Freddie Ljungberg gives rational explanation why Mesut Ozil is not playing for Arsenal
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Freddie Ljungberg says Mesut Ozil is a victim of the new style of play Mikel Arteta is implementing at Arsenal but feels the midfielder could still play a part if selected.
Ozil has been frozen out of Arteta's plans as the Spaniard has adopted a high-pressing 3-4-3 formation, leaving little room for the luxury playmaker.
Arsenal have managed to score just once [a penalty] in their last four Premier League fixtures though, with critics now suggesting they lack any creative spark.
A plausible solution would be to bring Ozil in from the cold but Arteta has not even registered him in his official 25-man squad.
Speaking on Sky Sports, former Man Utd defender Patrice Evra said: "We're talking about Ozil, a quality player. He won the World Cup!
Ozil has been frozen out by Arteta at Arsenal
(Image: Offside via Getty Images)
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"We're talking about creativity. Messi doesn't have a massive work rate – it's not like I can compare Messi to Ozil, but he's playing, so for me it [work rate's] not an excuse. When you have a player like Ozil he has to play.
"It must be something with the club. It can't be the manager and the players, it's something with the club. Freddie won't say it but when you have Ozil and a lack of creativity the stats don't lie."
Ljungberg then tried to offer a rational explanation as to why Ozil was not featuring for his club.
"I think you have to look how Arsenal play now, with the system they play," the ex-Gunners coach said. "Where would you put him? Because the two midfielders in the middle are hard-working.
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"And then you have the wingers [which] is almost in the position Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] plays today, and obviously Auba will play, so you have to find how you're going to play."
"I hope you can explain that to the fans," Evra replied. "I don't want to talk about money but Ozil is living his best life right now and the fans I don't think will be happy about that.
"At least give him a chance. He's a professional, I think he's training very well so give him a chance.
"Now to say he's not running enough you say he's not playing, but you have a lack of creativity – it doesn't make sense to me."
Is there a way back for Ozil at Arsenal? Have your say below.
Ljungberg feels Ozil could still fit in to Arsenal's new system
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Ljungberg had no qualms about using Ozil during his brief stint as Arsenal's interim boss, playing him in six of his eight matches in charge.
The Swede did fire a warning at Ozil when he was stepping down from the post though that he needed to change his attitude if he wanted to be of use to Arteta.
He added: "I didn't say he shouldn't play. I think in certain games he really suits to play, like every other player."
But Evra was unequivocal: "I think the best thing is for him to leave Arsenal now."