Mesut Ozil can throw his toys out of the pram all he likes, according to Arsenal boss Unai Emery. The Gunners boss hauled German playmaker Ozil from the action during the second-half of yesterday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League and the Arsenal star demonstrated his disappointment at the decision.
Ozil had failed to ignite the spark needed to inspire the Gunners — much like he did in the previous top-flight game when he was at his best to lift his side to a 3-1 win — and Emery hooked him. On came Danny Welbeck with 22 minutes left, and Ozil barged past the head coach and tossed his gloves to the floor before sitting on the bench.
But despite a petulant reaction to the substitution, Ozil has failed to upset the Spanish coach. And, if anything, Emery is happy that players react angrily when they are taken off.
Emery, who steered Arsenal to a 12th game without a defeat with the previous 11 outings ending in victories, said:
“It’s normal for a player not to be happy. Every player wants to continue playing. I like the players who show character. He was not happy because the result was not good at the end.”
Subsequent to Ozil’s departure, Palace grabbed a late leveller to snatch the draw following the visitors leading 2-1 from goals by Granit Xhaka — a stunning free-kick — and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And Emery, who replaced Arsene Wenger in the summer after the French coach served 22 years in the role, said he thought the draw was a fair result.
“This draw is just because the teams deserved, a minimum the draw. We were in control when they scored their first, not doing a lot in the attacking third, but in control of the match. In the second half we scored two goals from two individual actions and then, a lot of minutes on the games for holding this result with them pushing, with their supporters, and every player attacking us.
“In this moment, we needed the control because we lost possession. We needed to score the third goal to be calm. But we cannot do good chances for this and, when they drew, I think. I want to push, to find a moment for us to win the match, but we cannot. This draw is what both teams deserved.”
Next up, Emery’s men host Blackpool in the Carabao Cup at the Emirates on Wednesday night before they host high-flying Liverpool in north London on Saturday, with a tea-time kick-off. Arsenal fans hope they can gauge a true measure of how things are progressing under Emery when they come up against Jurgen Klopp’s side. The clash follows eight games which they would have been expected to win and did — all bar the Palace encounter. Previously in the league, the other tests they undertook were against Manchester City and Chelsea and they lost both of those matches.