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Mikel Arteta on Mesut Ozil, Ozil reacts, Arsene Wenger Against Arsenal chiefs decisions

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Arsenal are among the early favourites for the competition and will be strongly favoured to top Group B, particularly if they can win at the Weststadion in what could well be the toughest game they face at this stage of the competition. The remaining two teams in the Gunners’ group are Ireland’s Dundalk and Molde of Norway.

And yet Arsenal’s bid for silverware and Arteta’s tactical plans in Austria are unlikely to be top of the agenda on a day where Mesut Ozil released an explosive statement in which he suggested that the club had shown a lack of loyalty to him. The 32-year-old has been left out of the squads for the Premier League and Europa League.

Arteta has been reluctant to discuss Ozil’s omission from his plans in the past but that will not stop him from being asked to address the matter once more.

A further topic of conversation could well be whether Arteta plans to rotate his side with domestic and European fixtures to consider. Among those who will be hoping to feature is Thomas Partey, who has made the trip to Vienna. He has been joined by Shkodran Mustafi, yet to feature this season after suffering a hamstring injury in July’s FA Cup semi-final.

Mikel Arteta explains Mesut Ozil decision

Mikel Arteta has insisted that the decision not to register Mesut Ozil in his Premier League and Europa League squads are for footballing reasons.

Arsene Wenger opens up on ‘unjustified’ and ‘brutal’ criticism from Arsenal chiefs

Arsene Wenger has admitted the criticism he received during his final season as Arsenal manager was “unjustified” and “brutal”.

The Frenchman won three Premier League titles — including in 2003-04 when his ‘Invincibles’ went unbeaten for an entire season — and seven FA Cups during his time as Gunners’ boss.

He also took the club into the Champions League for 20 years in a row, but struggled during his latter years at the Emirates helm and left the club at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Indeed, Arsenal’s failure to challenge for top honours in Wenger’s latter days seemingly angered Arsenal fans, with a section of supporters very vocal in calling for the Frenchman’s departure.

And the manager believes the criticism was unfair from fans and the board, having overseen a remarkable overhaul of the club he joined back in 1996.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “The hostility of a section of the fans and the board was unjustified.

 

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