Tuesday 22 October 2019

Emery drops Ozil for 'rest' ahead of Villa

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil with manager Unai Emery. Photo: Reuters
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil with manager Unai Emery. Photo: Reuters

Unai Emery has said that Mesut Ozil has been left out of Arsenal's squad to play Eintracht Frankfurt tonight because he is being rested for the weekend, despite the German playing only 71 minutes of competitive football so far this season, writes SAM DEAN.

Ozil made his first appearance of the campaign in Sunday's 2-2 draw with Watford, when he was substituted in the second half. He is one of only two senior players, alongside defender Sokratis, to have been left out of the Europa League trip to Germany.

If he had been selected, it would have been Ozil's first match in the country of his birth since his explosive retirement from international football last year, when he triggered huge political debate in Germany after issuing a detailed statement in which he cited racism.

It would also have been Ozil's first game outside of the south-east of England since the security threats that caused him and Sead Kolasinac to miss the opening match of the Premier League season.

"I prefer after the match (for Ozil) to rest and to train and to be ready for Sunday (against Aston Villa)," said Emery. "My decision is because he played (against Watford) and also I am thinking about Thursday, with the focus on the first 11, and after that I decided who are the players who can be best for Thursday."

Kolasinac, meanwhile, has spoken about the security threats that dogged his start to the season, including an attempted car-jacking when he fought off two knife-wielding thugs in London. "I am happy to be back," he said.

"Mentally this was hard, missing training for a couple of days. I made up for it. I am back and happy to be with the team and able to perform."

Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal

Live, VM Two/BT Sport 2, 5.55

Telegraph.co.uk

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