Steve Nicol believes Unai Emery is ‘making a statement’ by dropping Mesut Ozil.
When asked before the game why Emery omitted Ozil from the squad, the Spaniard replied:
“It was a tactical decision.”
Ozil has not started a Premier League game since mid-November and Emery has previously questioned the creative midfielder’s work-rate and physicality.
Ozil’s latest snub from the squad will only increase speculation on his future at Arsenal, and former Liverpool defender Nicol suggests the 30-year-old needs to leave the club for the situation to be resolved:
“Arsenal have to eat maybe half his wages and Ozil will still go to a good side.
“Clearly Emery has sent a message. I am surprised, there’s no question they’ve had a falling out and he’s making a statement.
“I think he’s making a statement to the players as well, ‘This is my team, this is how we do it, I don’t care what the name on the back of your jersey is – this is how we’re going about it.’
“To be fair, the Arsenal players seem to have said, ‘OK, that’s fine with us.’ They’re putting it in.
“The only way this changes is Ozil leaves.”