Arsene Wenger reveals why Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey missed out ahead of Barcelona
PUBLISHED: 15:32 20 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:32 20 February 2016
2016 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil was left out of the starting line-up for their 0-0 draw with Hull on Saturday lunchtime because he was ‘a bit sick’ during the week.
The German international set up Danny Welbeck’s last-minute winner last Sunday against Leicester but has been under the weather since and that was behind Wenger’s reason to leave Ozil out.
Arsenal welcome Barcelona to the Emirates on Tuesday night and Ozil will be fine to return as the Gunners look to cause an upset.
Fellow midfielder Ramsey was also left out completely and Wenger explained that was because of the heavy workload the Welshman has dealt with in recent weeks.
“The Barcelona game was not in my mind today,” he explained. “I rested Ramsey and Ozil completely.
“Mesut Ozil was a bit sick during the week and I decided to leave him completely out. It was a cold, it was nothing major.
“And Ramsey has played many games.”
The Gunners, who made nine changes from the side that earned a last-gasp win against Leicester, just couldn’t find a way past Eldin Jokupovic in the Hull goal.
Joel Campbell, Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck were all denied by the giant goalkeeper and even when Wenger sent for Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain they still couldn’t help the Gunners avoid a replay.
They now have to squeeze in a replay at Hull into their busy fixture schedule and Wenger says he was frustrated at his side’s lack of cutting edge.
“They defended well, their keeper played well and our final ball wasn’t perhaps good enough,” he added.
“Their keeper did well of course but we had over 20 shots on goal and didn’t score so we have to look at ourselves as well.
“Is it a nightmare? No a nightmare would have been to go out. The frustration is not to score. It is not what we wanted but between that and going out we’ll take the replay.
“We need to be more efficient in the final third and we wont have 70 per cent possession on Tuesday night.”