Mesut Ozil has taken to social media to call for all involved with the club to ‘stand together’. The German has been the subject of much debate this season and made his much-anticipated return to the squad on Wednesday night up at Anfield.
Ozil’s exclusion in recent months has led many fans to question Unai Emery’s credentials and is just one of the issues upon which many supporters disagree with the Spaniard. The Arsenal playmaker has been labelled by many as a divisive and poisonous character playing a PR game in order to strengthen his own position. However, it’s worth noting that when given the opportunity to put his point across in an exclusive interview with The Athletic’s David Ornstein earlier this month Ozil passed up the chance to have a dig at his boss.
Many will hope Ozil being reinstated to the squad is the first step in Emery re-opening the door to the man who’s featured just three times so far this season. With Granit Xhaka temporarily out of the picture, the manager needs his remaining four captains, of which one is the German playmaker, more than ever.
Indeed, the 31-year-old may not have damaged his chances of showing he can step up and be the type of leader that the Gunners need amid the current crisis following his performance against Liverpool in their Carabao Cup defeat.
Before perhaps unsurprisingly, being substituted at the 65th-minute mark because of a pre-planned fear of tiredness (as revealed by Emery), Ozil played a telling role in the middle of the park for Arsenal and appeared to have a rather big influence on the game.
According to data collected by WhoScored, the former Germany international managed to make two key passes, with one leading to an assist for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, had 44 touches of the ball and completed a whopping 94.4% of his attempted passes.
If the Spaniard needs someone to turn to when Arsenal take back to the field against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, Ozil might just have to be the man – as he said, ‘the only way is standing together as one’.