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Freddie Ljungberg Criticises Unacceptable Mesut Ozil Behaviour

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 21, 2019

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil reacts to his substitution by kicking his gloves along the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 15, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has criticised Mesut Ozil for his unacceptable behaviour after being substituted against Manchester City.

The Swede told reporters he would have dropped the midfielders for Saturday's clash with Everton had he not been injured after he reacted angrily when taken off against the Premier League champions:

"For me, I got asked after the game about Mesut. He walked off the pitch [in the Man City game] and then kicked his gloves. The fans were not happy.

"I got asked about it and said, 'At Arsenal, that's not how we behave and not what we do'. I stand by that. Mesut was injured, but I would not have picked him for the squad because I want to make a stance that it's not what I accept from an Arsenal football player. That's my decision. I won't make the decisions again, but that's what I think."

Ozil was replaced by Emile Smith Rowe after 59 minutes of the 3-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola's side and walked off the pitch and kicked his gloves into the air:

B/R Football @brfootball

Mesut Ozil was not happy after being taken off. 👀 https://t.co/6PLcLUGDGN

It is not the first time this season an Arsenal player has been involved in controversy after being taken off.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka clashed with supporters while walking off against Crystal Palace and was subsequently stripped of the club captaincy:

B/R Football @brfootball

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka: —Cheered when subbed off —Booed because he was walking —Cupped his ear to the crowd —Took his shirt off and walked down the tunnel 😳 https://t.co/aGpmZXvwii

Saturday's 0-0 draw with Everton was Ljungberg's final game at the helm after being placed in interim charge following Unai Emery's departure.

New manager Mikel Arteta will be in the dugout for the Gunners' Boxing Day clash at Bournemouth and will have a decision to make over Ozil if he is fit enough to feature.

Arteta described Ozil as a "massive player" for Arsenal in a press conference during his unveiling but also called on the club's stars to "deliver passion and energy."

Ozil is Arsenal's highest-paid player but has started only eight Premier League games this season and may have has his work cut out convincing Arteta he deserves a regular place in the starting XI.