‘Bring back Mesut’: Arsenal fans urge Mikel Arteta to bring midfield outcast Ozil back into the fold next month after 2,000 made their return to the Emirates
- Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads
- The German has not played for the Gunners since they beat West Ham in March
- Fans returned to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since that fixture
- And one fan raised the Ozil issue again by holding up a banner of support
Arsenal fans have taken the opportunity of their return to the Emirates Stadium for the first time in nearly nine months to demonstrate their support for outcast Mesut Ozil.
The former Germany international was left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads by boss Mikel Arteta for the first half of this season in October, with the Spaniard ruthlessly citing ‘footballing reasons’.
The 32-year-old appeared to be part of Arteta’s plans after the former Arsenal captain replaced Unai Emery as boss last year.
Arsenal fans have called for Mesut Ozil to be brought back into the squad in the new year
The German was left out of both the Premier League and Europa League squads in October
However, he has not played for the Gunners since the 1-0 victory at home to West Ham in March but remains the club’s highest earner on £350,000 a week.
But after 2,000 fans filtered into the ground for Arsenal’s Europa League Group B fixture against Rapid Vienna, one banner held up by a young fan caught on television raised the issue of Ozil again, simply stating: ‘Bring back Mesut.’
Ozil has publicly and privately stated his desire to play for the club again and is maintaining his fitness while he continues to train as part of the first team, now showing his support largely through his Twitter account.
Calls for the 2014 World Cup winner to be included in the north London clubs’ squads when they are submitted following the January transfer window have grown in recent weeks with Arsenal’s poor form in creating and scoring chances.
He appeared to be part of Mikel Arteta’s plans last season but has not played since March
But support for him was shown as fans came back to the Emirates for the first time since March
Arteta’s men have scored just 10 Premier League goals so far this season, with only the bottom three having scored more goals.
Arsenal goalkeeping legend David Seaman is of similar thinking, insisting that the Spaniard is letting Ozil’s talent ‘go to waste’.
‘I am surprised Arteta is choosing to leave out Mezut Ozil because he’s a player of quality,’ the former Arsenal goalkeeper told The Target Men Podcast.
‘I feel something’s gone on personally between the two of them, because to leave him out, and on the money he’s on, is a big statement and for me it’s a bit of a waste, because he’s still a quality player.
World Cup winner Ozil, 32, remains the club’s highest earner on £350,000 a week
‘When you look at the Arsenal team, we’re crying out for a player like that, so why don’t you build your team around Ozil rather than just leaving him out in the field and letting him go.’
Seaman’s former team-mate Paul Merson also believes Ozil should come back into the team if summer signing Thomas Partey is fit, because it would allow the German to play a more attacking role.
Merson told Sky Sports earlier this week: ‘For me, Mesut Ozil comes back in the team if Thomas Partey is fit. Partey gets around the pitch, dominates the midfield and dictates the game. Him playing opens up a chance for Ozil.
‘At the moment, Arsenal have nobody in there to provide the forwards. You can make runs all day long, but if you’re a centre forward, your runs are only as good as the players playing behind you.
Calls for him to come back have increased with the Gunners struggling to score in the league
‘When these Arsenal players are getting the ball in midfield, with time, is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang making the run? Is he confident they are going to see his run and are capable of getting that ball through the eye of a needle?
‘I’d say no, so they need creativity. Fernando Torres made runs when Steven Gerrard got the ball. They didn’t even have to look.
‘Teams are sitting back against Arsenal, and they don’t have the creativity in midfield to break them down.
‘If Partey doesn’t play, Ozil can’t play. Without Partey, Arsenal are not going to dictate the midfield, and then can’t afford to play with 10 men. But if Arsenal have the midfield, and Ozil is playing behind Aubameyang, with two flying wingers. You ask the back four to stay still, including the full backs.’
David Seaman also urged Ozil to come back in, claiming his talent is currently being wasted
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