Arsenal had a very tough start to the season opening up with games against Manchester City and Chelsea at home and away respectively.
Most fans were not expecting much more than a point or 2 as a return from those games and the results were somewhat predictable as the Gunners lost 2-0 at home to Champions Man City and then lost 3-2 at Stamford Bridge to Mauricio Sarri’s Chelsea side, leaving the Gunners pointless after 2 Premier League games.
In fairness to Arsenal while they never looked like winning the 1st game vs City they should have beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge if the likes of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan had been more clinical and they showed they could handle Sarri’s side when they beat them 2-0 at the Emirates in the return fixture in mid January as Lacazette and Koscielny scored.
In the match yesterday Arsenal just did not seem up for it and really gave Man City few issues other than the equaliser from Laurent Koscielny who recovered in time for the City game and scored with a decent finish to briefly give the Gunners hope.
The question is how could Unai Emery select his highest paid and arguably most talented playmaker to captain the side for the home win over Cardiff City, yet only a few days later the German star only made the bench and did not come on the field in the loss to Man City.
Surely, the match against City was the perfect opportunity for Mesut Ozil to show his talent against the reigning Champions and for Unai Emery to give his highest paid star a boost in confidence by starting consecutive games.
Being the captain for a game and then not even playing in the next match shows that Emery does not really trust Ozil which is not a great state of affairs and is obviously sending mixed messages to the German midfielder.
Emery had this to say as reported by the BBC after the game:
“We are going to go game by game and thinking ‘win the next match’ and maybe if we win we can take the opportunity in the near future to be near the other teams and play with this motivation.
“The difference between City and us is like this result. We need to do our work. Not a big frustration at moment, the result is the difference.
“They showed their superiority in 90 minutes. They held their level in 90 minutes and our level in the second half was worse than the first.”
The words from the Arsenal manager reveals he is clearly treating this season one game at a time which can’t be good for the confidence of Mesut Ozil or for the rest of the team who can’t really predict what may happen in the next game given the treatment of World Cup winner Ozil.
The amount of rumours about Ozil leaving Arsenal on loan in the previous window indicates that if Emery can find a way to do so then he is keen to offload the German, making for a very uncomfortable working relationship which must be affecting the rest of the squad negatively.