Mesut Ozil is one of the best players in the world, but that did not stop many Arsenal fans from calling manager Arsene Wenger to drop him against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Germany international playmaker had been in truly disappointing form and was pretty much a passenger in midweek, when Borussia Dortmun cruised to a 2-0 home victory over the Gunners in the Champions League.
However, Wenger started Ozil at Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday and played the 25-year-old in his favoured central attacking midfield role.
And Ozil returned to form in style, scoring a goal and providing an assist as Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win and restored their challenge for the Premier League title (click here to read more).
A World Cup winner with Germany in Brazil in the summer, Ozil is easily the most gifted and talented player in the Arsenal squad, but Wenger’s post-match comments suggest that he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up despite his impressive showing against Villa.
‘No, not really, no’, the Frenchman told reporters when asked if he had considered not playing Ozil against Villa. ‘You consider it always.
‘I have many offensive players and you always look to find the right balance and it’s not always easy because I gave (Alexis) Sanchez a rest as he played many games’.
Ozil is not ‘untouchable’ in the Arsenal team, but it seems that Wenger will not play him only when he deems it right and not bow down to ‘fan pressure’.
There will be many games over the course of the season when Ozil will be rested or not played from the start, but it will be only Wenger’s decision.