According to Mirror Football, former Premier League star Owen Hargreaves believes that Gunners playmaker Mesut Ozil was venting towards caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg after last night’s defeat to Brighton.
The north London outfit’s winless run extended to nine games across all competitions after the Seagulls won 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Hargreaves claims that Ozil’s angry outburst was actually ‘aimed at Freddie’, despite suggestions it was towards the superstar’s former teammate, compatriot and current coach Per Mertesacker.
Here’s what Hargreaves had to say on the incident:
“You can’t play that way and be critical of the coaching staff. If he plays with his heart on his sleeve you could accept it, obviously if Freddie said that he wouldn’t be happy,”
“I don’t think it was aimed at Per, it was aimed at Freddie.”
“He didn’t do enough, Mesut Ozil. To have that reaction… I love Mesut Ozil more than anyone, but he didn’t do enough in the game to warrant that reaction.”
Ozil has struggled to live up to his superstar billing over the last year, the playmaker has went from being the club’s most important player to someone who shows little shades of his former self.
Hargreaves added that he loves Ozil, but his intensity levels are ‘unacceptable’:
“I love him in a functioning team, he’s one of the best creators and best passers we’ve had in the Premier League. He is, he can do that.”
“As a football player he’s a beautiful player to watch but his intensity levels aren’t good enough at this level.”
“Too many managers have accommodated that and that’s why he struts around and plays that way.”
“But essentially if Freddie is going to say ‘I’m going to play you, Mesut, but I need you to lead’. He didn’t, definitely not.”
“If you’re a manager at some point there’s got to be consequences for the player. That’s unacceptable.”
Unai Emery was often blasted by some supporters for leaving the playmaker out of the side, but with performances like this was the Spaniard’s decision actually the right one?
Arsenal’s next permanent manager will have the difficult task of striking a balance between the side’s defence and attack by accommodating the attacking midfielder into the team.
Would Arsenal’s chances of getting back to their best be boosted if Ozil was to be dropped?