If Arsenal were not already dealing with the tag of ‘chokers’, the Gunners now have another problem on their hands as shots have been fired between Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and star player Mesut Ozil. 

First blood was drawn by Mesut Ozil, who in an interview given over the international break condemned Arsenal’s performance against so-called lesser teams and their inability to finish off opponents despite dominating the entire match. As reported by The Guardian, he blamed Arsenal for mucking up their title hopes.

“Looking at our season so far, we have to be honest and admit that we mucked it up ourselves.

“We did not play to our potential in the games against the so-called smaller teams. You immediately get punished for that in the Premier League.”

Arsenal’s manager, who is already facing a tough time from the fans because of the performance of the team, strongly disagreed with Ozil’s comments and criticized the German international’s point of view.

“The statement is not welcome. Because we have to believe, no matter if it is just one chance in 100, we have to believe. We only have a real chance if we believe”, said Arsene Wenger. “I will make sure they (the players) don’t feel that.”

“I think the worst thing in life is to have wrong beliefs. So you have to make sure that you give absolutely your best, and at the end accept if somebody is better than you that you have given your best. We have to make sure that we play with passion until the end. That is the best way to get the supporters behind us.”

It’s now or never, says Wenger

However, Wenger believes that it isn’t too late for the Gunners to mount a dramatic title challenge.

“You want to be fair and honest. But you want as well to look forward. I want these players to be rewarded. If you look at the effort they have put in since the start of the season, mentally in their work and dedication every day, you know this group deserves to be rewarded. But Leicester will say the same and Tottenham as well. There’s still good opportunity and we have to grab it now. It’s now or never.”

While Wenger might retain his ‘belief’ in the team, Arsenal are 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City and six points below rivals and second placed Tottenham Hotspur. With the Gunners registering a mere two wins in their last five matches, Arsene Wenger’s team could very well end up with another trophy-less season, given the fact that both Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur are currently in an exceptional form.

Arsenal v Liverpool

Due to face dark-horses Watford in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger’s belief would be tested to its core if the Gunners lose their clash and Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspurs win their respective fixtures. This will effectively rule out Arsenal from the English Premier League title race. The rift, if there is any, between Mesut Ozil and Arsene Wenger would have to be patched-up as soon as possible if the Gunners are to make a comeback from their complacent performances recently.

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