I cannot understand why Arsenal are not picking Mesut Ozil - Aliadiere

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 12:40pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

Mesut Ozil should not be spending his Saturday afternoons watching Arsenal on TV, according to former Gunner Jeremie Aliadiere.

Ozil was not even part of the 18-man squad on Saturday as Arsenal went down 1-0 at West Ham thanks to Declan Rice's first senior goal for the club.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery refused to reveal the exact reason he left the Germany international out at the weekend although he has previously criticised Ozil's work-rate in away games.

However, ex-Arsenal man Aliadiere cannot understand why the £350,000-a-week man would ever be left out and thinks Emery should build the team around him.

"It depends what kind of system you want to play," Aliadiere told the Arsenal Fans Show (Mondays 7pm-9pm).

"I think what he is trying to do is give everyone their best positions and to try to help everyone and I know playing three at the back, you give [Hector] Bellerin and [Sead] Kolasinac less defensive worries and more offensive jobs to do.

"They obviously enjoy that but at the same time you miss having a No 10 and having Mesut Ozil in the team. It's very difficult.

"In my opinion, obviously I would have Mesut Ozil in the team all day long and I would have [Lucas] Torreira as well.

"But I guess it's Torreira's first season in the Premier League and he's used to having a break over Christmas. Games have been coming thick and fast over Christmas so he might be feeling a bit tired so the manager is trying to rotate a little bit so it's a difficult choice.

"My only concern is [that he might] switch too much from one system to another. He's made great substitutions during the season at half-time when we all said 'great, he's not scared of making changes at half-time when things are not going our way'.

"But now the changes that he makes are not working. I've been used to knowing exactly what system week in, week out Arsenal will play.

"We should just play one system which is what he believes in what we are good at and we should stick to it. Play players in their position and get the best players on the pitch. I just feel he doesn't do that."

A report in today's Daily Mail suggests that Emery is ready to offload Ozil in an effort to free up funds for January reinforcements; previously the Spaniard has said he would not be able to buy players this month because of a lack of finances.Unai Emery CROPPEDHowever, Aliadiere remains convinced that Ozil's unique talents must not be allow to go to waste.

"We've seen lately that when you play three at the back, there is no connection between between the two central midfielders and our three forwards," Aliadiere added.

"There is a big hole in the middle of the park, like a No 10, and that position is the best for Mesut Ozil. I can't understand why he can't see that. That is just so obvious. We've been missing him a lot.

"There is no-one in that team that can find a pass, that can see something that he can, that can see Lacazette and Aubameyang.

"We're going to judge them for not touching the ball or not scoring, but if you haven't got the service, it is very difficult. We don't have anyone on the pitch that can do what he can so why he's not playing, I don't know."

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