Arsenal vs BATE Borisov - Emery tells Ozil what he needs to do to regain Arsenal place



Posted Thursday, February 21, 2019 by PA

Arsenal vs BATE Borisov - Emery tells Ozil what he needs to do to regain Arsenal place

Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil he needs to shake off his minor injuries and illnesses to earn a regular place in the Arsenal side.

Ozil missed last week’s Europa League round of 32 first-leg defeat to BATE Borisov as he was still feeling the effects of a sickness bug, with Emery opting to leave Arsenal’s highest-paid player at home.

The 30-year-old trained on Wednesday morning ahead of the return leg on Thursday, where the Gunners will be looking to overturn a 1-0 loss in Belarus.

Emery has faced questions on an almost-weekly basis about the former Germany international after taking the decision to drop him from the team on several occasions.

Ozil’s performances have tailed off in recent times, with ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger questioning whether his new, club-record contract had left the player in the “comfort zone”.

Emery disagreed but did say the player has to train more consistently if he is to be selected in the future.

“First, mostly, the key is in his hand,” the Spaniard replied when Wenger’s opinion was put to him “And he is working very well this week. I ask him in our conversations to be consistent. To be available for us training.

“When you can train with regularity, consistency, you can help us after in the games. Now I think this week is good for all the players because we are in an important moment for the season.

“He needs to be consistent, be available for training, for the matches. Without the injuries, without being sick. Like that, I think we can see the best Mesut with us.”

BATE stunned Arsenal last week by securing a 1-0 lead to defend at the Emirates Stadium, with the Belarusian champions having not played a competitive game since mid-December.

Emery’s side will remain heavy favourites to advance given the gap in quality between the two sides – but he suggested he was prepared for a long evening on Thursday.

“For us tomorrow is a very important match,” he added.

“After the first result we must manage the 90 minutes and also know if we need more minutes after the 90 minutes it can be in our mind with the preparation to do that.

“It is also very important to play in our stadium with our supporters, and we need their support for this match and I hope there is a big atmosphere for us.

“Together, with their support, I know our players can play and give their all.”

BATE Borisov boss Alyaksey Baha is keen for his side to face Arsenal in front of a full house.

With kick-off set for 5.55pm, it remains to be seen how many Arsenal supporters make it to the stadium in time to watch the Gunners.

While BATE look to defend their slender advantage at all costs, Baha would rather see the Emirates at full capacity.

“First of all I would say that it is great to be at the Emirates again,” he said.

“When the stadium is full it is even easier for us, the lack of a full stadium is not great to create a football festival but we are ready for any atmosphere.”

Borisov, who lost 6-0 at Arsenal in the Europa League group stage last season, travelled to England last Friday to prepare for the second leg, with their domestic season not starting for over a month.

Ahead of their flight to London just hours after winning the first leg, the BATE squad were pictured in a burger restaurant at Minsk airport.

Baha insists it was not a celebratory meal with the tie still in the balance – and joked that if his players had been toasting their win they would have done it a little differently.

“Let me clarify this, no-one was celebrating the victory – especially not with burgers,” he said.

“We just had a few hours before the flight, changed at home and went to the airport.

“It was a crazy night after the game and they just wanted to get a few sandwiches before the flight. There is nothing criminal about this and it wasn’t a party.

“We have just finished the first half of this tie and if it was a proper party we would have done it with something stronger and tastier.”



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