Arsenal and Germany International Mesut Ozil will play no part in Arsenal’s midweek game against Huddersfield. The German playmaker, who has Turkish ancestry, had to travel back home with an illness just hours before Arsenal’s last gasp 1-0 win at Burnley on Sunday afternoon. Following this he is now set to sit out Wednesday’s game against Huddersfield as well, Arsene Wenger said.
Ozil was reported to have trained normally with the rest of the squad on Saturday and spent the night with the rest of the team at their hotel ahead of the game. He had been expected to form part of an Arsenal line up to face Burnley which was same as the one that had secured the derby win over spurs. His absence therefore came as a rude surprise.
Monsieur Wenger in his press conference after the game said he hadn’t spoken directly to Ozil so couldn’t say what illness he had, adding that Ainsley Maitland-Niles had to make a late journey to Burnley to make up the numbers on the bench.
“The doctor came to see me and said he [Ozil] had to travel back home, he was in the hotel with us,” Wenger said “He travelled up with us, then travelled back. We brought Maitland-Niles up who arrived at 1 p.m. because we had only 17 players.”
Nigerian winger Alex Iwobi was used in Ozil’s stead but was later replaced by soon-to-be-free-agent Jack Wilshere. The Gunners looked headed for a draw until Aaron Ramsey was pushed down in the area in injury time and Alexis Sanchez netted the winner from the spot.
Wenger said Ozil who is still stalling over a new contract “will certainly be short” for Wednesday’s home game against Huddersfield-a team that lost to Manchester City on Sunday. This could give Wilshere a chance for his first Premier League start of the season.
This was Arsenal’s third straight injury-time winner after also netting a controversial late goal at Turf Moor last season. Burnley’s players accused Ramsey of going down lightly in the box, but Wenger — who has harshly criticised several penalty decisions against his own team this season — disagreed.
“From outside it looked 100 percent [a penalty]. I don’t know why he pushed him in the back,” Wenger told the BBC.
“In the first half we didn’t find our game, they stopped us from playing very well. In the second half it was a question of the final ball and patience, not making a mistake at the back.”