Freddie Ljungberg Ready to Deal With Mesut Özil After Angry Reaction to Substitution

Arsenal ​interim manager Freddie Ljungberg says he will deal with midfielder Mesut Özil, who reacted angrily to being substituted during Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City.

Özil was hauled off shortly before the hour mark, and he was greeted by a chorus of boos from many inside the Emirates Stadium. He looked to have kept his composure, but was seen kicking his gloves in frustration as soon as he had left the pitch.

Mesut Ozil,Freddie Ljungberg

Speaking after the game (via ​Sky Sports), Ljungberg insisted that ​Özil should not have responded in such a manner, so the club will deal with the German in due course.

“You should be annoyed when you come off, but I’m the coach at the moment and take the decision that I want more energy in the team,” Ljungberg said.

“We are a team that want possession, but sometimes we want to run, tackle and win the ball back. Emile [Smith Rowe] did extremely well in Belgium and I wanted to give him the chance, and I think he did well when he came on.

“For me, I took Mesut off because I wanted more energy in the team. If he wants to react when he goes off that’s up to him, and we’ll deal with it later.

“First of all, I am here on a day-to-day basis, so we’ll see what that is in the future, but of course we want players in the right way.”

Özil’s reaction came shortly after Arsenal released a statement ​distancing themselves from his comments about China’s treatment of their Uighur Muslim population. ​Club officials made a point of insisting that they do not want to get involved in the situation, which will likely have frustrated Özil even more.

Mesut Ozil

Rumours about a potential move away from the club were rife under Emery, and this latest outburst will likely fuel the fire for a little while longer.

Özil has started all three of Ljungberg’s league games so far but, outside of contributing an assist in the 2-1 loss to ​Brighton, he has been largely disappointing, and Ljungberg clearly felt that his side had a better chance of salvaging a result against ​City without him on the pitch.


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