Mesut Ozil Approves of Social Media Post Questioning Unai Emery

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Whatever the issue is between Arsenal manager Unai Emery and midfielder Mesut Ozil, it does not appear to be resolving itself. If anything, it seems to be only worsening as the highest paid player in club history was left out of the squad that will take on Bate Borisov tonight in the first leg of a round of 32 UEFA Europa League tie.

Ozil did not even travel with the team, and this season has seen him benched or even omitted from match day squads when healthy for reasons unspecified. Emery has been mostly evasive when asked about the German international’s omission, and on the occasions that he’s provided an answer, it has tended to keep evolving.

mesut ozil

This has of course invited ramped up speculation of a rift between the two men, and today’s development will only add more fuel to that fire. Ozil, on his official Instagram account, “liked” the following comment offering him words of encouragement, but also taking an obvious swipe at his boss.

(Image credit: m10_official/Instagram, hat tip Daily Mirror)

Sure, we all tend to over-analyze and unjustifiably amplify what’s said and done on social media, but this is very blatant. Once again, Ozil has been left out of a match after training with the team all week. Why? An unspecified “illness” is the official reason. Emery offered only this when asked about this situation at his press conference:

“We are here with the players who I think are OK to play. ‘The players not in the squad is because [Aaron] Ramsey has not trained with us, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] has started to train but not enough, Mesut is the same.”

The more Emery leaves out an apparently healthy Ozil, and offers nothing but press conference-isms as explanations as to why, the more the situation will become even more mysterious.

Arsenal FC at Bate Borisov UEFA Europa League Round of 32 FYIs

Kickoff: Thursday, February 14, 5:55pm, Borisov Arena

Arsenal FC Starting XI Injury: go to this link

Gunners Injury Report: go to this link

Odds via Betfair: Arsenal 2/5, Draw 18/5, Bate Borisov 11/2

Odds via Bet365 to win UEL tournament: Chelsea 4/1, Arsenal 6/1, Napoli 6/1, Inter 10/1, Sevilla 12/1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

He also contributes sociopolitical essays to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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