Unai Emery’s decision to bench Mesut Ozil for his side’s 2-1 win away at Bournemouth has fueled speculation over the German’s future in North London.
The Arsenal boss has reportedly been unhappy with Ozil’s work rate and physical contribution this season, especially in away games.
On Sunday Emery opted for Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan over Ozil, who didn’t even go out to warm up at half-time.
According to the Daily Mirror Emery was ‘particularly disappointed’ with the German’s performance in last month’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace, and it was the reason he dropped him on Sunday.
After the game Emery confirmed that it was a tactical decision based on giving his team greater ‘physicality and intensity’:
“We thought how we can be better in the match today, which is very demanding with the physicality and the intensity, but every player is important.(Bringing Ozil on) depended on how the match was going in the 90 minutes, and I decided for another option.”
The Daily Mail have suggested that Emery may use Arsenal’s number 10 sparingly in future away games.
Additionally the Daily Express have reported that a lack of game time and interest from Man United and Barcelona could convince Ozil to consider his future at the Emirates in January.
However, it’s unlikely that Arsenal will accept anything under £100 million.
This is the latest of a series of incidents that have suggested the Arsenal boss has a strained relationship with the 30-year-old.
The first came when Emery took the German off at half-time in their 3-2 defeat to Chelsea after a poor first-half display.
Ozil was then left out of the home win against West Ham, with former PSG manager claiming the 2014 World Cup winner was ill.
However, some have proposed that a training ground bust up was the reason for his exclusion, which Emery has since denied.
By dropping the £350k a week midfielder, Emery has shown that no one has an automatic place in the side.
Arsenal fans and pundits have praised the Spaniard for not giving Ozil the special treatment he often received under Arsene Wenger:
Ramsey and Ozil getting benched. Would be the first names on the teamsheet under AW. Not saying what is Emery is doing is right, but he’s ruthless. Doesn’t care about big names. Its always the team. Having said that, we need to put in a good performance today. 3 points must.
— LTArsenal™️ (@ltarsenal) November 25, 2018
Hasselbaink on Emery
He has shown that nobody’s place is safe in the starting XI after dropping Ozil
You have to produce and that’s why they are stronger.
That’s why you see a kind of urgency in their game.
And I think he is trying to give Ozil at times a kick under the bum. pic.twitter.com/QMIA8IO321
— ARSENAL (@tomgunner14) November 26, 2018
However, some Ozil fans have criticized Emery’s decision to drop the 2014 World Cup winner:
That is because Emery seems to favour braindead workhorses who will follow a script. He had the same problem with Neymar at PSG and now with Ozil at Arsenal. 11 tactical workhorses is small club mentality and will get you only too far
— llll (@MssBrunette) November 28, 2018