Arsenal supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side extend their impressive unbeaten run to 18 matches on Thursday night.
Unai Emery’s men went into their Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava having got back to winning ways in the Premier League a few days earlier by beating Bournemouth 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium. And the Gunners made it two victories on the spin as goals from Emile Smith-Rowe, Aaron Ramsey, and Joe Willock sealed a routine 3-0 success for the North Londoners in the Ukrainian capital, thus securing top spot in Group E.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, who has called on manager Emery to recall Mesut Ozil to the starting line-up for the North London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.
Ex-Gunners star Merson stated that Emery’s men ‘need all the passers they can get’ to find a way past Mauricio Pochettino’s in-form Spurs, and given the quality and talent Ozil has, as well as Arsenal’s need for their best players to stand up and be counted, Merson is spot on to call for Emery to make the key selection decision.
Ultimately, 30-year-old Ozil wasn’t selected in the starting eleven by Emery last weekend in their victory over Bournemouth, with the Spaniard preferring to partner Alex Iwobi with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in that role just behind striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
And the Arsenal boss was certainly vindicated for his decision given his side edged past Eddie Howe’s men 2-1 on Sunday, but against a Tottenham team who majestically swept aside Chelsea last time round, Emery needs his best players on the pitch if his side are to get anything from the encounter.
And Ozil without doubt falls into that category given he has scored three goals and laid on one assist in ten Premier League appearances for the Gunners this season, taking his overall tallies to 41 goals and 72 assists in 208 games for the club – they are very impressive numbers.
Significantly though, as Merson rightly notes, Emery needs Ozil on the field to try and beat the Spurs press, which worked so effectively last weekend against Chelsea given the likes of Dele Alli didn’t let Jorginho dictate play in the middle of the park.
Ozil is without doubt one of the best players in the Premier League with the ball at his feet in finding those little pockets of space to produce the goods, yet he is also very strong in possession when under pressure – he can pick a pass with consummate ease.
And Arsenal are going to need that against a confident and in-form Tottenham on Sunday, which is why Merson is absolutely spot on to call for Emery to make the key decision to bring Ozil back into the side for the North London derby.
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