Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Emery Would Love to Swap Ozil for One of Spurs' Natural-Brawn Winners

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How Emery Would Love to Swap Ozil for One of Spurs' Natural-Brawn Winners

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Evans at Emirates Stadium

SOME managers have a multitude of riches. Mauricio Pochettino had the luxury of leaving his highest-paid player on the bench in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. His side needed only a cameo from Harry Kane in their 2-0 win.

Others are not so fortunate. Unai Emery left out his biggest earner, an eyebrow-raising move before a north London derby. Mesut Ozil, World Cup winner, superstar and recipient of PS350,000 per week, did not even have to work for his money. Some would argue that he never really puts in a shift. Emery appears to be one of those people.

Managers often hide their real feelings in public. They will use honeyed words to describe players that they slaughter in private. Emery provided no comfort for Ozil. After the game, the Spaniard's repeated refusal to offer any positive feedback about the 30-year-old's future told its own story.

Emery preferred Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in midfield. Ramsey is in the final months of his contract and the club have already decided not to offer him a new deal.

He will leave in the summer and, in normal circumstances, would be way down the pecking order. Last night he showed why Arsenal are ambivalent. Although he hit the post with a superb volley, the 27-year-old failed to impose himself on the game. Twice he tried ambitious backheel flicks that did not work. They were the sort of efforts someone as prodigiously talented as Ozil can pull off but Ramsey's skillset suits more straightforward work. Mundane efficiency means more for Emery.

Mkhitaryan's performance was more troubling. The Armenian lined up in front of Ainsley Maitland-Niles as the 21-year-old midfielder filled in at right back for the injured Hector Bellerin. Maitland-Niles needed support as Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen doubled up on him early on. …

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