Mesut Ozil was irrepressible as the Gunners sent a warning signal ahead of their derby with Spurs by romping to a 5-1 win against Bournemouth on Wednesday night
Unai Emery has not yet decided if his highest-earning ward will play from the start when Arsenal take on a struggling Spurs at the Wembley Stadium on Saturday. The German put in a scintillating display as the Gunners handed Bournemouth a 5-1 shellacking at the Emirates on Wednesday night, marking a timely return to form ahead of the North London derby.
Ozil, whose attitude has been consistently questioned and analysed during his five and half years at Arsenal, has been left out of Emery’s team for much of the manager’s first season in charge, and at one stage looked set to leave the club he joined for a club-record fee in 2013. But his performance against a sorry Bournemouth side was a reminder to Arsenal fans and the manager of how indispensable Ozil is when in-form, and Emery has a big task ahead, having to decide whether the World Cup winner starts ahead of his side’s short trip to N17 to face Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who lost to Chelsea 2-0 last night, on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, Emery said: “I am going to watch this match for analysis and I am going to watch Tottenham . After I will decide my game plan against them. We need every player and every player on the bench and we need big commitment from every player. If we can play with a big performance I want every player to help us. I think (Ozil) is happier with us. I am now also very proud of our players. He helped us with his quality.”
Arsenal romped to victory against an ailing Cherries side thanks to five goals from five different scorers, with Ozil thrashing the floodgates wide open after just four minutes with a fine dink over the keeper before Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it two before the half hour. Lys Mousset’s simple finish halved the deficit before the break for the visitors, but the hosts put Eddie Howe’s side to the sword in the second half, with goals from Laurent Koscielny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette wrapping up a superb win as the Gunners warmed up for Spurs.
“It’s a good performance, we can be proud of every player,” said Emery. “Here at the Emirates we want to show a complete match with one good result and three points. Today we did that, but it is three points — like Saturday. Now we are happy. We are playing with different players in different matches and the performances are going well.”
Class players can never be kept down for too long, and Ozil showed that with a performance for the ages, albeit against a side struggling to do the basics right when they play away from home nowadays. Considering how bad Spurs have been recently, and the psychological blow of back-to-back defeats that have virtually ended Tottenham’s title hopes, Emery would do well to unleash his in-form star on them with the aim of cutting the deficit to the their third-placed neighbours further in the Premier League table.