Unai Emery has denied reports of a bust-up with Mesut Özil during the week, and insists that the only reason the German wasn’t in the squad on Saturday was because of illness.
There have been plenty of rumours flying around about what really happened with Özil before the West Ham game, after he was left out of the squad for Arsenal’s first victory of the season.
The Mirror say Özil was dropped for ‘arguing with and screaming at’ Emery. Then again the paper doesn’t have a good record for inside information at Arsenal this summer, after they reported Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere would both sign Arsenal deals a couple of months ago.
Emery insists this latest report is just as unreliable as those previous claims.
“It isn’t true,” the head coach said. “He (Özil) was sick yesterday, he spoke with the doctor and with me and we decided not to play today.
“Today I said to him come (to the Emirates) if he feels better. And he feels better today, and before the game he was with the team, with me. It’s no problem with the player.”
It’s always difficult to know which story to believe in these sorts of situations. The head coach obviously doesn’t want to create any more drama than there already is, so he’s always likely to play down the rumours. Conversely, the papers want as much drama as possible, so they’ll ham it up as much as they can.
It does seem pretty unlikely Özil would turn up on matchday before the game if he was in the middle of a huge falling out with Emery, but none of us really know what’s going on. Let’s just hope the 29-year-old is back in the squad next week.