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Mesut Ozil.

All 13 of the games Mesut Ozil has missed for Arsenal this season and the reasons why

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Despite a bright start to the Unai Emery era at Arsenal, the Gunners' momentum has seemed somewhat stunned in recent weeks.

The side's last fixtures involved a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day, as well as a 3-1 win over Burnley. However, prior to that, the side suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Southampton and Spurs.

Arsenal managed an undefeated record of 22 games up until the Southampton clash. However, the side have since been inconsistent in their on-field performances.

A slew of injury struggles along with the drastic change in system - which features the odd choice of playing Granit Xhaka at centre-back - could be argued as the reasons why.

One player yet to hit the ground running under Emery is German playmaker, Mesut Ozil.

The 30-year-old was announced to be missing out on this weekend's monster clash with Liverpool - and it certainly isn't the first time similar news has been announced this campaign.

Unai Emery has been coy over the reasons behind Ozil's many absences, ranging from injuries to 'tactical decisions'.

Thanks to the folks over at football.london, we now have a list of all 13 matches Ozil has missed under the Emery this season and the supposed reasons behind them:

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham August 25

Ozil was substituted in the Gunners' previous game which saw the side suffer a 3-2 loss to Chelsea.

He was taken off in the 68th minute for Aaron Ramsey and then missed training and the subsequent match due to illness.

Arsenal 3-1 Brentford September 30

This absence is perhaps the most straight-forward.

Arsenal matched up against Brentford in the Carabao Cup and Ozil was rested for the game as the side prepared for their league clash with Watford three days later.

Luckily, the decision paid off, as Arsenal overcame their opponents 2-0 thanks to a goal from Ozil himself.

Fulham 1-5 Arsenal October 7

The first of Ozil's injury struggles came before Arsenal's trip to Craven Cottage in October.

Arsenal travelled to Azerbaijan for their Europa League clash with Qarabag during the week and it appeared the trip caused Ozil some discomfort.

Ozil was subsequently withdrawn from the game with a 'back spasm'.

Arsenal v Qarabag FK - UEFA Europa League - Group E

Sporting Club Portugal 0-1 Arsenal October 25

Ozil gave arguably his most impressive performance under Unai Emery the weekend prior during the side's 3-1 win over the foxes.

Simply put, Ozil featured on the bench and wasn't used during the game.

Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool October 31

Again, Ozil was rested for this clash due to Emery prioritising upcoming fixtures.

Arsenal 0-0 Sporting November 8

News of Danny Welbeck's injury shocked the Arsenal camp. With Arsenal already in control of their Europa League group, Emery decided to, again, rest the German.

Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal November 25

Again, Ozil was named on the bench for this clash and wasn't used as a substitute. Herein comes Emery's claims of Ozil being left out for 'tactical reasons'.

Arsenal v Qarabag FK - UEFA Europa League - Group E

Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal November 29

Arsenal, again, faced a long trip to Vorskla. Given their dominance over their Europa League group, there was no reason to risk Ozil.

Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur December 2

Ozil was ruled out of the North London derby with a backache, an injury that seemed to be a recurrence of his back spasm from earlier in the season.

However, his colleagues certainly thrived in his absence.

Manchester United 2-2 Arsenal December 5

With his backache still keeping him from full fitness, Ozil was ruled out for the game against Manchester United.

Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield Town December 8

Again, his back pain was still persisting.

Arsenal 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur December 19

The second North London derby of the season saw Emery claim Ozil absence was down to tactical reasons.

The gaffer then failed to comment on Ozil's place in his plans in the post-match press conference.

Liverpool v Arsenal December 29

Which leads us to this weekend's clash with Liverpool. Ozil trained with the first team ahead of the side's trip up north only to complain about a pain in his knee.

Therefore, Ozil did not travel with his teammates up to Merseyside.

Topics:
Football
Unai Emery
Mesut Özil
Premier League
Arsenal
Liverpool
Chelsea

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