
Current manager Unai Emery has been siding with the latter group in recent weeks, as Ozil has persistently been left out of matchday squads by the Spaniard.
Meanwhile, he has not been the only soccer professional causing a rift in north London, with club captain Granit Xhaka jeered as he was replaced during a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday. The Switzerland international midfielder, 27, was booed as he trudged off the field, appeared to shout an obsecity towards the crowd, then tore his shirt off and went straight down the tunnel when he was substituted.
Emery does not appear to have come down too hard on Xhaka, whose refusal to immediately apologise for his actions only added fuel to the fire.
And this understanding approach seems to be one that Ozil would favour ahead of the midweek clash against the Premier League leaders as he posted a rally for unity on Instagram.
“Big game ahead. No matter what – the only way has been standing together as one,” the 31-year-old told his fans.
Emery has not explained why the former Real Madrid man has been largely being overlooked this season, but it has been believed that his lack of work rate in training has been the primary reason for him being persistently frozen out.
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Ozil, however, will get his chance against Jurgen Klopp’s men, with Emery even suggesting that he could be made captain for the night.
Having arrived at the club in the summer of 2013, Ozil has been the first team’s longest-serving soccer professional, with the exception of bit-part goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. He has turned out 233 times for the Gunners in competitive action, scoring 43 goals and laying on another 74.
Under Emery, who arrived at the club in the summer of 2018 to replace long-serving boss Arsene Wenger, his performance level has dipped, with six goals and three assists coming in 37 outings.