Mesut Ozil has not travelled with the rest of the squad to Greece for our Europa League clash with Olympiacos for ‘personal reasons’.
…and just as it looked like another ‘Oz-illness’ and his apparent allergy to tricky and far-away away games, it appears as though Ozil’s wife is about to have a baby. Former Miss Turkey 2014; Amine Gulse is about to give birth to their first child and understandably Mesut wants to assist and be there when the baby arrives.
It’s looking likely that Matteo Guendouzi will return to the squad after being dropped for the Newcastle win. Guendouzi was left out of Arteta’s plans for Sunday, but Lucas Torreira is ill, and with Ozil away it looks like Arteta may bring back Guendouzi as he could look to rest other players ahead of our big Everton clash on Sunday.
Arteta Delays Arsenal Return
In other news, it looks like we won’t be flying home after the game in Greece tonight as we normally would. We will go back to the hotel to recover and take a leisurely trip home ahead of the Everton game on Sunday.
“We have two games in four days. It’s a long flight, with two hours difference as well. We’re going to play at 10pm local time and after that, if we had to take a flight, we would arrive to London really, really late. Apart from that, I believe that the first window – the first hour to hour and a half – is really important for the players to eat with the quality of nutrients that we need. I think it’s better to do it in a hotel. I think it’s better to rest in a bed, rather than stay in a flight when you are travelling and the next day, everybody does some recovery together and we fly back in the afternoon…”
The atmosphere in the Olympiacos stadium will be pretty hostile and with a tough game ahead it seems like flying home on Friday is a very good idea, yet another illustration of having a sensible, mature Manager with fresh good new ideas.