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MESUT OZIL has commented for the first time since his latest absence from the Arsenal team.
Despite training throughout last week, Ozil was not included in the 18-man squad which faced West Ham on Saturday.
And his absence proved costly as Arsenal struggled to create chances at the London Stadium and were beaten 1-0 after a defensive mistake.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery maintained there was no issue between him and Ozil, saying his omission was purely a tactical decision.
But club legend Ian Wright hit out at Emery saying: “It’s really worrying – I know Unai Emery has had his problems with big players in the dressing room before and it seems like Ozil, in this dressing room, is the one he’s taking it out on.
“For Ozil not to be in the (matchday squad of) 18, whatever’s going on with him, I can’t get my head around that.
“I think he should be given the opportunity to play himself into form or out of form – we cannot afford to have arguably the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history not even in the 18.”
Arsenal face Chelsea on Saturday evening at the Emirates and Ozil has spoken out in a determined response.
In a picture of himself performing an exercise, Ozil wrote in the caption: “No matter what … put in the work.”
After the defeat to West Ham, Emery was asked about Ozil’s failure to even make the bench against.
“We had enough players to win today and impose our gameplan, and impose our tactical quality against them,” he said.
“We also respect them and they have good players. With their supporters here, they feel stronger.
“Maybe for the bench, some attacking players could have helped. But I think we had enough with these players.