Mesut Ozil appears to have put the controversy with the German national team behind him. On Saturday he captained his Arsenal teammates to a comfortable 5-1 victory over PSG in the International Champions Cup in Singapore.
Of course PSG were without a number of star players, but the Unai Emery era is getting off to a solid start. Emery took the opportunity to give Ozil the captain’s armband. In naming Ozil captain for the match, he and the club were conveying to the German how important he is to the team.
Wearing their new mint green third kit, Arsenal put in an impressive offensive performance. First blood was drawn in the 13th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan sent a perfect pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who unselfishly found Ozil in the box to give the Gunners a 1-0 lead.
The match truly took off in the second half. After Christopher Nkunku scored from the spot following a rash challenge from Sead Kolasinac on Timothy Weah the match was level after 60 minutes.
Substitute Alexandre Lacazette made it 2-1 in the 67th minute. Four minutes later he grabbed a second with an assist from Rob Holding.
Holding got an amazing goal of his own on a header from at least 15 yards out. He then contributed another assist in extra time to tee up Eddie Nketiah.
When asked about giving Ozil the captain’s armband Emery replied, “We are working together and giving the responsibility to the player. I think he can take that responsibility of being captain – but let’s not forget Laurent Koscielny because he is captain as well. Petr Cech and Aaron Ramsey also played as captains in friendlies.
These are early days, but so far Emery is exhibiting good player management skills as the new Arsenal boss.