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Ozil out of Arsenal’s clash against Bayern Munich

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil will miss Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Bayern Munich after illness, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said.

Ozil was absent from Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Saturday and although the German star has returned to training, Wenger doesn’t believe he is ready to face Bayern.

Losing the World Cup winner for the Emirates Stadium showdown is another blow for Arsenal, who face the daunting task of having to overturn a 5-1 deficit from the first leg.

“He had only one session yesterday. I don’t think he is ready physically to be in the squad.

“He should be ready for the weekend (for the FA Cup quarter-final against Lincoln).”


Source: The Guardian

Manchester United set to make a move for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil

Manchester United are ready to make a move for Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, with the midfielder yet to tie his future to the Gunners, according to The Sun.

The Germany international has been in superb form this season and has helped the Gunners make an appreciable impact following their opening day disappointment, but he is yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal, which could see United sneak in, the report claims.

Ozil’s current contract expires in 2018 and he is holding out for a huge increase on his £140,000-a-week deal, something the Red Devils would be very willing to offer.

United boss Jose Mourinho has already described Ozil as ‘the best No.10 in the world’, when the pair worked together at Real Madrid and the Portuguese would surely love a reunion with the 28-year old and the prospect of pairing him with Paul Pogba in midfield.

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has cried out that Chile are in danger of making a ‘suicidal decision’ which could rule out star man Alexis Sanchez out for up to three months.

Sanchez was ruled out of Chile’s game with Colombia but have instead kept him in Santiago for treatment in the hope he may be fit to face Uruguay on Tuesday, rather than send him back to London.

The Gunners’ boss has revealed that he has been told that Sanchez has suffered a hamstring injury rather than a calf problem while away on international duty, and is now ready to go to war with the Chilean FA to stop them from taking any chances on Sanchez by playing him and making the injury worse.

Wenger: I Could Gamble On Giroud, Koscielny And Ozil Fitness

The three Gunners stars are short of full fitness ahead of the Premier League tie with Leicester City, but the manager could be ready to put them to work regardless

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is tempted to gamble on bringing Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil back into the first team early.

The Gunners travel to Premier League champions Leicester City on Saturday, having lost 4-3 at home to Liverpool in their first match of the campaign.

Giroud, Koscielny and Ozil were three of the players Arsenal had to do without against Jurgen Klopp’s side after they were given extended breaks following their efforts for France and Germany at Euro 2016.

Wenger acknowledged the trio are still short of full match fitness, but revealed he could opt to take a risk on them for the trip to Leicester, with Koscielny in particular being considered due to the club’s injuries in central defence – Gabriel and Per Mertesacker are both out.

“Maybe I will take a gamble on bringing them back early but I have 48 hours to decide that,” said Wenger.

“It’s a bit early, I have three players who have not played for two-and-a-half months. Laurent is close to returning and if I have to take a gamble on one it is certainly on him.

“It’s very difficult. The clubs pay always for the fact the players play in this tournament. The Euro finished July 10, you started August 14. So what can you do?

“Do you give the player normal holiday and they aren’t ready, or they are mentally and physically jaded.

“The fact is I gave Koscielny a holiday at the start and Gabriel, Mertesacker, we lost the two of them.”

Arsenal fans will not have to wait too long for the return of Aaron Ramsey, who is out with a hamstring problem.

Wenger added: “Aaron Ramsey should be back after the international break. It is not a bad injury.”

Mesut Ozil Dethroned As Europe’s Assist King After a Blank 2016

After drawing a blank in his last four appearances for Arsenal, the German has now been overtaken, while Tottenham fans may be surprised to see Roberto Soldado in the top 10

Thought Mesut Ozil was Europe’s assist king? Think again! After four straight blanks in the Premier League, the Arsenal star has been dethroned at the top of the creator charts.

The Germany international made a stunning start to the campaign, racking up 16 assists by Christmas and looked certain to break Thierry Henry’s long-standing record.

While Ozil still very much has his sights trained on Henry, he has nevertheless been toppled at the summit of the European assist rankings this term after failing to setup a single goal since the turn of the year.

Instead, it is now Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan who leads the way with the most assists of any player in Europe’s top five leagues, having collected 17 in all competitions this season according to Opta.

Admittedly, the Armenian only has nine league assists compared to Ozil’s 16, but he has been prolific in Dortmund’s cup competitions while the German has yet to create a goal outside the Premier League this season.

Mkhitaryan has assisted six times in the Europa League (including qualifiers) and twice more in the DFB-Pokal, with his most recent assist coming in the 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.

