Deja vu for Wenger as he admits he cannot afford to rest Ozil

Date published: Saturday 2nd January 2016 11:21

Mesut Özil: Not committing future with Gunners yet

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he cannot afford to rest Mesut Ozil for any games as the Gunners go in pursuit of their first title since 2004.

Ozil has been Arsenal’s star man this season with five goals and 16 assists in 18 games so far this season, with no player playing more minutes over the Premier and Champions League.

Wenger, who was heavily criticised over his management of Alexis Sanchez, is aware that the German playmaker could do with a break, but is fearful of giving the 27-year-old one.

In November Wenger admitted he was worried about the fitness of Sanchez, but said he was unable to rest the “jaded” forward. 

The consequence of that was that the Chile forward eventually saw his first-team action curtailed when he picked up a hamstring problem, which has now sidelined him for over a month.

And while Wenger will surely be keen not to make the same mistake twice, the Frenchman is eager to keep playing the in-form Ozil.

“At the moment, he doesn’t train a lot. We rest him a lot between the games. I gave him one-week holiday during the international break.

“He is a guy who, once the basic fitness is there between the games, he wants to play.

“There are types of players, sometimes the most technical players, it looks like it demands less energy for them to play – it is just natural for them.

“You look as well at the impact he can have on other players.

“The Premier League is very tight and if you go into the decisive game and if you rest players, the other players think subconsciously, they don’t tell you, but they think: ‘Why?’ Even the player himself.”

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