Gunners firing on all cylinders pose questions over Ozil future

first_img0Shares0000German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil has been able to spend time doing things off the pitch as the best paid player at Arsenal has not played in the last four matches © POOL/Getty Images / Eamonn M. McCormackLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 7 – Mesut Ozil has missed Arsenal’s last four matches and may be absent again when the Gunners host Huddersfield Town on Saturday.The 30-year-old playmaker is being treated for a back problem and manager Unai Emery has hinted that he could be passed fit on Friday if he comes through sessions with the club’s physiotherapist unscathed. The German had been on the training ground on Thursday “running and touching the ball”, Emery told a press conference.But even if Ozil is given the green light to return there are no guarantees that Emery will pick the club’s highest earner, even for the bench.That despite being a World Cup winner in 2014, and a player with skills few others on the planet can reproduce, especially when it comes to setting up colleagues to score.Emery, it seems, had already decided he could do without the former Germany international in his comprehensive overhaul of a squad that had forgotten how to win trophies under previous manager Arsene Wenger.It was the Frenchman who had sanctioned a salary-doubling, £350,000-a-week, three-year contract extension for Ozil just three months before stepping down as manager.Ozil’s omission from the starting line-up at Bournemouth on November 25 was the big reveal to a world that could not fail to notice.Emery’s explanation could hardly be misinterpreted either: Ozil was named on the bench — and left there for the entire game — at Bournemouth because his manager felt he could not deal with the “physicality and intensity” of the Gunners’ opponents.Few failed to notice at the time that the reason for his omission carried little weight as Bournemouth are one of the least aggressive in the Premier League.His absence mattered little as the Gunners’ unbeaten run simply carried on without him.– ‘Years of inertia’ –The Gunners can take that to 21 matches against the Terriers with Ozil’s return to the side likely to be delayed till they play Qarabag in the Europa League next week.Wenger, in his final season, used the competition to keep fresh fringe men he had decided not to employ in the Premier League even though three of them — England duo Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere plus Olivier Giroud of France — were internationals of experience and reputation.Ozil is not the only world class player to suddenly find themselves unable to get into the starting elevens, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and ex-Gunner Alexis Sanchez falling foul of the volatile Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.Emery wants his players to work hard off the ball and attack with intensity with it and Ozil, for all his attributes, seems to tick neither of those boxes.Ozil’s post-World Cup fall out with Germany cannot have helped either, coming at a time when every Arsenal player knew he had to impress the new man after years of inertia under Wenger.The player felt he was the victim of both racism and disrespect because of his Turkish roots, claiming “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose”.Such sentiments were no doubt genuine and deserving of sympathy but Emery appears to care about one issue only: whether a player can thrive under his system.The answer to that, at the moment at least, appears to be no for Mesut Ozil.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Meridiana launches new look Air Italy

first_imgMeridiana launches new look: Air ItalyMeridiana launches new look: Air ItalyQatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosts a press conference in Milan to launch Italy’s new airline identityQatar Airways previously strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 per cent of AQA Holding, the new parent company of Air ItalyAir Italy will provide travellers with an innovative, sophisticated and stylish carrier, offering an enhanced travel experienceMeridiana, Italy’s long established privately owned airline, has announced an exciting new phase of growth and development with its new identity as Air Italy. Qatar Airways previously strengthened its commitment to Italy in 2017 with the acquisition of 49 per cent ofAQA Holding, the new parent company of Air Italy, while the previous sole shareholder Alisarda kept 51 per cent.During a press conference this week in Milan, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker; Mr. Marco Rigotti, Chairman of Alisarda and AQA Holding; Mr. Sultan Allana of Alisarda and AKFED and Mr. Francesco Violante, Chairman of Meridiana, unveiled Air Italy’s fresh and modern brand identity and presented the new airline business plan, focusing on excellent passenger experience and the next generation of traveller, aimed at positioning itself as Italy’s leading airline.Air Italy aims to have approximately 50 aircraft by 2022 and is already committed to receiving 20 of the brand new Boeing 737 Max aircraft type from April 2018, over the next three years. Air Italy will also receive five Airbus A330 200 aircraft this year from the Qatar Airways’ fleet, prior to these being further replaced by Boeing 787 8 Dreamliner aircraft, commencing May 2019. Network destinations will also enjoy continued expansion, with new long range routes from Milan to New York and Miami already announced recently, that will soon be followed by new short haul routes connecting Milan and the airline’s long range destinations to Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania and Lamezia Terme.Further plans also include strengthening the short range network to improve connectivity and launching the first long range destination from Rome Fiumicino in 2019. Air Italy aims to fly more than 50 year round routes by 2022.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is known the world over as the best airline in the world, as voted for in Skytrax 2017. It is with this ambition and dedication to the passenger experience that we will work together to build a sustainable airline alternative for the people of Italy and global travellers to and from this beautiful country.”“With high quality and an affordable schedule of services in the domestic, regional and intercontinental segments, Air Italy will achieve global scale in both fleet and network expansion, offering high quality premium class products across all flights on a modern fleet.”Commenting on the new airline identity and developments, Chairman of Alisarda, Mr. Marco Rigotti, said, “Our ambition is strong now as it has been throughout our history, starting with the aim of assisting in the development of tourism in Costa Smeralda and, later, to develop the leisure and charter Italian marketplace.“Over the last 10 years Meridiana has witnessed the radical transformation of the European aviation industry, characterised by a fierce competition. Air Italy aims to be a leader in the global industry, thanks to the airline’s hub in Milan Malpensa, and the reinforced base of Rome Fiumicino, alongside the seasonal network from Olbia’s Costa Smeralda heritage base which is also the headquarters of the airline.”Meridiana’s Chairman, Francesco Violante, commented: “Air Italy has an ambition to reach a goal of transporting 10 million passengers per year by 2022 traveling to, from and via Italy. We expect more than 8 million of these to use Milan Malpensa airport. In support of this ambition, there is a great need to develop new skills and competences amongst our people and for all to embrace change as a fantastic opportunity. I wholeheartedly support this new effort.”Meridiana has carried more than 100 million passengers to date as full service carrier, operating both short haul and long haul flights. The Company has more than 1,400 dedicated employees, maintains codeshare partnerships with other major airlines, and is a full member of IATA and the largest airline at Olbia Costa Smeralda airport.Source = Qatar Airwayslast_img read more

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