Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives blunt response to Mesut Ozil’s ‘ready’ message

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gives blunt response to Mesut Ozil's 'ready' message
The Spaniard seems unlikely to bring Ozil back into the team (Picture: HaytersTV / YouTube)

Mikel Arteta has given little indication that he will bring Mesut Ozil back into Arsenal’s team for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City despite the German declaring he is ‘ready’.

Ozil has yet to make an appearance for the Gunners since the season was restarted, not even making the matchday squad in the last five Premier League games.

Arsenal say Ozil has been struggling with ‘back soreness’ that has kept him out of the team, though the player himself appeared to rubbish that suggestion by writing ‘I AM READY’ in block capitals on the eve of Wednesday’s game against Liverpool.

Mesut Ozil in Arsenal Training Session
Ozil is back in training after his back problem but still can’t get in the squad (Picture: Getty)

Once again, though, Ozil was left out of the squad – with Arsenal securing an unlikely 2-1 victory in his absence – and Arteta had a very icy response when asked about the 31-year-old ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wembley.

Questioned on Ozil’s ‘ready’ message on social media, and whether he will be in the squad that takes on City, Arteta responded frostily: ‘Yeah he’s been training.’

Probed further on whether that means Ozil is in the squad, Arteta continued: ‘I haven’t done the squad yet. But he’s in training.’

Asked to expand on his thinking in not playing both Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, Arteta said: ‘Pure footballing reasons. My decision is always that.

‘My ambition is to put the best squad, the best players, that give us the best balance – in and out of the field – and the best possible chance to win the game.’

While Arteta insists Ozil’s exclusion from the side is purely down to ‘footballing reasons’ there have been suggestions in the media that Arsenal’s hierarchy do not want the German in the squad and are looking to offload him – and his enormous salary – this summer.

Guendouzi, meanwhile, has been frozen out and told to train alone after he grabbed Brighton striker Neal Maupay around the throat, with the young French midfielder refusing to change his attitude and reacting badly to his punishment.

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