Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has today dropped a hint regarding Mesut Ozil’s potential role in his plans moving forward.
Everton 0-0 Arsenal
The Gunners travelled to Goodison on Saturday afternoon, for their latest Premier League outing.
Arsenal headed into proceedings hoping to get their form back on track, after being utterly embarrassed by champions Manchester City the weekend prior.
Freddie Ljungberg once again took on interim duties for the north Londoners versus Everton, despite Mikel Arteta’s appointment having been made official last Friday.
When all was said and done on Merseyside, though, a youthful Gunners XI couldn’t break their hosts down.
A drab 90 minutes eventually saw both sides forced to settle for a point, in a 0-0 stalemate.
Highlights: Everton 0-0 Arsenal
Ozil misses out
As outlined above, the starting line-up opted for by Freddie Ljungberg at Goodison was heavily focused on youth, with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe having all been in from the off:
🚨 Five changes from #ARSMCI…
⬅️ Sokratis, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Pepe, Ozil
➡️ David Luiz, Saka, Xhaka, Nelson, Smith Rowe#EVEARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 21, 2019
One star name to have been absent from not only Arsenal’s starting XI, but the club’s matchday squad altogether, though, was Mesut Ozil.
As such, speaking in a post-match interview, Freddie Ljungberg was inevitably drawn on the German midfielder’s omission.
And, significantly, the Swede went on to confirm that, though Ozil was sidelined with an injury, the 31-year-old was nevertheless not under consideration for selection on Saturday.
This came after Ozil reacted angrily to being substituted versus Man City the weekend prior:
Interesting aside from Ljungberg in his BT Sport pre-match interview as he says Ozil is injured but adds: “Mesut wouldn’t have been in the squad anyway given what happened in the last game.”
Suggests he would have dropped Ozil for show of dissent after being substituted v City.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) December 21, 2019
Arteta on Ozil
As such, during a press conference ahead of his side’s upcoming meeting with Bournemouth earlier today, Mikel Arteta was questioned on Ozil missing out versus Everton.
The new Gunners boss, though, was keen to assure that the fact that Arsenal’s no.10 would not have been under consideration to feature at Goodison Park, even if fit, was solely down to Freddie Ljungberg:
‘It’s a question for Freddie. I just wanted him to pick the best possible lineup for the game.’
Arteta then went on to confirm that the past form or misdemeanours of his players will not have any effect on his choices moving forward, seemingly hinting that Ozil remains part of his plans:
‘You’re not going to be judged on what you’ve done in the past, positive or negative.’
‘We will try to put the most competitive team out, we are to be ready and nullify them as much as possible.’
Quotes via the Metro