8.30am Arsenal news LIVE: Ozil ‘believes he was axed over China’, Arteta speaks out, Partey flies to Vienna – The Sun

MESUT OZIL believes that his criticism of China is the reason has has been frozen out by Arsenal, according to reports.

However, Mikel Arteta has discussed the situation in his pre-match press conference and is adamant that the decision is a footballing one.

Follow all the latest Arsenal transfer gossip, news and updates below…

  • sstreet

    CHINA IN YOUR HAND

    Mesut Ozil believes his exclusion from the Arsenal squad is due to his political stances, reports the Daily Mail.

    The paper claims Ozil is convinced that the Gunners' commercial interests in China have led to him being frozen out.

    The midfielder last year criticised the Chinese Communist Party for its treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang province – comments from which Arsenal distanced themselves.

    And in Ozil's statement on his admission from the Premier League and Europa League squads, the final sentence was a telling one.

    It read: “I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”

  • Richard Forrester

    PARTEY STARTER

    Arsenal travel to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League tongiht and Mikel Arteta is likely to ring the changes.

    New signing Thomas Partey is expected to be handed his first Gunners start with in-form youngster Eddie Nketiah starting in an attacking role.

    The Gunners narrowly lost 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday and the Spaniard will want to freshen things up for the trip to Austria.

    Bernd Leno will likely retain his place in goal as Arteta no doubt wants to kick-off his side's European campaign with a win.

    But the defence could see some new faces in a 5-2-3 formation.

  • Gary Stonehouse

    GOOD MORNING GUNNERS FANS

    Mikel Arteta admitted that he failed in his responsibility to get the best out of Mesut Ozil but insisted his conscience is clear.

    The Arsenal boss was responding after Ozil had declared war on the club by accusing them of disloyalty.

    Ozil lashed out on social media after being omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League squad this week.

    But Arteta insisted that Ozil had no-one to blame but himself for the decision which means he has almost certainly played his last game for the club.

    He said: “What is happening with Mesut now is nothing new.

    “The atmosphere around him when I joined was pretty difficult and a lot of these things have been going on for eight years.

    “My job is to get the best out of every player to contribute to the team performance and at the moment I feel that I’ve failed.

    “I wanted the best possible Mesut and at times we were able to get close to that but at the moment I haven’t been able to do that because I had to take the decision to leave him out of the squad.

    “It’s nothing to do with behaviour or about pay cuts like I keep reading. That’s not true.

    “I was hired as manager to win matches for this club and I have to make the decisions to get the best possible team out there as often as I can.

    “Mesut has had the opportunities like everyone else but I have to look at the daily input to the performance and what every player brings to the team.

    “I am not going to hide behind the board or the owners.

    “This decision is my responsibility and my conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him.

    “I am sad that I had to leave three players out of this list and it’s never nice telling them that they are not going to be involved.

    “But I can look everyone in the eye and be comfortable with it and I have this feeling with Mesut because I have been very straightforward since I arrived at this club.”

    On a more positive front, Thomas Partey has traveled with the Arsenal squad for the Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna – and is now expected to make his full debut for the club.

    The Gunners are on their way to Austria for Thursday night's tournament-opener – with the club seen boarding a plane at Luton Airport.

    And Granit Xhaka has hailed the importance of new signing Partey in Arsenal's squad.

    He said: “He will be the guy who is important for me and as well for the team.

    “Everyone in the club can be happy because he has great quality.

    “He will bring a good mentality, a good balance in our game because this is what we need a bit more: the mentality to win.

    “He played at Atletico Madrid, a different type of football, and he will bring a lot of good quality and mentality.”

  • Joe Brophy

    BOSZ NOT SOZ

    Arsenal fans were cursing their luck after seeing summer transfer target Dominik Szoboszlai score an absolute stunner for RB Salzburg.

    The 19-year-old sensation snubbed a big-money move to North London so he could play Champions League football for the Austrian side.

  • Joe Brophy

    WHAT A MES

    Arteta continued: “Honestly I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players.

    In some moments I was able to get close to that and at the moment I've not been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out.

    “Here I feel at the moment, today, that I have failed. I want the best possible Mesut for the team.”

    “It is my responsibility. It is nothing related to any behaviour or pay cuts. It’s not true. It’s my decision.”

  • Joe Brophy

    ART OF WAR

    Mikel Arteta has fired back at Mesut Ozil after the German accused Arsenal of a lack of loyalty.

    “My conscience is very calm because I have been very fair with him.

    “I have to try and look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it.

    “I have this feeling with Mesut.”

  • Joe Brophy

    START THE PARTEY

    Granit Xhaka has hailed the arrival of Thomas Partey.

    He said: “He will be the guy who is important for me and as well for the team.

    “Everyone in the club can be happy because he has great quality.

    “He will bring a good mentality, a good balance in our game because this is what we need a bit more: the mentality to win.

    “He played at Atletico Madrid, a different type of football, and he will bring a lot of good quality and mentality.”

