‘Not okay’ – Former Arsenal star Podolski hits out at Gunners & Arteta over Mesut Ozil treatment

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Ex-Arsenal attacker Lukas Podolski has this weekend revealed his disappointment with the Gunners, over the club’s treatment of Mesut Ozil.

Out in the cold

Much of the media chatter surrounding ongoings at the Emirates of late has of course centered on German international Ozil.

This comes with Mikel Arteta having doubled down on his efforts to freeze the former Real Madrid man out of his first-team setup.

Upon Spanish tactician Arteta taking the reins in north London late last year, Ozil’s initial experiences actually proved quite positive. The 32-year-old was afforded a consistent string of starts by his new boss, suggesting that he was set to prove central to the plans of Arteta moving forward.

Bizarrely, however, since football’s return on the back of the initial Covid-19 outbreak during the summer, Ozil has not received a single minute of playing time.

Arteta, meanwhile, has made crystal clear that this situation is unlikely to change any time soon, through a pair of high-profile calls over the last couple of weeks.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Per Mertesacker and Fredrik Ljungberg of Arsenal look on as Mesut Ozil kicks his gloves in the air in frustration after he is subbed during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

First, the Arsenal boss opted to omit Ozil from his Europa League squad for the season ahead.

And this was swiftly followed by news that the gifted midfielder had also not been afforded a place in the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League panel.

‘You don’t do it’

Much has since been made of such decisions, with Arsenal’s struggles for creativity of late having seen many point towards Ozil as a potential solution.

Others, meanwhile, have been critical of Mikel Arteta, amid suggestions that such a long-term servant to the Gunners cause is deserving of better treatment.

And, as outlined above, the latest to have backed the latter of these trains of thought is Lukas Podolski.

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Speaking in an interview with Bild this weekend, the ex-Arsenal hitman, a one-time club and international teammate of Ozil, slammed his former employers, revealing his opinion that the north Londoners have ‘not looked positive’ when it comes to the situation of their midfield star:

‘I don’t know the background, but I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad… that’s absolutely not okay.’

‘You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.’

‘He’s shown his class on the pitch, he’s never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. It’s sad because everyone’s losing in this situation. It should not end this way. Arsenal as a club have not looked positive in this situation over the last months.’

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Southampton FC 8 4 16
2 Liverpool FC 7 2 16
3 Leicester City FC 7 8 15
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 7 9 14
5 Everton FC 8 2 13
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 0 13
7 Chelsea FC 7 7 12
8 Aston Villa FC 6 6 12
9 Arsenal FC 7 2 12
10 Manchester City FC 6 1 11
11 Newcastle United FC 8 -3 11
12 Leeds United 7 0 10
13 Manchester United FC 7 -2 10
14 Crystal Palace FC 7 -3 10
15 West Ham United FC 7 3 8
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 8 -3 6
17 Fulham FC 7 -7 4
18 West Bromwich Albion 7 -10 3
19 Burnley FC 7 -9 2
20 Sheffield United FC 7 -7 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 7
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Adams, Che Southampton FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3



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