Gunners boss Unai Emery says leaving Ozil out of West Ham defeat was based on tactical decision
– The Gunners suffered their first defeat to the Hammers since 2006 after this weekend’s clash
– Arsenal are 5th on the log with 41 points after 22 round of EPL matches
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has insisted that leaving Mesut Ozil in his squad that suffered 1-0 defeat to West Ham United was based on tactical decision.
Declan Rice’s lone strike was all the Hammers needed to beat the Gunners in the tough Premier League clash at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Reports coming from the north Londoners’ camp had it that the German star was yet to fully recover from a knee injury he suffered sometime back.
But according to Goal.com, the tactician failed to mention anything regarding the injury, claiming that he has trained normally all week.
He insisted that the midfielder’s exclusion was owing to tactical reasons: “I decided the players who are the best for this match. We win with him and lose with him. Not one player is for sale.
“He’s working this week normally. Like I said we win with him and lose with him. Today the decision is to come with these players,” the Arsenal manager said.
This was the first time Arsenal have been beaten away from home by the Hammers since 2006, when Marlon Harewood’s 89th-minute strike claimed all three points for the hosts at Upton Park.
Ozil was also left out of the 18-man squad for Arsenal’s north London derby defeat to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup back in December, with Emery having insisted on that occasion that it was due to “tactical reasons”.
The 30-year-old had missed the Gunners’ last three matches due to a knee injury, but confirmed himself that he had had a full week of training and seemingly expected to be welcomed back into the squad.
But Emery instead opted to play Granit Xhaka alongside Matteo Guendouzi in the central midfield area, with Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette playing in support of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It was a tough encounter that witnessed West Ham rise two places on the log to eighth place after Declan Rice’s goal was enough to see the Hammers gain maximum points with a 1-0 win.