  • Joe Brophy

    WIL POWER

    Jack Wilshere stood up for Arsenal's 'best player' Mesut Ozil – after the World Cup winner was axed from their squad.

  • Joe Brophy

    GUNNING FOR IT

    Only one name among Arsenal's top-ten highest earners has failed to make their Premier League squad…

  • Joe Brophy

    BOX TO BOX-ER

    Anthony Joshua had what it takes to become a Premier League footballer, according to his friend who revealed he “has a knack for everything”.

    The world heavyweight boxing champ, 31, was a handy Sunday league footballer as a 16-year-old and David Ghansa – his training camp manager and inner-circle pal of 15 years – reckons he could've made the Prem.

    He told Sky Sports: “He could barge people off the ball and win headers.

    “At the time, he was so tall compared to everyone else and was finding his 'man strength'.

    “Charlton, QPR and Watford would always scout our team because they knew our coach.

    “I felt like the next set of eyes would be on AJ because of his physical attributes.

    “You could throw AJ up front and he would boot it into the back of the net or sit him at the back and let him defend.

    “Could he have made it? If he applied himself fully. He has a knack for anything, it can be annoying.”

  • Joe Brophy

    MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

    BT Sport's new Match Day Experience is taking football fans behind the scenes at Premier League clubs – and even Rio Ferdinand is impressed.

    Former Manchester United and England captain Ferdinand said: “The dressing room was the place where no-one was able to go so to see inside is amazing.

    “Even now, I'm intrigued to look at what the changing rooms are like right now.

    “I've been in there at Leeds, but I haven’t been in there for 15-18 years, wherever is. So it's intriguing for me to get that opportunity to go in and have a look.

    “I wanted to have it and I think fans will be the same because and even looking at things like the difference in size of the home and away changing rooms.

    “There is a massive difference in like luxuriousness of a home changing compared to it away changing rooms.

    “Then when you see Old Trafford, they've expanded the home dressing room so much and you can see the gadgets that are in there now. For a fan to be able to see in there I think is a great added value.”

  • Joe Brophy

    EYE SPY

    BT Sport's new Match Day Experience is taking football fans behind the scenes at Premier League clubs.

    The broadcasters are harnessing the power of 5G to deliver augmented reality offerings that puts users right into the heart of areas normally out of bounds for the public.

    Simply lock in on a spot in your living room and suddenly a portal opens letting you walk into the dressing rooms at Elland Road or Old Trafford.

    The user is suddenly right there in the inner sanctum of the biggest clubs in England, able to explore and get a genuine feel for what the Premier League stars experience.

  • Joe Brophy

    PARTEY TIME

    Thomas Partey has traveled with the Arsenal squad for the Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna – and is now expected to make his full debut for the club.

    The Gunners are on their way to Austria for Thursday night's tournament-opener – with the club seen boarding a plane at Luton Airport.

  • Joe Brophy

    LEAGUES BEHIND

    Portuguese superstar Luis Figo has become the latest player to reject calls for a European Super League.

    The former Real Madrid and Barcelona ace said: “What I read about this Super League idea will destroy football as we know it.

    “It’s all about greed and keeping the game for a few elite clubs, while killing the other clubs and leagues that fans love.

    “Football should unite! Everyone should oppose it!”

  • Jack Figg

    ART ATTACK

    Andy Cole believes Mikel Arteta showed 'disrespect' to Alexandre Lacazette.

    The Spaniard opted to start Willian as the main striker despite having a natural forward on the bench in the defeat against Man City.

    Lacazette did eventually come on in the second half but ex-Man Utd striker Cole believes it was poor management from Arteta.

    He told talkSPORT: “I think he is being disrespectful to Lacazette as well. Willian is not a centre-forward.

    “If you have got a centre-forward on the bench who is your top goalscorer as well, to turn around and say, ‘Look, I am going to play Willian as the centre-forward.

    “You sit on the bench and watch him play centre-forward’, I think that is very disrespectful.”

  • Jack Figg

    GOALDEN OLDIES

    Chelsea stunned the footballing world by announcing Petr Cech in their 25-man Premier League squad for 2020-21… but he's actually YOUNGER than Willy Caballero.

    Cech played 494 times for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015 – winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and Europa League.

    Since leaving Stamford Bridge, Cech has turned out for Arsenal – and even enjoyed a stint as an ice hockey player for Guildford Phoenix.

    But now he has a genuine chance of playing football again.

    At the age of 38, the announcement shocked many fans.

    Yet, incredibly, the 124-cap Czech Republic legend is actually YOUNGER than new Chelsea team-mate Caballero.

    READ MORE HERE

  • Jack Figg

    FAN'S VIEW

    How Ozil’s career at Arsenal has been left in tatters after an almighty implosion – but why?

    So much has been speculated about the reasons for the German playmaker's decline – having been left out of both the Premier League and Europa League squads.

