Mesut Ozil: No place for German in Unai Emery's philosophy, says John Cross
Last Updated: 17/02/19 12:47pm
There is no place for Mesut Ozil in Unai Emery’s philosophy because he cannot be trusted, John Cross told the Sunday Supplement.
Ozil missed a game for the 100th time in his Arsenal career when he was omitted from the squad that lost away at BATE Borisov on Thursday.
Arsenal's inability to field arguably their most-talented player due to a clash of styles between Ozil and Emery is developing into a major issue for the Gunners, according to Cross.
"Ozil has now missed 100 games in his Arsenal career and, much more tellingly, he's missed more games this season than he's actually played, be that through sickness, back injuries or being left out for what Emery described as tactical reasons," the Daily Mirror's Chief Football Writer said.
"It's a massive issue for a player who is Arsenal's biggest earner, their most naturally-gifted player and it raises a massive issue between the manager and the star player.
"The fact of the matter is that Ozil is just not playing under Emery. He's not an Emery style of player, Emery demands an intense style of play. Frankly, there is no place for Ozil in Emery's philosophy and long-term tactics.
"Emery has made Ozil captain against Palace and Leicester, where he was outstanding, and Cardiff, where he wasn't. But it comes back to the point that Emery cannot trust the player."
Ozil's inconsistent run in and out of the team has coincided with a period of inconsistency for Arsenal, with the Gunners losing four of their last seven games in all competitions.
Cross believes Arsenal's poor form and performances, coupled with Ozil's ongoing situation, raise questions whether Emery was the right man to succeed Arsene Wenger last summer.
"Arsenal fans are starting to question whether Emery is the right man because they are not playing with any style of flair associated with the great Wenger teams of the past," he added.
"At the moment, Ozil is the crystallisation of that - they cannot accommodate their most talented player in the Emery system. It brings up the question if Emery was the right appointment.
"Of course, you have to give Emery time, but I wonder whether it would have been wise to go for the young coach - the Mikel Arteta, the Brendan Rodgers - someone who would have made a difference in improving the players.
"Make no mistake about it, Emery is using Arsenal as a vehicle to try and prove he is an A-lister coach because he's not reached that level previously."