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Arsenal must play Mesut Ozil – but Unai Emery knows it would end transfer hopes

Mesut Ozil should be starting Arsenal ’s next few games so they can take advantage of how badly Tottenham and Manchester United are struggling.

If Spurs and United don’t get their act together, Arsenal and Chelsea will finish in the top four – and now is the time to put them under pressure.

Five of Arsenal’s next seven games are against teams in the bottom half of the table, and the other two are against Crystal Palace and Leicester.

Arsenal have to make hay while the sun shines and their rivals are struggling, so they have got to put some points together in these games and go on a run.

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It’s a big few weeks for them – and that’s why I would play Ozil. I personally think he’s their best player.

In terms of ability and talent he’s the best player at the club.

He’s a luxury player, and the manager has obviously decided he can’t carry a player like that in a team that’s already one of the worst around without the ball.

But with these games coming up, Arsenal are going to have 70% of the possession. He thrives in those situations.

Unai Emery should bring him in from the cold. But he won’t.


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If he plays Ozil and they win, he has to keep playing him, and the manager doesn’t want that. The manager wants him out.

And if that’s the plan then they are going to have to swallow a pill and get rid of him in January come what may.

He’s on £350,000-a-week and he’s not playing and doesn’t look like having any chance of playing. I think that’s a mistake.

But if Emery has made his mind up, Arsenal are going to have to find him a move – and they will have to subsidise his wages to do it because no-one else is playing him that.

You have to say that the kids who have been getting in ahead of him have done well.

Unai Emery wants Mesut Ozil out of Arsenal, claims our man Merse
(Image: REUTERS)

Emery has been getting good performances out of Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson.

But I thought Ozil was Arsenal’s best player against Watford and he hasn’t played since. That shocked me to be honest.

If he’s showing it in training, he will be embarrassing a lot of the other players there, trust me. But he’s not getting picked.

I’ve had plenty of arguments about this with people who say: “Oh, he doesn’t work hard enough” – and that’s the way the game’s gone these days.

But I would still play him in these games. It was madness giving him the money they did.

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And they won’t be able to sign a lot of players until his wages are off the books. But I still think he’s a proper player.

Will we ever see Mesut Ozil ripping it up somewhere else? It’s hard to say because you’re only as good as your team-mates and it depends where he goes.

But he’s not finished just because he’s hit 30. He still has more to give for me and could be a success somewhere else.

I would love to think Arsenal do put their foot down and make a real push for the top four in these next seven games.

These are the games. No doubt about it. The problem is the same one they’ve had for the last six or seven years – consistency. You really wouldn’t be shocked if they lose their next game.

Mesut Ozil could be key to Arsenal getting the better of their top-four rivals
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

They literally fell over the line against Bournemouth, a team they usually rip to shreds.

And when they went to Old Trafford, you wouldn’t have known United were in a crisis.

But they have a massive window right now because Spurs are struggling so badly.

I thought they were okay after the Bayern Munich game. I didn’t think that was as bad as it looked on paper.

But the Brighton game was a shocker. As bad as it gets. There was no fight in them at all. The camera went on them at 1-0 early in the game and you would have thought it was the 93rd minute!

No urgency or passion at all. Heads down. There’s got to be something seriously wrong there – and Arsenal need to take full advantage.

***

PETR CECH going into ice hockey is a strange one.

Chelsea are doing well and they don’t need anyone rocking the boat.

But they must have signed off on him doing it otherwise it wouldn’t be happening, so I don’t think the fans should worry too much.

Cech has only just retired. He’s still as fit as a badger, and he probably doesn’t like sitting behind a desk all day.

I’m sure he misses the banter of the dressing room and the feeling of playing.

Petr Cech is hitting the ice in his spare time away from Chelsea
(Image: Getty Images)

Fair play to him for trying this because ice hockey is not the easiest sport in the world to take up.

He will have to wear a lot more than that headgear he always wore on a football pitch though!

Chelsea say he’s doing it in his spare time so you’d like to think it won’t affect his duties as technical director.

It’s not as if he’s suddenly going to skip a trip to Old Trafford or Anfield to go and play for Guildford is it – but I wonder what their keeper thinks about it?

I know he’s supposed to travel with the Chelsea team to games but it probably isn’t necessary for every single game anyway.

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CRYSTAL PALACE have started the season well and it’s all down to Roy Hodgson. What he’s done at that club is just unreal.

They were basically relegated when he first went there and he’s the only manager who could have got them out of it.

I can’t talk highly enough of him. He never has any money to spend but he doesn’t really moan and he’s got them into sixth. That’s phenomenal.

They sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50m this summer and barely spent a penny. I actually think they take advantage of him to be honest.

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They know they won’t go down while he’s in charge so they must think: “Why bother spending £200m just to finish in the top half then?”

It’s his experience that counts. If Roy was at Manchester United right now things would be very different there, believe me.

But he won’t be getting another big job now at his age. When Roy retires, Palace are going to have a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League because that squad is thin on quality.

* Paul Merson was speaking to Paul Brown

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-must-play-mesut-ozil-20562125

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