Former Arsenal star Lee Dixon believes Mesut Ozil does not look hungry since signing a new contract during the backend of last season. The German footballer has been in-and-out of the starting lineup under Unai Emery during the current campaign and this has recently generated doubts regarding his long-term future with the club.
In a report covered by The Sun, Dixon has said that Ozil may have been affected following the contract extension last year, where he was made one of the highest-paid players in the division. He added that the midfielder’s performances have not been up to the mark and there has been an evident lack of hunger when compared to recent seasons.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Mesut Ozil may be in a comfort zone at the Gunners after penning a new long-term deal last year. The former Germany international had been in a contract saga with the Gunners for the best part of 12 months but he managed to end the speculation by penning a fresh three-year deal 12 months ago.
However, this has not quite translated into consistent performances on the playing field and under Unai Emery this season, he has genuinely struggled for gametime. Speaking to Sportsmole, Wenger has said the length of the contract has nothing to do with the selection process and in Ozil’s case, he may have gone into a comfort zone after the contract extension.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has indicated that Denis Suarez has not joined the Gunners necessary to replace Mesut Ozil. The Spain international joined the north London side after a lengthy transfer saga on deadline day and he is scheduled to make his debut against former employers Manchester City this weekend.
Speaking to reporters, Emery was asked whether the arrival of Suarez could impact the position of Ozil but he replied in the negative by stating that the former was recruited to bolster the options in the wider areas, he said: “It’s no change for him. [Suarez] is coming here because we have a lot of problems on the wing, we haven’t got players to play right or left – that is the reason. He’s a player with quality and I think he can help us with his quality, and also his ambition to do something important here. It’s a good challenge for him to help us.”
The representative of Mesut Ozil has indicated that the midfielder has no intention of leaving Arsenal anytime soon. The German has been regularly linked with a potential departure from the Gunners amid his reduced gametime under Unai Emery but his agent Dr ErkutSogut has now dismissed the speculation.
Speaking to Goal.com, Sogut said that he does not like to speak on Ozil’s future in public but he has been made to have a say after the constant speculation surrounding the German footballer, he quipped: “I would prefer not to speak publicly about Mesut’s situation, but given the recent speculation linking him with a move away from Arsenal, I do feel it is important to provide some clarity so we can end this and focus on football.
Mesut Ozil claims that he has become a better player since he made the switch from Real Madrid five years ago. The German became the most expensive signing for Arsenal back in 2013 when he made the £42 million switch from the Spanish club. He made an instant impact at Emirates after contributing in nine assists and five goals in just 26 league appearances in the 2013-14 campaign.
Ozil quickly became one of the key players in the Arsenal setup, but it was with the availability of negative headlines too. Mesut Ozil was often criticised for being too lazy on the pitch and pundits often displayed the matches that led to a defeat for Arsenal largely because of the lack of defensive contribution from the German.
Arsenal are set to make the trip midweek to Southampton as they fight for a top four finish this term.
They face a big test at Saint Mary Stadium as they are under pressure to get the needed result if they want to play Champions League next season.
The Saints have no major injury concern but the stress might limit their competition. Charlie Austin and Matt Targett are nearing a return to the team after time out due to injuries. Virgil van Dijk has had his surgery so the club would continue to monitor him as he recovers as they want to keep him, manager Claude Puel revealed. The Gunners might rest Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka as they have little fitness concerns.
Arsenal are still riding on the waves of their Manchester United victory and the confident boost might lift them against Southampton. Southampton lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup and this seems like a perfect opportunity for revenge as Arsenal need the result more. Continue reading
Antonio Conte says that Arsene Wenger should not be criticised for his work at Arsenal – especially in recent years – amidst plenty of mounting pressure on the Frenchman.
Wenger has transformed the club as a whole, but there have been plenty of calls for the manager to leave the club at the end of the season. Wenger has especially faced a lot of criticism after his team were hammered 10-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League over two legs. Conte, however, says that Wenger has shown plenty of resilience and quality to keep Arsenal in the Champions League consistently over the last 20 years.
He says that it is one of the biggest achievements of the manager, as it is becoming increasingly hard in order to qualify for the Champions League every year. Only the top four teams are eligible to qualify for the competition. Liverpool and Manchester United have certainly learned in recent years that it is not easy to finish in the top four by any means. Continue reading
Breakout young talent of last season Marcus Rashford has heaped praises on Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.
The Red Devils striker has played against some top players for club and country – the Three Lions – but opines that the French player is the toughest he has come up against.
The Manchester United youngster has enjoyed a decent rise to fame since his debut under former United boss Louis van Gaal. His pace, directness and goal sense has helped him score in even in high profile games, making him the impact substitute under present boss Jose Mourinho. Yet, the United starlet says the Gunner defender is one of the toughest centre backs there is in football currently.
“Laurent Koscielny at Arsenal. He was a difficult defender to play against,” Rashford said. The young player added that the physicality of the defenders has been surprising even for him being a young player. He admits to getting smashed by big, tough defenders who want to stop him in his tracks. The player quickly busted into the international scene, getting invited for Euro 2016 under former boss Roy Hodgson though he wasn’t used much. Current Three Lions interim manager Gareth Southgate has returned him t the Under 21 set-up so he could further develop. Continue reading
Arsenal will be looking to return to winning ways when they host title favourites Manchester City in Saturday’s late kick off in the Premier League.
The Gunners’ took just one point from six available over the past seven days, following up last Saturday’s 6-0 humiliation at Stamford Bridge with a 2-2 draw with Swansea City three days later.
Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s humiliation at Stamford Bridge when they take on Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
The Gunners will have both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs available after the red card shown to Gibbs for the incident involving them both at Stamford Bridge was rescinded, though Laurent Koscielny is out after he picked up a calf injury at the weekend.
Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chelsea, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Kim Kallstrom, Laurent Koscielny, Liverpool, Manchester City, Mesut Ozil, Ryo Miyaichi, Swansea City, Theo Walcott