Why Mesut Ozil has to be central to Unai Emery's plans if Arsenal are to succeed this season
Arsenal ensured qualification into the last 16 of the Europa League last night with an accomplished win over Belarussian side BATE Borisov. The Gunners ran out 3-0 winners in what was a very dominating display at the Emirates Stadium. Unai Emery’s men now face French Ligue 1 Rennes in the next stage, in another very winnable fixture.
Arsenal are left with only the prospects of the Europa League, if they are to claim silverware from the current campaign. They are still in the reckoning for a Champions League position, but may see winning the Europa League as a safer bet.
Last night saw the Spaniard manager throw Mesut Ozil back into first-team action after using him less frequently this season. The move did not backfire and this definitely shows that he could be the player to ensure that Arsenal do not need to win the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League. Ozil, at his very best, is one of the top players in the division and it seems bizarrely criminal that he has not been called up more often this season. The 30-year-old has an enviable knack of unlocking the opposition defence; a trait that is rare among the Arsenal ranks.
Even though Ozil has not always come up trumps during his time in north London, there are few individuals who have stood steadfastly with the North London outfit in crisis situations, as the German playmaker has. Ozil had a pass success rate of 89 percent last night, and this highlighted his desire to ensure that Arsenal kept the ball. His presence in the final third made others around him come alive and he proved to be a real handful for BATE.
Unai Emery needs to swallow his pride and make Ozil a mainstay in his team.On this latest showing, the German midfielder is keen to prove a big point.