Mikel Arteta Explains Reasoning for Mesut Ozil Ouster

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta responded by stating that his team is evolving when questioned about the absence of Mesut Ozil from Wednesday’s League Cup game, as per Goal.

The North London club took on Premier League rivals Leicester City in the third round of the competition. An own goal from Christian Fuchs gave Arteta’s side the lead, with Eddie Nketiah later scoring the decisive second goal to make it a 2-0 final scoreline.

Mesut Ozil has not played a single minute of football since the restart in June, nor since the 20/21 season began. He had not even made it to the matchday squad in any of the three games prior to Wednesday. Changes were expected for the League Cup, with many expecting the inclusion of the German. But that was not to be the case.

When queried about Ozil’s absence, Mikel Arteta claimed that he selected the players that were in ‘better condition.’

He also mentioned that it isn’t possible to give playing time to all members in the team.

According to Goal, he said:

“The team is evolving; you can see the level they are achieving. This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.

“You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it’s very difficult every week not just for Mesut but for some other players as well to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.

“I understand and I respect your questions but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible. I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition.”

The Gunners had a tough time breaking down a resilient Leicester side. It may have been easier to do so had they worked with the guile and creativity of a certain German. However, ultimately the decision lies with the manager and if he feels that a particular player is not up to the mark, then it’s perfectly fine to leave him out.

Getting the win was important as it showed that this team can dig in and grind out a result if needs be. Though there were positive passages for the north London side, the Foxes threatened to score on many occasions.

It really is to the credit of the players that Arsenal came away with a clean sheet tonight.

Arteta will want to put the question of Ozil’s selection on the backburner for now.

The next game is a tough trip to Anfield, where the Gunners haven’t performed very well recently. The Arsenal boss will hope that his evolving squad can match up to the challenge of Liverpool.

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