Emery reveals why Iwobi and Mkhitaryan were preferred ahead of Ozil in Arsenal’s victory over Bournemouth

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has revealed why he dropped Mesut Ozil in the gunners premier league victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium yesterday afternoon. Emery opted for a change in formation at the Vitality stadium, playing three centre-backs and deploying Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexi Iwobi behind striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, leaving no space for Ozil from the start.

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It was apparent, however, that Ozil did not warm up at any point during the game, while Aaron Ramsey, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season, was brought on to replace Iwobi with eight minutes remaining. Asked after the victory if leaving Ozil out was a tactical decision, Emery said: “We thought about how we could be better with a very demanding match with physicality and intensity and we decided [to not play him].

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“Also, today we played with three centre-backs, like some moments in the season we will work like this and it’s another possibility for improvement, to find our best performance in the squad.” Reporters pressed Emery regarding his decision not to introduce Ozil with the game still being contested until the final whistle, suggesting he had a lack of trust in the German.

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Emery continued: “In the beginning of the season we were speaking every day, saying ‘we need to be competitive, we need to be organised and we need individual quality to better our performance’, it is the same today.”