David Ornstein claims tracking data in training sessions is one of the factors keeping Mesut Özil out of the Arsenal team at the moment.
Writing in a Q&A for The Athletic, Ornstein answered a question on Mesut Özil’s current absence from Unai Emery’s squads.
The query concerned the heart and activity monitors the players wear during training, and whether this could be behind the belief that Özil isn’t working hard enough.
“I’m told the GPS data is indeed one of the factors,” Ornstein responded. “If Emery and Sanllehi are telling the truth, Özil needs to work hard and with greater consistency.”
The outlook isn’t entirely bleak though, with Ornstein going on to suggest that things have been improving recently.
“Raul Sanllehi mentioned that Özil has been training well, so I’m keen to see if he’s reintegrated or not,” The Athletic writer added.
This isn’t the worst news, assuming it’s all true. We all know how talented Özil is, and how much he can add to the team. He’d obviously be even better if he trained to his maximum every day, and if it takes excluding him to make that happen it’s hard to argue with that approach.
The issue is that it’s hard to rely on any of the excuses behind Özil’s absences anymore. There seems to be something new every week explaining why he’s not here this time, but he might be next time, but then he isn’t.
Maybe the ‘GPS data’ has been the real reason all along, and Emery has only been including the player when his stats show he’s worked for it. Maybe it’s just the latest line we’re being fed to excuse leaving him out. It’s hard to say at this point.