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Feb 21, 2014

Wenger: Mesut Ozil may be rested

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke ahead of their game with Sunderland about Mesut Ozil's worrying recent form.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted no player is immune from being left out of his side, as he hinted that record signing Mesut Ozil may be rested between now and the end of the season.

Arsene Wenger hinted he may rest top members of his squad ahead of a packed fixture list.
Arsene Wenger hinted he may rest top members of his squad ahead of a packed fixture list.

Ozil has come under fire for some of his recent performances, with his missed penalty and disappointing performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday putting the German under additional scrutiny.

Now Wenger has insisted he will never continue to pick a player based on his reputation or status, as he suggests the collective good has to be more important.

"What is important is always the team and you never want to hurt any player, but you don't want to give him any favour," he said when asked about Ozil's form. "You have to pick the team who can win the next game.

"It is our job and the players' job to adapt to that and not to think too much about individual cases. What is important is the team and to win the next game.

"You have to rotate until the end of the season when you look at the challenges we have in front of us, it is vital.

"We have played at Liverpool, against Man United, against Liverpool [in FA Cup], against Bayern Munich against Sunderland. The players are only human beings.

"It is part of the job to decide who plays and it's debatable every time. I have to live with that and I have to make my decisions with my conscience and I just make my decision based on who can help us win the next game."

Meanwhile, Wenger has suggested Yaya Sanogo is ready to make a big impact in his team in the final weeks of this season, after making a positive start to his Arsenal career in the recent games against Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

"He is very, very ambitious and believes in his quality," added Wenger of the young forward he picked ahead of Olivier Giroud for the Bayern game. "He is very passionate and naturally has a great desire. You can see that in games. He is ready for a fight.

"When you look at his stature, he is a similar shape to Giroud but you feel there is a lot more to come out with him. He has a lot of improving to do. But you have to be open-minded. If he does well, he will play. If he doesn't, he won't.

"I believe up front that it's not experience that decides things. At the back, it's different, but up front it's an instinctive job. Experience helps a little bit. But the belief, the confidence, is more important up front than the experience.

"When I started to play [Nicolas] Anelka, everybody said: 'Why do you start Anelka, why not buy a striker?' We won a championship with him [in 1998]. It's just like that, if we feel they are ready then they play."

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