As expected, there were many calls for the return of a certain Mesut Ozil to our matchday squad in the reflection of our narrow loss to Manchester City.
We had defended stoutly and actually coped well with their press and even executed our own pretty well and could consider ourselves a tad unlucky not to get something from the game but in terms of carving out chances, we were a little dry.
Which was the perfect opportunity for those backing the German in the long-running saga between club and player – to call for his return.
And now, the ultimate end for Ozil – he was not named in the Premier League matchday squad for Arsenal.
So what now for Ozil?
Ozil has not featured in a matchday squad of Mikel Arteta’s for quite some time and hasn’t set foot on the pitch since our win against West Ham in March – the last game before lockdown.
Since then, Arteta has been peppered with questions regarding Ozil but the answer to why the German isn’t in isn’t down to performance – it is down to system.
Ozil will obviously create chances – it is his speciality. And contrary to popular opinion, the playmaker covers plenty of ground and is far from lazy.
But Ozil will not contribute effectively to a team press – and this is pivotal to Arteta’s future plans.
Win the ball higher up, maintain pressure and attack when the odds are in our favour. Whether that be in a 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 is unclear, but we have played all three at times this season and still Ozil has not featured.
With players like Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, Willian and Dani Ceballos all working hard and capable of creating chances as their raison d’etre, Ozil not only has the manager to impress, but he also has to oust the competition too. With places up for grabs at a premium with his exclusion from the Europa League squad and now the Premier League omission, the German looks to have played his final game for the Gunners.
Whatever you think of Ozil – no one saw this coming when he signed.