Mesut Ozil refuses to accept he only turns up for small games

There is no such thing as a small game anymore claims Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil sure has had a lot to say in his interview with the Athletic and he has come out strongly defending his position.

He has already hit back at critics claiming he feigns injury and made it clear he is not going anywhere in January.

Now, you can add not turning up for the big games as another accusation he is vigorously defending.

‘It always happens that an ex-player stands there on TV and criticises me,” Ozil said. “Others just continue the theme and it gets in everyone’s heads.

‘If we don’t do well in a ‘big’ game, it’s always my fault. If that’s true, how do you explain our results in the ‘big’ games when I wasn’t involved? There’s no real difference. I know people expect me to offer more, dictate play and make the difference — I do, too — but it’s not that straightforward.

‘I’m not the only player in the team and, don’t forget, some of our opponents are simply better than us. Also, what is a ‘big’ or ‘small’ game? In the Premier League, anyone can beat anyone. Look at Wolves and Norwich beating Man City, or Newcastle and West Ham beating Man United.

‘So you can’t say my good performances only came in ‘small’ games because these games don’t really exist. The intensity is there in every match and often the ‘small’ teams raise their standard against the ‘big’ teams.’

What can one say to that? Well, for starters there are big and small teams. Barcelona are a big team, Watford is not, it really is that simple.

Ozil misses out the context, he is paid a huge wage to turn up for those big games, to be the difference. If you are on £20k a week then you can maybe get away with going awol but not on £350k per week.

You cannot get away from the wage and the reason is simple, it reflects what the club expects from him.

Big players turn up for the big games, those that do not are basically stealing a living.

Up to the individual to choose which category Ozil belongs in.


  1. These articles on Ozil are too much, that is why we are having some people and the player trying to justify his playing style and wages. As reported widely, Ozil is on 350K and not on 35K. Then he can not be a bench player. In big games,Ozil is not that effective.He should go honorably.

  2. I have seen enough of ozil to know that his major weakness is his attitude hr expects others to be gladiators while he becomes their emperor.

    1. Nonny, he tries to act like the emperor on the pitch?
      Can we be honest with ourselves please? You’ll seriously say Ozil doesn’t run or put in a good shift on the pitch?
      But then again, no matter what he does on the pitch,when we lost.. It was always Ozil’s fault and he was to blame because he earns 350k and he wasn’t running all over the pitch trying to defend.

      Regarding the part where Admin said Barcelona is a big club, Watford is not. Can anyone simply raise his head up and explain why we nealy got beaten by a small club and why a big club like Arsenal was scared of Watford?
      According to our captain BTW

  3. I like when he says am not the team just a player. Most fans want him to carry the team on his back like Messi who cannot make it happen for Argentina.
    The man is simply saying up with the quality then expectations on big games will be better.

    1. had Auba and Lacazette to play with for a full season and was horrible. Ozil is the one who isn’t good enough.

        1. Exactly. You just said my mind. How many games did Ozil Play together with Aubameyang and lacazette? People should go back to last season. Ozil stats are there. I agree he can do more. But criticizing him because of his wages makes no sense. He is top quality.

      1. On that same season it was only Abua and lac that out scored him. You know what ozil should just be the goalkeeper and defenders even the strikers.

    2. @Jah son
      Exactly. Dude just threw out logic and sone fans got all triggered because they know he’s right…

  4. Can we just drop this please? It’s tiring. You could’ve written everything he said in one single article.
    All throughout the international break we had loads of articles about Ozil, people were even complaining it’s getting too much, with some saying it’s because Ozil brings traffic to this site and people debate his issues more.
    Now we’ve had three different articles on him under 6 hours?
    Geeez, it’s boring and tiring already.
    Should we expect ten more articles about Ozil before Monday?

  5. Good talk master passer, let beef up our team in order to get more acceptable results. He is one of our best but can do it all alone.

  6. It’s funny because when fans criticize him, we get told we’re ignorant, we haven’t got a clue what we’re saying.

    But Ozil gets tons of criticism from ex-pros, that have played at the highest levels, and know the game inside and out. Are they clueless as well?

    1. Yes they are, how many of them even played well during their time just because they have the platform to talk should make them to talking anyhow.

  7. The article explains Ozil’s comment perfectly and I totally agree that big players should turn up in big games

    Ceballos is inconsistent as well and this might be caused by the ineffectiveness of the no 10 position in today’s football. The European winners such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool have already ditched the no 10 position

    4-3-3 with two attacking CMs that play wider occasionally to provide crosses is more effective than a no 10 tactic, as long as the players are accustomed to the system. I hope the coaches can introduce this gradually to the players

  8. I for one is waiting to see lacazette,Aubameyang,Torriera,Ozil,Pepe and Ceballos all starting a game together. This is balanced and should have lots of people to point fingers to instead of just one player.

  9. But the proof is in the pudding

    He has a track record of not showing up against tough opponents and vital matches.

    Have people forgotten this already?

