Unai Emery explains why Mesut Ozil was benched against Bournemouth

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Mesut Ozil started the game against Bournemouth on the bench and, to the surprise of most, remained there for the full 90 minutes.

Despite not playing over the international break, Unai Emery opted to put Mesut Ozil on the bench for what everyone knew would be a tough game against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

While some were surprised and others speculated that he had been benched because he wasn’t good enough (yawn) a few realised that it was tactical more than anything else, as Emery explained after the game.

“We thought about how we can be better in the match today, with a very demanding match physically with their intensity against us and we decided [to leave Ozil on the bench],” Emery said at his post-match press conference.

“But every player is important. Also today we tried with three centre-backs. It’s another opportunity to improve and find our best performance.”

The more surprising thing was Emery opting to leave Ozil on the bench when Henrikh Mkhitaryan was stinking the place up.

Mkhitaryan finished the game with seven shots, only one of which was on target, and a pass completion rate of just 82.2%. The biggest ‘huh?’ of the day was reserved for when Unai Emery opted to remove Alex Iwobi instead of the Armenian who is starting to generate a number of concerns among the Arsenal fan base with his poor performances.

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