Freddie Ljungberg has been accused of losing Mesut Ozil by his former Invincibles teammate Gilberto Silva.
The former Germany international playmaker was frozen out by Unai Emery earlier this campaign, but with the team struggling badly he was brought back in from the cold in a desperate effort to spark an improvement.
The Spaniard’s U-turn failed to have the desired effect, and he was fired last week having presided over a run of just one win in nine games.
Mesut Ozil, meanwhile, has started both games under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg but has been deployed on the right win as part of a three-person attack.
The World Cup winner left the pitch following last night’s defeat versus Brighton appearing to lambast Alexandre Lacazette, and Gilberto Silva admits he feels sorry for the 31-year-old forward having to play out of position.
He replied: ‘You need to play in a way where you can protect him and he can produce good football and give assists, or goals and whatever.
‘You need to give him those conditions or don’t play him. Listen, I think he’s a good player and sometimes it looks like he is not in the game.
‘But it always depends on how you put him in the game. Why not try to put him close to the strikers?
‘This is about how you work during the week if the manager maybe was not feeling I cannot play with Ozil. But if you play him as a winger, it’s not going to work out.
‘If you put him behind a striker, it maybe will work, but you have to build up something behind him and say to the other two midfielders to protect him. I don’t want Ozil to come back, but you need to offer him protection.’
Gilberto Silva was reported to have been under consideration for a role in Freddie Ljungberg’s backroom team but so far only Per Mertesacker, director of the club’s academy, has been promoted to a position on the Arsenal bench.