Emery frustrated by Ozil questions after Arsenal edge out Vitoria

The playmaker was once more conspicuous by his absence for Thursday’s Europa League clash, failing even to make the bench

Unai Emery was left frustrated after he was pressed over Mesut Ozil’s future at Arsenal following his decision to leave the playmaker out against Vitoria SC.

Ozil has featured just twice for the Gunners this term, starting against Watford and Nottingham Forest in the Premier League and EFL Cup respectively.

However, the 31-year-old is yet to be named in a Europa League match squad as Emery continues to omit him from the first-team picture.

But when asked to comment on Ozil’s future following Arsenal’s fortunate 3-2 victory over Vitoria on Thursday, Emery swiftly rebuffed the questions.

“I think tonight is not the time to speak about that,” Emery told a news conference.

“I prefer to speak about the match and about the players that played.

“He wasn’t in the squad and that was the decision and we will now work for Sunday [against Crystal Palace].”

One player who did come on to make an impact at Emirates Stadium was Nicolas Pepe, whose late double secured the points in dramatic fashion, and Emery believes Arsenal will soon be seeing the best of their club-record signing, who has been slow to adapt to English football.

“Usually every new player needs time to adapt and Pepe is a very good player, we believe in him totally,” Emery affirmed.

“Also what he’s doing sometimes feels better, sometimes more difficult depending on the opposition. But he’s improving, tonight that’s two goals which are very important for us and for him.

“He’s continuing his adaptation process and the quicker he does that, the better it is for us. We are very happy for him because those two goals were perfect.

“He was trying a lot of set pieces on the training ground this week and I was expecting him to shoot because I was positive about having a situation like that.

“I think the most important thing is three points and how some individuals can improve and become more confident.”

Arsenal’s victory leaves them top of Group F with maximum points from three games played, while the Gunners sit fifth in the Premier League following their defeat to Sheffield United on Monday.

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