After a number of disappointing performances, German international midfielder Mesut Ozil has been pulled out of the Arsenal firing-line for a period of rest and recuperation, as Gunners’ manager Arsene Wenger seeks to reignite the spark in his record signing. Quite how long Wenger envisages the break to be is as yet unclear, but getting Ozil back to something like his best form will be a requirement is the Gunners are to maintain a realistic title challenge.
It’s understood that the player flew back to spend some time in his native Germany after being left out of the squad for the comfortable victory over Sunderland at the weekend, but is expected to report back to Arsenals’ training HQ today.
The player was reported to have received a ‘dead leg’ injury against Bayern Munich in midweek, but there had been speculation that the jaded looking Ozil was due for a rest anyway. This season will be the German’s first without a mid-season break, and although this sort of thing is basic fare to British players brought up on a festive season full of football, some players from different background do inevitably find the change a challenge. It’s difficult to say whether this is a contributory cause to Ozil’s problems, but it cannot have helped.
Moving forward, towards the end of this moth and early April, the Gunners have some pivotal fixtures coming up against title rivals Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. They’ll want to be sure that a fit and firing Ozil, back to early season form, is ready to roll in those games.
Wenger’s vast experience will have told him the ames he can risk playing without Ozil. Indeed, he may consider that with the German’s form of late, not playing him is not going to harm the efficiency of the team very much anyway. Having a fully fit and reinvigorated player back in his ranks in a week or so however could just be the catalyst to drive the Gunners on towards an epic finish to the season.
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