Great Britain

Martin Keown accuses Arsenal star Mesut Ozil of faking injury to save himself being benched against Everton

MARTIN KEOWN has incredibly accused Arsenal star Mesut Ozil of faking an injury to save himself from being benched against Everton.

The German playmaker, 31, was hauled off in the last match - the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City.

And Ozil angered Arsenal fans - and even interim boss Freddie Ljungberg - by booting his gloves off the pitch when his number was called.

Ahead of Saturday's clash with Everton, the Swede chief revealed Ozil was suffering from a foot injury and would not be part of the matchday squad... adding he wouldn't have picked him anyway.

But Keown revealed he believes the former Real Madrid star is faking it.

When asked about Ozil's alleged knock, Keown said: "I'm not convinced to be honest.

"What I will say is Freddie Ljungberg has managed with a great deal of dignity and calm in very difficult circumstances.

"Ozil is one of those issues, one of those problems. Arteta has got to manage that.

"He went off the pitch against City, he wasn’t best pleased, he didn’t look particularly injured on that occasion.

"He's probably just taken himself out of it because he thinks that Freddie wouldn’t play him."

Ahead of his final game in charge before Arteta takes over the reins, Ljungberg admitted he wouldn't have picked Ozil to play in his youthful XI.

The Swede said: "Mesut has something on his foot but we have things happening there so he wouldn’t have been in the squad anyway what happened in last game."

Ozil had played in nine of Arsenal's last 11 matches - but failed to trouble the scorers.

But even before Mikel Arteta officially takes over, Ozil's Arsenal career now appears to be dead in the water.

After putting pen to paper on a deal to rejoin his old club, this time as boss, Arteta admitted he would only pick players who will give him "120 per cent".

The Spaniard has vowed to be ruthless and axe any stars who refuse to change their attitude.

Arteta said: “I want people to take responsibility for their jobs and people who deliver passion and energy.

“Anyone who doesn’t buy into this, or who has a negative effect, is not good enough for this environment or this culture.

“Respect issues have to be addressed. If they want to follow that they are in. If not, they are out.”

Unai Emery hits out at Mesut Ozil as he claims Arsenal star lacks aggression and relies on other players around him

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