Arsenal legend Ian Wright has pleaded with Arsene Wenger over Mesut Özil and accused the Gunners boss of doing nothing with the Emirates Stadium club’s record signing.
Wright made his plea after Arsenal were brushed aside by Borussia Dortmund in the first of their Champions League group stage matched on Tuesday night, in which Özil was a peripheral figure before being hauled off in the second half.
Wide of the mark
The German international was used on both the left and right flanks in Wenger’s new 4-1-4-1 formation, but he has not looked at all comfortable and some of his performances have drawn increasing criticism from fans and pundits alike.
Wright is a vocal supporter of the club where he made his name – he is Arsenal’s second greatest ever goalscorer – and called for the Arsenal boss to abandon his idea of using Özil wide and bring the playmaker into the middle, where his superior creative skills can flourish.
“Arsene get Ozil in the middle, get the team to play around him! He's 42 mill worth of player for a reason! Do something with him PLEASE,” he said on Twitter.
It was a miserable night for the travelling Gunners fans, who saw their side completely outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s men and could conceivably be feeling fortunate that the scoreline was not worse than the 2-0 it ended.
Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the goals either side of half time, both of which were defensive nightmares.
The Italy international opened the scoring after picking the ball up in the centre circle and running straight at Laurent Koscielny, the Frenchman seemed to have it under control but Immobile got a slice of fortune in that a mis-control took the ball past the defender and he buried the finish.
Arsenal lost the ball in midfield again for the second and Kevin Grosskruetz was under little pressure, as he played simple lofted through ball over Pet Mertesacker for Aubameyang to run on to and fire home after rounding Wojciech Szczesny.
The most worrying thing about the Gunners’ performance was what looked to be a lack of fight and resilience in the face of immense pressure from the Bundelsiga side, who played at a furious pace throughout.
Mikel Arteta returned to the side for the first time after injury, but the worries many had about his physicality before the season started were confirmed in the starkest terms at the Westfalenstadion, as he was bypassed as if not there with nearly every Dortmund counter-attack.
Added to the poor performance and comprehensive defeat was the news that Jack Wilshere had suffered an ankle injury during the match, though there has been no timescale put on how long he faces out.