Lacazette: Ozil still a leader at Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette insists Mesut Ozil remains a leader within the Arsenal dressing room despite the midfielder’s jacket-throwing moment at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Ozil was made captain for Arsenal’s Premier League game away to Everton – a crucial match in the Gunners’ charge for a top-four spot – but he only lasted 74 minutes in what was a below-par performance before being taken off and replaced by Alex Iwobi.
The 30-year-old was subsequently caught on camera appearing to throw his jacket toward Toffees boss Marco Silva as he and Unai Emery clashed on the touchline following a strong tackle by Shkodran Mustafi on Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The incident was played down by Emery after the match, which Arsenal lost 1-0, and Lacazette has now insisted a line has been drawn under Ozil’s visble show of frustration at the weekend.
Speaking to reporters as he previewed Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final clash against Napoli on Wednesday, Lacazette said of Ozil: “He’s still a leader even if he knows he doesn’t have to do this.
“When you are upset for some reason, sometimes you do things you don’t have to do. That’s something for him but today everything is fine.”
Emery was also asked about Ozil but chose not to directly answer how the midfielder was dealing with the incident and instead chose to emphasise the need for the players to stick together through tough times.
“Our focus is the match and our focus to take confidence, to take performance, and being together,” Emery said.
“We want to be calm when the bad results come because we are in our way. A few months ago, we had this moment like now, but now we are in a good way. But each match is going to be very important in the Europa League tomorrow and also in the Premier League.
“We are closer to our target now than then, but we know it’s going to be difficult. The best thing for us is to be together, to be strong, to be calm and to have a clear focus. Your question is without this idea for me.”
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