Arsenal manager Unai Emery has defended his decision to leave Mesut Ozil out of the Gunners’ squad for Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at West Ham.
The German midfielder has not started Arsenal’s last four games, albeit two while recovering from a knee injury.
When pushed over why he left Ozil out, Emery said: “I decided the players I think are the best for this match.
“We win with him, we lose with him. I think it is not one player (which means) we can’t win or lose.”
Ozil’s last full game was the 3-1 win over Burnley on 12 December but he has been left out of the starting XI on nine occasions in the league this season.
Emery said the German midfielder was “left out for tactical reasons” at Bournemouth in November but has explained injuries are behind his other absences.
“The players who were here are the players who deserved to be in this match,” added Emery after watching an Arsenal defeat that sees them remain fifth in the Premier League.
“We could’ve won or lost. We continue working with every player because they are all important, but the decision was to come with these players.”