Mesut Özil was absent from our goalless game with Hull City this past Saturday afternoon, but will hopefully be back in time for our clash with Barcelona this Tuesday, as reported by the Metro.
Many believed the German was merely being rested, with the FA Cup Arsene Wenger’s only real chance to give him a break at the moment. We’ve got a jam packed schedule with games against Barcelona, Manchester United, and Tottenham, and we need the playmaker fully fit for all those games.
However, it was revealed that the World Cup winner was suffering from illness, and Wenger was looking to make sure he was better in time for our Champions League clash.
“I rested Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil completely,” explained Wenger.
“Özil was a bit sick during the week and I decided to leave him completely out.
“It was a cold, nothing major.”
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It’s great to hear that his absence was due to nothing major, and hopefully he’s fully recovered for Tuesday’s massive game. We badly missed his creativity against Hull, and we can’t afford to be anything less than perfect against Barcelona. They are arguably the best team in the world at the moment, and the way they’ve been playing this season there actually isn’t much arguing.
We really have to make sure Özil doesn’t get burnt out, and rest is key to doing that. To be without the former Real Madrid man for any length of time would be crippling, so it’s far better he misses one or two games rather than risking his fitness for the rest of the season.
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Even with Özil in the side beating Barcelona is a tall order, but if we’re at our best then anything is possible. Progressing in the Champions League will be tough, but we’re not out of the competition yet.