• Champions League

Ozil out of north London derby

ESPN staff
March 11, 2014
Mesut Ozil was replaced at half-time in Arsenal's 1-1 draw in Munich © Getty Images

Wenger's Bayern bench blunder

Ryo Miyaichi trained with Arsenal on Monday © Getty Images
  • Arsene Wenger was left with egg on his face before kick-off at the Allianz Arena after an admin error regarding winger Ryo Miyaichi left him with only six substitutes.
  • Having flown out with Wenger's squad to Germany on Tuesday, Miyaichi was named on Arsenal's bench but was ineligible to feature against Bayern Munich as he was not part of the club's Champions League squad.
  • It had been assumed Miyaichi, who was not on Arsenal's 'A' list for Champions League games, had been on the 'B' list for players under the age of 21 that have been at the club for a total of three years or more.
  • However 21-year-old Miyaichi has had loan spells at Wigan, Bolton and Feyenoord since joining Arsenal in 2011.
  • Miyaichi had been taken off the A list following the January arrival of Kim Kallstrom, who has yet to feature for Arsenal following a back injury.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Mesut Ozil will miss the north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday as he faces "a few weeks" on the sidelines with a "serious-looking" hamstring injury.

Arsenal's record signing had to be substituted because of the problem during his team's Champions League exit to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Ozil was replaced by Tomas Rosicky at half-time during the 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena and could now miss several key Premier League fixtures, beginning with Sunday's key clash at White Hart Lane.

Wenger, in his post-match press conference, said: "[Ozil] has a hamstring problem. It looks quite serious. For sure he's out for at least a few weeks."

Ozil is expected to undergo a scan on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury, but Wenger stated the midfielder will definitely miss Sunday's clash at White Hart Lane.

The news comes as a bitter blow to Wenger, who is aiming to keep Arsenal's domestic season alive in both the league and FA Cup. The club have not won a trophy under him since 2005 and Ozil is now a doubt for the upcoming top-of-the-table clashes with Chelsea (March 22) and Manchester City (March 29).

Arsenal could do with having Ozil fit and firing but he was not at the top of his game before his injury in Germany.

The playmaker has insisted he has not been fazed for the criticism aimed at his fall in form in recent weeks but he was given time off after missing a penalty in the first leg against Bayern and has come under fire from fans of his country as well as his club.

England coach and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville - who has been critical of Ozil's workrate - claims Wenger is partly to blame for not giving the £42m summer signing a rest over Christmas.

Manchester United used to give Cristiano Ronaldo some time off during that period and Neville said: "He's obviously dipped this last couple of months and first season in a new league can take some getting used to, even with the price tag.

"Some players can carry lack of form better than others. His body language suggests he struggles and at the moment looks like he's finding it difficult mentally.

"On a Christmas break, there is no excuse really for an experienced manager. He could have given him one in the first two weeks in January. Ronaldo used to get one."

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