After the full-time whistle on Saturday afternoon, Freddie Ljungberg honestly revealed that there was one player whom he did not want to be in the Arsenal squad for the trip to Everton.
The former Swedish international was handed the role of Arsenal’s interim manager after Unai Emery was sacked after the loss to Frankfurt in the Europa League last month.
Over the three weeks that he took charge of the team, Ljungberg picked various starting line-ups which drew criticism from some fans on certain occasions.
On Saturday, the ex-Arsenal winger decided to leave out Mesut Ozil from the squad which travelled to Goodison Park to face Everton.
The German star had been listed as a doubt for the game due to an apparent foot injury, but Ljungberg has revealed he did not want the midfielder to be in the squad anyway.
In his post-match press conference, the departing interim manager honestly admitted that last week’s incident – which saw Ozil react angrily to being substituted – meant there was no way he would have been picked on Saturday even if he was fit.
“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 former Arsenal star said after the game on Saturday, via Arsenal.com
“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.”