Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has claimed he is happy with the situation at the club behind the scenes.
The German made just his 14th start in the Premier League for Arsenal this season against Bournemouth in a 5-1 win on Wednesday night.
Ozil’s topsy-turvy season: Five things to know…
- The classy technician has seen relatively few minutes this season despite being the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
- He has made just five league appearances in 2019 and prior to that, had knee and back injuries respectively.
- Emery is thought to favour midfielders more adept at working tirelessly and fulfilling defensive duties.
- The German has 41 goals in 213 appearances for Arsenal.
- Ozil’s obvious ability was on show again on Wednesday night as he chipped the goalkeeper by hitting the ball into the ground, taking his tally for the Premier League season up to four.
The attacking midfielder has claimed he is “really happy” with life at the club, despite his intermittent playing time, according to former Gunner, David Hillier.
Hillier, while speaking on the Chronicles of a Gooner podcast, suggested everyone at the club is happy with the German, but that his inconsistent game time is heaping undue pressure on the player.
“I don’t understand how the situation’s got to this stage,” Hillier said.
“First of all, I’ll say that Mesut Ozil, if you are privy to some of the videos and the training ground stuff that I see, the way that he is with the lads and the way that he conducts himself – it’s like none of this is happening to him.
“He’s really happy and all the players are happy with him and the staff and the managers are all happy with him.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with Mesut’s game. I think the issue is when he’s left out of the side so many times, he then starts to lose his consistent level he was playing at.
“So every time he comes back into the side, like coming back into the side [off the bench against Southampton], whenever he gets on the pitch he’s expected to do something so special to warrant a place in the side the next game.
“He can’t say: ‘I’ve played the last 12 games, I’ve had eight good, three average and one bad.’ He hasn’t got that in the locker, so he’s putting himself under pressure every time.
“It’s not just him putting himself under pressure. The crowd are putting him under pressure, the manager, his players around him. All inadvertently because they want him to do so well.”
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel: sqwk.at/Squawka-Sub
Arsenal’s 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth pushes them nearer to Spurs
With the resounding rout of Bournemouth at home on Wednesday night, Arsenal kept up the pace in the hunt for Champions League football while also getting that little bit nearer to Spurs, who faltered at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Koscielny, Aubameyang and Lacazette ensured the three points for Arsenal, though Mousset did get one back for the Cherries.
The Gunners are a point ahead of United and three ahead of Chelsea – who have a game in hand – but now find themselves just four points behind Spurs.
The two sides meet in the North London Derby this weekend in what could be a glorious day for Arsenal, as a win would embroil their arch-rivals into the mix for the third and fourth-spot race.