Arsenal’s falling out of the UEFA Europa League was the final blow to Arsene Wenger‘s chances of winning a title in 2017/18 as the Frenchman’s farewell tour with the Premier League giants continue.
However, the focus of Thursday’s 1-0 defeat (2-1 on aggregate) to Atletico Madrid wasn’t on Wenger, but instead his players — who were questions for their lack of desire.
One in particular was called out by Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who targeted Mesut Ozil and his lack of production not just in Madrid but on a number of occasions throughout the season.
“Show some drive,” Keown said. “Show some energy. He’s on the edge of it. It’s almost like his hand’s in the air — ‘Look at this group. [They] aren’t as good as me.’ And somebody needed to grab him a long time ago, to give him a shake and say, ‘We’re trying to get the ball to you. We are working for you, but you’re not working for us.’
“I bet he doesn’t play again this season. He’ll have some emotional breakdown and won’t be able to play at the weekend. I don’t know how many illnesses he’s had this season, but the fella is not kidding me. That is not a proper performance.”
Meanwhile, Keown suggested that the club’s next manager, whoever it may be, needs to only play Ozil based on merit and not the price tag in which Arsene Wenger invested in the Germany international.
“It’s a big problem for the new manager because Wenger’s invested an awful lot of money in this player and I’m not seeing a performance to go with it,” Keown said. “He wasn’t fit to wear the shirt for me tonight, and I’ve seen this a lot this season and it needs to be said because he needs to be dug out because we expect more from him. He’s a World Cup winner. These are crocodile tears that I’m seeing from the player. He’s not conning me.”Follow @MattReedFutbol