    I, for one, have no agenda… other than from a footballing standpoint, of course.

    While I applaud Ozil's charity work, defence of the oppressed and his laudable stance on human rights, I equally find his use of social media – to snipe at his employer – irritating.

    He may well have good cause to feel aggrieved in his place of work – but the correct way to air such grievances is privately with his line manager, so to speak.

    Ozil's use of Twitter has hardly served him well, based on his current situation.

    READ MORE HERE

  • Jack Figg

    OZ TAKES AIM

    Mesut Ozil has pledged to continue ‘fighting for his chance’ at Arsenal after releasing an emotional statement following the club’s latest snub.

    The German winger has been left out of the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League squad, following on from his axing from the club’s European one.

    The former Real Madrid man said: “Upon signing my contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.

    “As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays.”

    Ozil continued: “Before the coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level.

    “But then things changed, again, and I was not longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.”

  • Jack Figg

    PER SHAPED

    Per Mertesacker has admitted that he was a panic buy for Arsenal when he joined from Werder Bremen back in 2011.

    He told Arsenal’s Lockdown Podcast: “I consider myself to be a panic buy. I’ve got no problems with that whatsoever because sometimes these times are rushed.

    “Football is rushed, especially when the transfer window is about to close. At that time Arsenal had two or three days to make adjustments to the squad.

    “To join an English team, my favourite English team, and to join the Premier League was something I couldn’t turn down.”

  • Jack Figg

    SEEING RED

    Gary Neville has slammed the timing of a European Premier League.

    He told Sky Sports News: “The big issue that I have with it, is that at this moment in time, in the middle of a pandemic and when football is on its knees at so many different levels, the idea that a $6bn package is being put together to set up a new league when lower clubs are scrambling around to pay wages and stay in existence.

    “It's another wound for football. It doesn't feel like the right time to be talking about this.

    “The leak probably doesn't suit Manchester United or Liverpool at this moment in time as they're seen as the big, bad bullies.

    “I'm for progression of football, with new competitions and new formats, but we have got to look after the fabric of the game and what it means to the communities in this country.”

  • Jack Figg

    PARTEY STARTER

    Granit Xhaka has hailed the importance new signing Thomas Partey in Arsenal's squad.

    Partey signed from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, and will partner Xhaka in midfield.

    Xhaka said: “He will be the guy who is important for me and as well for the team.

    “Everyone in the club can be happy because he has great quality.

    “He will bring a good mentality, a good balance in our game because this is what we need a bit more: the mentality to win.

    “He played at Atletico Madrid, a different type of football, and he will bring a lot of good quality and mentality.”

  • Jack Figg

    IF, NOT WEN

    Arsenal's legendary former manager Arsene Wenger was offered the job at Manchester United.

    Earlier this month, the Gunners icon claimed he had a chance to take the Old Trafford gig – and now he's revealed even more about the approach.

    When asked if either Manchester club approached him, he revealed: “City never, United yes – I cannot tell you exactly when.”

    Grilled as to whether he was interested, Wenger added: “No, because I was at Arsenal.

    “You know, I had a real love story with Arsenal. My life is red and white.

    “I felt when I came to the club that there was this special charm inside it.

    “It was a good mixture between respect for tradition, respect for people, and not being scared to sometimes face unpopular judgements.”

    It's not known exactly when Wenger was offered the United job – but it's widely believed to have been when Fergie nearly retired in 2002.

  • Jack Figg

    NO MES-ING ABOUT

    Mesut Ozil was joined by Sokratis Papastathopoulos in being axed from the Europa League squad.

    But manager Mikel Arteta admitted the door is not completely closed to the pair.

    Arteta: “I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had.

    “It was really difficult to tell them that, but these are the restrictions and the rules.

    “We have to respect that decision and try to train in the best possible way to help the team in that moment and see what happens in December.”

  • Jack Figg

    CROOK BEHAVIOUR

    Garth Crooks criticised Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for playing Willian as a striker against Manchester City.

    The Gunners lost 1-0 away at City, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah benched as summer singing Willian played as a false No9 as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played out wide.

    Pundit Crooks told the BBC: “To see the Gunners playing Willian in a striking role with Alexandre Lacazette, a proven striker, on the bench – particularly having seen what Leicester did to City – was desperately disappointing.

    “Manager Mikel Arteta wasn’t being calculating – it was padding and the Gunners got what they deserved: nothing.”

  • Jack Figg

    PARTEY STARTER

    Arsenal travel to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and Mikel Arteta is likely to ring the changes.

    New signing Thomas Partey is expected to be handed his first Gunners start with in-form youngster Eddie Nketiah starting in an attacking role.

    The Gunners narrowly lost 1-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday and the Spaniard will want to freshen things up for the trip to Austria.

    Bernd Leno will likely retain his place in goal as Arteta no doubt wants to kick-off his side's European campaign with a win.

    But the defence could see some new faces in a 5-2-3 formation.

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