Ozil's situation at Arsenal is becoming embarrassing! – Keown
The ex-Gunners defender has slammed the German’s lack of professionalism and suggests illness and injury might not be behind his current omission
Mesut Ozil must decide whether he wants to be part of Arsenal’s long-term future after being left out for the 100th time in his Gunners career against BATE Borisov, according to former defender Martin Keown.
The former Germany international has started just one match in 2019 due to a back injury and illness, which kept him out for the weekend Premier League win over Huddersfield.
Manager Unai Emery has even left Ozil out on tactical grounds and opted not to take him to last-32 first leg in Belarus in the Europa League due to being unable to train fully amid his illness.
Ozil’s run on the peripheral caps a torrid 12 months since he signed a new £350,000-a-week contract keeping him at the Emirates Stadium until 2021.
And Keown, who won 12 major honours across two spells at Arsenal, is not buying the excuses behind his continued omission.
He told BT Sport: “Is he injured? Is he ill? One thing as a player you’ve got to be is available for selection and you want to give consistency. He hasn’t been able to give either of those.
“He’s got to work to get back into the team. That is what the manager is asking for that is what he has to do.
“It is becoming embarrassing the Ozil situation. No [Aaron] Ramsey of course as well. Him not being part of the future is hard to take.”
In the 313 matches the North Londoners have player since Ozil arrived from Real Madrid, they have been without the playmaker for a century of those.
On whether the injuries attributed to his current malaise are legitimate or not, Keown added: “We don’t know if he is really injured or not. To miss that amount of games is quite remarkable, isn’t it? One hundred matches in that period. Only the player really knows.
“I think the manager is saying ‘you can’t just turn up and train when you want to, when you fancy it. I’m not going to take you on this trip because you haven’t trained enough’ and that is right and proper.
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“I still feel he has got something to offer. But the player has to ask himself where does he want to play his football?
“If he’s going to go somewhere else his wages are so massive that Arsenal would have to contribute towards those wages. It feels like that decision that was made 12 months ago is proving to be the wrong decision.”