‘There aren’t many better in the world than Ozil’ – Arsenal’s playmaker snub questioned by Ljungberg
by SportsDiction – 08, December, 2020
The former Gunners player and coach believes a role should have been found in Mikel Arteta’s plans for a midfielder who can “find that cute pass”.
Arsenal’s snubbing of Mesut Ozil has been questioned by Freddie Ljungberg, with the former Gunners player and coach claiming there are not “many better in the world” than a creative German midfielder.
Mikel Arteta has taken to freezing a World Cup winner out of his plans at Emirates Stadium.
Despite Ozil’s obvious qualities, and the lucrative contract he remains tied to, the decision has been taken to leave him out of Premier League and Europa League squads.
It may be that he is never seen in Arsenal colours again, with free agency due to be hit in the summer of 2021.
Many have suggested that Ozil’s absence from the Gunners fold is down to non-sporting factors, with it difficult to see why he would be overlooked completely if there was a chance that he could be required at some stage.
Ljungberg is among those left puzzled as they watch on from afar, with the Swede of the opinion that Arteta could do with a potential match-winner in the middle of the park.
He told Sky Sports of a long-running saga in north London: “When you have a player like that, and I don’t say he should play every single week, but when you have possession and you need to find that cute pass, I don’t think there are any better players than Mesut doing that.
“Of course you lose a bit defensively, but it’s a decision they’ve made. I don’t know why the decision’s been made and he’s outside the 25-man squad, so they can’t use him.
“But for those things, I don’t think there are many better in the world.”
Ljungberg, who took interim charge of Arsenal in the wake of Unai Emery’s dismissal in November 2019, is also looking for Arteta to settle on a system that allows the Gunners to establish much-needed consistency.
He added in the wake of a 2-0 derby defeat to arch-rivals Tottenham: “For me, in general terms, it’s just a little bit slow.
“If they could just go into general games, not just this game, with a bit of a higher passing tempo, go a bit quicker.
“You saw when they had success last season a few times, it went quite quick into [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and he opened up his legs, he had space to run in, so maybe passing a bit quicker.
“Then of course it depends how you set up the team. Arsenal, they played with a five, then only with two midfielders and that showed they couldn’t have a creative midfielder in the team really because they were just working really hard in midfield.
“He’s now changed to a back four and they will have a 10, I think [Alexandre] Lacazette played that role [against Spurs], so I think he’s trying to mix it up to have a bit of that creativity in the middle of the park.
“But as you see the stats don’t really lie.”