After helping Barcelona run riot against Gary Neville’s Valencia, Neymar is now tied with Ozil on 16 assists, making him the most creative member of the fabled MSN attack.

Any further competition for the European assist crown is likely to come from Angel Di Maria, currently tied in  fourth place with 12 assists, with Kevin De Bruyne’s contribution likely to stall following his injury setback.

Meanwhile, Tottenham fans may be surprised to see a familiar name sneak into the top 10, with Roberto Soldado tied with Cristiano Ronaldo and Douglas Costa with 10 assists this season.

Ozil Is Another Bergkamp, Says Wenger

Arsene Wenger hailed Mesut Ozil as the best player in the Premier League and an equal of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp following another influential display in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

German midfielder Ozil made one goal and scored another at the Emirates Stadium on Monday to help Arsenal back to the top of the table, leaving pundits running out of superlatives to describe his performance.

Ozil’s statistics are astonishing even by his own high standards.

So far this season he has made 16 assists and score five goals in the Premier League -– closing in fast on the all-time record of 20 assists set by another Arsenal great Thierry Henry.

Mesut Ozil

Against Bournemouth he set another mark, too, creating nine goalscoring opportunities for team-mates -– the highest figure registered in the league this season.

No wonder Gunners boss Wenger was happy to suggest his midfielder has been peerless in the league this season.

When asked if Ozil is now the best player in the Premier League, he said simply: “Look at the number of the assists and they speak for him.”

The Frenchman also acknowledged comparison with Dutch forward Bergkamp, who was such an inspiration in Wenger’s early days in north London.

“Bergkamp was more of a goalscorer than him. But now Ozil becomes a goalscorer too. They could be comparable,” he said.

All this from a player who last season was labelled as a luxury by some onlookers, singled out by Henry as a someone who needed to “step up his game” and accused of drifting out of matches by German legend Lothar Matthaus.

Throughout it all, however, Wenger remained staunchly loyal to a player he signed from Real Madrid, insisting that Ozil would eventually become a Footballer of the Year in England.

– Focal point –

“Ozil was the focal point of our team,” Wenger said after goals from the German and defender Gilberto, from an Ozil corner, clinched a crucial victory against Bournemouth that sent Arsenal one point clear at the top of the Premier League.

“I don’t know if it was his best performance, I have seen a few good games from him this season.

“What is important is that he convinces everyone he’s not only a fantasy player, but he’s a player who is ready to work for the team very hard.

“He’s added scoring goals to his assists as well. Overall he’s a complete player.”

Ozil’s transformation into Arsenal’s talisman has been fascinating to watch, but what has impressed most this season is his level of consistency –- and at the age of 27 Wenger does not yet believe he has reached his peak.


“What’s important is that he becomes as good as he can be — and he’s on the way. Is there a lot left? I don’t know but at the minute what he’s doing is absolutely fantastic,” Wenger said.

“In a career you have to be better every game. Some people manage to have that focus, that consistency — and some cannot.

“He shows that he is always consistently going upwards.”

Ozil is not the only player at Arsenal setting records.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech reached a new Premier League mark of 170 clean sheets in his career by keeping out Bournemouth, drawing praise from his manager ahead of a home game against Newcastle on Saturday.

“I think he can be very proud of that,” said Wenger. “It’s a remarkable achievement. People don’t realise how much commitment, how much focus is behind that.

“And on top of that he’s a remarkably talented goalkeeper.

“Consistency for me is the most important achievement for somebody.”

Wenger: ‘World-class’ Ozil Needs To Score More Goals

The Germany international scored against Manchester United and Bayern Munich but the former Monaco boss feels that he needs to continue finding the net as well as creating chances.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed the “world-class” Mesut Ozil but says that the playmaker needs to score more goals.

Ozil has provided six assists in eight Premier League appearances but has scored just one top-flight goal this season.

The £42 million midfielder scored in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich on Tuesday night and Wenger has now challenged him to produce more in front of goal.

“A player of his calibre, you want him to add goals to his assists. He is world class,” Wenger told reporters.

The Gunners take on Everton on Saturday and the manager will be forced to make changes to his side after the hamstring injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey in midweek.

Wenger says that Ramsey is expected to miss three or four weeks of action and is joined on the sidelines by Mikel Arteta but that defender Gabriel is fully fit and available for selection.

The Frenchman has not decided whether to start with Theo Walcott or Olivier Giroud up front but wants a repeat of the memorable performance that his side produced against Bayern.

