Arsenal manager Unai Emery has indicated that midfielder Mesut Ozil was excluded from the matchday squad against West Ham United purely on the basis that he was struggling with an illness.
The former Germany international has looked off-colour for the Gunners since the start of the campaign and recently, there had been a suggestion that there may have been a rift between him and the head coach.
However, speaking after the Gunners’ 3-1 triumph over West Ham, Emery dismissed the claim by stressing that the midfielder was suffering from a heavy cold which saw him miss the squad under the doctor’s recommendation.
Nonetheless, Ozil could face a challenge to reclaim his starting position in the forthcoming games, given Emery has not had second thoughts about replacing an underperforming player from the starting lineup.
Aaron Ramsey received the axe from the Spaniard after he struggled to make an impression during the season opener versus Manchester City and Ozil could face a similar situation once he returns to first-team duty.
The German most-recently started the London derby versus Chelsea but he could only last for an hour before Emery decided to replace him with Ramsey, who has since reclaimed a starting spot versus West Ham.
Arsenal are presently ninth in the league standings after they picked up their first points of the season versus the Hammers and they have the opportunity to jump further up the table with a winnable outing at Cardiff City before the international break.
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