Mesut Ozil’s absence from the Arsenal-West Ham match over the weekend has created headlines after the midfielder called in sick and would not be able to play at the match.
Mesut Ozil did Unai Emery a favour by calling in sick for Arsenal’s 3-1 victory against West Ham at the weekend because he gave the new manager, and everybody else at the Emirates, a glimpse into what life without him can look like.
As Arsenal’s most high-profile player — and most highly paid on a reported £300,000-a-week — his failure to make the squad, just six days after going missing during the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea, hinted at Emery’s patience with the 29-year-old having already run out.
For the seventh time in a year, the former Real Madrid player missed an Arsenal game because he was unfit due to illness, which must be a concern for the club and an issue that needs to be thoroughly investigated for Ozil’s physical well-being, if nothing else.
Emery is starting to think it will be in his best interest to start making alternative plans to be without his No.10 since he simply cannot rely on him to be fit to play when needed.
It is apparent that Emery wants more from Ozil in every area of the pitch, however, the Arsenal manager is already making it pretty clear that he will not indulge Ozil quite so blindly as his predecessor, Arsene Wenger
The defining image of Wenger’s final months in charge was probably that of Ozil, hands on his hips somewhere near the halfway line, while Arsenal’s opponents aimed another shot at goal.
Ozil was afforded too many allowances by Wenger. He was treated like a teenager who was allowed to lie in bed all day while his siblings were expected to clean the house, but Emery has arrived and made it clear that nobody will be given special treatment and everybody is expected to pull their weight.