He added: “The most important thing is [the strikers] contribute goals. You have to accept no club in the world can play one striker for the whole season.

“You want to do well in the big games at home. We want to produce the same performance again.”

Ozil: I’m Not Worth €50 Million, No One Is

The Arsenal attacker suggested football could lose its credibility with the massive sums of money paid to and for players around Europe

Mesut Ozil has admitted he does not feel he was worth the fee Arsenal paid to sign him from Real Madrid.

The Germany international joined the Gunners for €50 million (£42.5m) in the summer of 2013 and came under scrutiny for inconsistency in his first two seasons.

And Ozil has insisted that the price-tag was excessive, as he believes no footballer is worth such a sum.

“Nobody in the world is worth €50 million,” he told Express.

We must be careful in football that we do not lose the grip of our credibility.”

Arsenal have been drawn in the same group as Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Ozil feels they are coming up against a side capable of winning the trophy this term.

“Bayern are one of the strongest teams in the world and they can beat just about any opponent,” he added.

“Some other teams will have a say in it, but why can’t Bayern win the competition? They are in a narrow circle of favourites.

Ozil Defends United Recruit Schweinsteiger

The Arsenal midfielder insists the Germany captain will be a success after joining Manchester United this summer from Bayern Munich, and needs time to adapt to the Premier League.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil believes Germany team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger is being unfairly judged following his move to Manchester United.

Debate has raged as to whether Schweinsteiger’s 31-year-old body can cope with the demands of the Premier League after leaving boyhood club Bayern Munich for United in July, with the midfielder yet to complete a full match as an Old Trafford player.

Schweinsteiger produced a classy second-half cameo as Louis van Gaal’s men beat Club Brugge 4-0 on Wednesday to qualify for the Champions League group stages, and Ozil is in no doubt that the Germany captain will silence his critics over the course of the season.

“The drastic interim judgment in [the] English press is not fair towards him,” Ozil told Germany’s Sport 1.

“He certainly needs some time to adjust to Premier League. Just allow him a bit of time.

“Basti has shown the whole world at the World Cup what a leader he is, most of all in the final.

“Whenever the English media writes about Bastian, they put a World Cup winner before his name.

“He’s now the German world champion, who should make the difference for United.”

Wenger: Picking An Arsenal Midfield Is An Impossible Job

The Gunners manager has to juggle several impressive players in the middle of the park, carefully trying to maintain competition for places while keeping everyone happy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that picking his midfield in each game is “an impossible job”.

The Gunners are well stocked for creative players and left Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench against Crystal Palace on August 16 despite a bright start in their first game of the season, while Mikel Arteta was also on the bench and Jack Wilshere is out injured.

Wenger, who must select a starting XI to beat Liverpool on Monday, says that balancing competition for places between so many talented players is a difficult tightrope to walk.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s an impossible job but that’s why I tell you I always get asked two questions: ‘Why don’t you buy more players?’ and ‘How do you keep them all happy now?’

“I believe that competition is part of our job. On the other hand, you have to get the number right – too many players in the squad goes against competition. If you have a certain number of players who think they never have a chance to play, they killed something. Not enough players creates too much of a comfort zone.”

Santi Cazorla is one of the men being juggled by Wenger, who notes that deciding whether to field the diminutive Spaniard on the left flank or deep in midfield has been a particularly close call.

“It is tricky because he is an important player in the build-up of our game. He is naturally a guy who brings fluidity and gets you out of tight situations,” the Frenchman observed.

“My thinking [putting him out wide] was more about physical power in the centre of the park, to win the ball back and be capable of winning challenges [as] Santi is a more technical player and also to get him higher up, next to [Mesut] Ozil, to play through the lines, find those two, and combine in the final third.

“It worked sometimes – and sometimes not. The first goal in these games is vital but, anyway, against West Ham, I changed in the second half and brought Cazorla back to central midfield.”

Having recovered to a win at Palace following a defeat to West Ham in their first game of the campaign, Wenger is hopeful that his side have shown enough so far to put them in good stead against the Reds.

“[We must] play at the level we played at Crystal Palace, with good pace,” he declared. “I think Liverpool will be a different game than West Ham. Against West Ham, we conceded a set-piece and, after that, another goal just before half time.

“After that, it was difficult but, if you look well – and you have to analyse the game well – against West Ham we didn’t give chances away. You play this game 20 times, you win it 19 because they had very, very, very few chances. Their goals came from our mistakes. That’s why we had to look at ourselves.”