Arsene Wenger has announced that Mesut Ozil will be included in Arsenal’s Europa League line-up against Östersunds FK on Thursday and could even feature as a false no.9.
With Alexandre Lacazette sidelined after undergoing knee surgery this week and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible to play in the Europa League, Arsenal are going to have to scrape the barrel when it comes to attacking options against Östersunds FK.
Interestingly, Wenger even says Ozil – one of the best no.10s in the world – could play as a false no.9 and Arsenal fans have their reservations. Not necessarily because of the position, although many believe Alex Iwobi is more suited to the false no.9 role, but because we want the German to remain injury-free.
“He will play tomorrow,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference, reports Arsenal.com. “We want to do well in this competition. We played on Saturday, we play tomorrow night.
“Over the weekend we have no game. So we have one week without competition. It’s important our players keep at the competitive level.
“When you go in a competition it is to try to win it no matter where we are in the league. The pressure might be higher maybe but we try to go as far as we can. We go into direct knockout. We play a team who has come out of the group stage, so they are a good team.”
The 29-year-old has experienced knee problems this term and in such cold, snowy conditions, Arsenal fans are worried about him aggravating it when we desperately need to keep the playmaker fit.
Not only are Arsenal currently trying to not get themselves relegated from the Premier League, they’ve also got the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on 25 February.
Aaron Ramsey’s already a doubt, the last thing Wenger needs is Ozil being ruled out as well.
On Twitter, the general consensus on playing Ozil against Östersunds FK at all is: keep him safe.
Just keep him safe!
— Em (@_GoonerPrincess) February 14, 2018
Not sure I really want him to, hope all our players return with a win and without any injuries.
— Quícksílver (@DashOfBellerin) February 14, 2018
Yeah..you got rid of 3 attackers and our 2 current ones can’t play lool
— Mentally Unprepared (@TheOzilVision) February 14, 2018
Why risk him on that pitch?
— I stan Mesut 😍 (@hawt_red) February 14, 2018
if hes playing 2moro get him tht ice hockey Goalie kit
— ₩ΣŁŁ¥ (@Wellywallie) February 14, 2018
Wenger will be d dumbest manager. If he players ozil as a false 9
— rilwan isah (@IsahRilwanisah) February 15, 2018
Ozil false 9 tomorrow, can’t exactly say I’m excited tbh
— . (@IwobiStrike) February 15, 2018
If Ozil plays false 9, is it Iwobi and Mkhi on the wings? Are we going to literally pass the ball into the net?
— Cian (@FrenchDefoe) February 14, 2018