Unai Emery appeared to muddy the waters further in trying to explain Mesut Ozil’s latest absence from an Arsenal matchday squad.
The Gunners face BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 clash on Thursday – with temperatures set to drop below zero as the game kicks off at 20:55 local time.
Arsenal have travelled to Belarus once again with Ozil not part of their party; the playmaker has found himself on the periphery of the side under Emery and missed the weekend win at Huddersfield through illness.
Emery was again asked about the continuing absence of Arsenal’s highest-earner after it was confirmed he was not part of the squad that flew out to Minsk on Wednesday evening.
In trying to explain Ozil’s absence, Emery suggested it was down to not training enough following his sickness.
“The players we didn’t bring in the squad were because Aaron Ramsey did not train with us and Sokratis (Papastathopoulos) only started training yesterday and today – I don’t think it’s enough,” he said.
“Mesut is the same. (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, after he was sick, trained on Monday, yesterday and today, and I think he’s OK for the match.”
The alleged discord between Emery and Ozil could lead to the Spaniard being sacked at Arsenal, according to one former Gunners favourite.
Get the latest personalised Arsenal products on our new TEAMtalk Gunners shop!