Monday 23 October 2017

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil 'was set to be dropped for Liverpool game' before illness ruled him out

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Ben Burrows

Mesut Ozil missed Arsenal's defeat to Liverpool - but was all set to be dropped anyway.

Under-fire Ozil, whose below-par performances have come under increased scrutiny this term, missed Saturday's 3-1 reverse at Anfield through illness.

Teammate Alexis Sanchez was unceremoniously benched by boss Arsene Wenger after a training ground bust-up last week but it has emerged Ozil could've joined him on the sidelines even if fit.

The Telegraph report that the German, who like Sanchez only has a year remaining on his deal at the Emirates and is yet to agree an extension, was also in line to be dropped after a poor run of form.

It is understood Sanchez stormed out of a training session in midweek due to an angry disagreement with a teammate, that continued in the changing rooms once the rest of the team returned there after finishing.

This led to Wenger deciding to drop Sanchez for the Liverpool game for what he felt was the good of the team, rather than any tactical decision to go "direct", as he suggested post-match.

The decision also comes due to the Arsenal boss's growing disenchantment with the manner of Sanchez's outbursts on the pitch when things are not going to plan.

It is understood Wenger felt he had to act following the latest outburst behind closed doors, particularly given the mood of the rest of the team.

The move backfired when Arsenal went 2-0 down to Liverpool and Wenger was forced to bring Sanchez on, with the forward then setting up Danny Welbeck for a goal.

Independent News Service

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