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'Ozil should not be playing for Arsenal' - Brady urges Ljungberg to drop enigmatic star

The manager warned the midfielder and other star players of his expectations at his first news conference since taking charge

Liam Brady has urged Freddie Ljungberg to drop Mesut Ozil from his Arsenal team, with it his belief that the younger members of the squad should be given the chance to play ahead of him.

Ozil was left on the sidelines at the start of the 2019-20 campaign under Unai Emery, amid questions over his attitude in training and match fitness.

Emery eventually restored the German to his line-up, but he was unable to inspire a turnaround in fortunes as Arsenal embarked on a seven-match winless run across all competitions.

After Ljungberg was brought in to replace Emery, the Swede opted to start Ozil in a 2-2 draw at Norwich and a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton on Thursday, as Arsenal slipped to tenth in the Premier League table.

Ozil was caught shouting at team-mate Alexandre Lacazette after the final whistle at Emirates Stadium in midweek, visibly frustrated after failing to affect the game in any meaningful way.

Brady, who played for Arsenal between 1973 and 1980, doesn't think Ozil deserves to be anywhere near the starting line up, and feels that Ljungberg "is reluctant to go up against the big names in the squad".

"Have you seen Ozil? Have we seen Ozil? He’s on £350,000 a week. I know people go on about wages but he’s on £350,000 a week and he’s not really trying," Brady told Premier Sports.

"I would have a kid in the team who is going to run around and show some enthusiasm. I think Freddie thinks he’s a bit too big to take on as he’s only the interim manager.

"You’ve got to make decisions. He should not be in the team. Emery bombed him from the team for at least two months and then backtracked and put him in the team again and I think that contributed to his downfall.

"They have a number of youngsters who have done well in the Europa League and League Cup, they had a tremendous game up at Liverpool.

"But I think Freddie is reluctant to go up against the big names in the squad. But if you are going to make an impression that’s what you need to do. Ozil should not be playing for Arsenal."

Ozil will be back in contention for a place in the Arsenal team when they make the short trip across London to face West Ham on Monday.

The Gunners are now ten points behind Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot and cannot afford to lose any more ground on their rivals over the festive period.

After their latest domestic outing, Ljungberg will look ahead to a Europa League group stage fixture away at Standard Liege, where his side must secure at least a draw to qualify for the next round.