Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained his decision to drop Mesut Ozil for tonight’s Europa League game against Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German international was not named in the travelling party that flew out to Germany, and despite only having played 71 minutes this season, Emery explained that the playmaker is being rested:
“We are playing a lot of matches and I want to use different players, and also have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad for [Frankfurt]”
“We are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played, and I decided who the players are who can be the best for tomorrow, and also the players not, and those are Sokratis and Mesut.”
A number of supporters on Twitter cannot understand the rationale behind the decision:
Ozil resting despite having 6 months no football 🙄🤔 the blokes living in cloud cuckoo land
— Luke Van Dyck (@Lucky29Luke) 18 September 2019
The worlds gone mad
— Nicole G. (@Michael81402343) 18 September 2019
seriously? play one rest one?
— JesSaTse (@JesXiaTse) 18 September 2019
Ozil played too many forward passes against Watford and is paying the price now.
— K (@twilite_kid) 18 September 2019
Rest for Sunday’s match.. Only for you to take him off at the 60th minute as usual. 🙄
— Salako Michael .O. (MIKADO) (@TheSalako_M) 18 September 2019
Dropping him in away games continues
Ozil terminate your contract and go for everyone sake
— Gift (@HolyCaball) 18 September 2019
Others have been more understanding, hoping that Emery is keeping Ozil back for the game against Aston Villa on Sunday:
Seems entirely reasonable to me
— Ian (@anarsenalchap) 18 September 2019
better not to lie this time, Unai!
— oagaagn5 ♻ (@oagaagn5) 18 September 2019
Smart decision – you want to ease a player back in after an extended layoff, otherwise you risk significant increase in injury risk (nearly 7x for soft tissue).
— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) 18 September 2019
With barely a match under his belt this season, you would have thought the Europa League game against Frankfurt would have been a perfect opportunity to build up Ozil’s fitness.
However, Emery seems to think otherwise and it appears he’s easing the German back into games. If he doesn’t start against Villa, though, there will again be massive question marks over why Ozil is not featuring more regularly.