    His future is in his hands now
    I DON’T expect him to replicate his 19 assists but he needs to put more effort in

    I remember just before that season he spent the whole summer resistance training. I think that really helped him deal with tougher players

    He was also playing for Germany so he had to prove himself

    And we can’t totally eliminate his huge salary because it does make players too comfortable. Look at Alexis Sanchez

  10. The articles here is it to ridicule our players or our coach. All I read everyday is how bad Ozil is and how Useless Xhaka, Luis, Sokratis, Emery and a whole lot of the team. This is not just about giving opinions anymore I feel lots of fan have genuine hate for all this people. Let me remind you nobody wants to fail in life. I love Arsenal and sometimes some players might do enough but the constant insults and articles everyday about some certain players and even booing them in our stadium is sickening and stupid. Emery is our coach we should support him the way we did Wenger. He has been here for just a year and few months and it does no matter if you like it or not there is certainly improvements. I have reservations about him but we should at least wait till the end of season to judge him. As for Ozil, Xhaka and the rest of them what they need is our support for them to gain confidence and feel loved. It does not matter if you like Xhaka or not he is our captain so you guys have to deal with it. For the first time that I can remember all my life of being an Arsenal fan we actually have a clean bill of health. To me the future is looking good

  11. I do not respect the bashing some fans does to certain players, whether they are at fault or not. It leaks the players’ confidence. Arsenal failed big games due to many different reasons at different times. Backfour, defensive-mid, lack of stamina. We are third now, and our performance is mostly awful both with and without Ozil. The manager changed lineup in almost every game in PL, the only constant thing is we play a boring game.
    And we made the player who cost us most points captain. If I have to blame one guy, it is Emery.
    Not an Ozil fan but fans are unfair to him.

  12. Mesut doesn’t turn up for “small” games either then, lol. The criticism still stands. All this defending of a player that is not even fit enough to make squad. I really don’t care about his excuses. Imagine somebody like Cristiano Ronaldo jumping through all these hoops to make excuses if he were to not always perform and was constantly a sick note. There are so many players that refuse to be left out of their squad unless it is 100% necessary. Ozil seems to welcome it. His interview is ridiculous.

    1. @RSH re. Ozil:
      1) “… not even fit enough to make squad.” Who says so? Only Emery. Ozil says he is fit. Oh, you want to bring in Sanllehi? Does he now go to London Colney to watch the team train then? Or does he just stay in his office and accept whatever Emery tells him? Which one?
      Mertesacker? I thought he was now with the Academy, NOT the first team, so what does he know?
      2) “… jumping through all these hoops to make excuses.” He gave an interview to The Athletic. One interview! How is this jumping through hoops? And as this was the first time he’s ever come out and defended himself, again, please explain how this is jumping through hoops.
      3) “… players refuse to be left out of their squad unless it is 100% necessary. Ozil seems to welcome it.” On the contrary he’s clearly stated that he’s turned up even when ill and was told to go home by the medical staff.
      4) “His interview is ridiculous.” No, your highly biased, poorly thought out post is ridiculous. No change there then.

      1. Gunner Jack, brilliant, absolutelt brilliant response sir!!!

        It will be interesting to read the answers from 1 through to 4.

        As for too many Ozil articles, we have just had TWO, where the man himself and what he has to say have been published.

        Suddenly, the subject takes a different twist…positive towards the player…and out comes the cry “enough enough”

        NO, let’s hear more from the player, he’s been slagged off enough by the club and some fans, they don’t want to hear the other side of the argument that’s the problem!!!

        1. Ken, you have even agreed that Ozil has no excuse for not being fit. But no surprised you’d be against anything I say.

          1. RSH, I am not against everything you say at all.

            I always read your posts, because they are written with passion and only when I disagree with them do I respond and ask questions or make observations.
            I have noted how you judge and expect AW’s failures to be the same as UE, something that others just will not do and I admire you for that…no need to comment, I just agree.

            Yes, I did say that Ozil has no excuse for not being fit and that should apply to any player don’t you agree?

            However, since that accusation was made and for the very first time, Ozil has reacted strongly to deny this.

            He has kept his peace up until now, despite humiliation and provocation from UE and a minority of fans as well.

            So let me ask you this RSH, why has he suddenly decided enough is enough and responded in this way?
            Was this comment, made to the public at large, a step to far in this man’s thoughts?

            At least give him the time of day to allow a response and answer questions made to him.
            If Ozil says he never used the excuse of being ill for not playing…why has UE on so many occasions?
            The actual communication from the club didn’t mention illness did it, just fitness levels.

            As for thinking I have a personal thing with you…rubbish…as a fellow gooner the ultimate aim for both of us is success for The Arsenal – so I extend my offer of a season ticket game, (if you don’t attend of course) where we could meet up and witness the support given to this man…if of course UE selects him!!!

            I don’t think TMJW has responded, what about you?

        2. Sorry for the delay in answering your post Ken. Please check Arsene’s older post concerning his book release.

          1. I’m also with you regarding Ozil. Questions were being asked about Ozil before the season started. It was then I think he his whole attitude changed and he put in some excellent shifts in pre-season games. However even though the team has been desperate for some creativity from midfield Emery has refused to play him. In my opinion it’s personal, yet he continues to play Xhaka who gives away almost a goal a game and again in my opinion is one of the worst players ever to pull on the Arsenal strip. As far as I’m concerned Emery is not good enough for Arsenal and I think he could be out by Christmas.

          2. Kenny, saw the response old friend,cannot wait to read it – just hope Arsene doesn’t hold back.

            If he says he was fired, I will apologise to those who hold this point in such high esteem…ifhe says he resigned, those same people just won’t believe it!!!

            Until UE gives him the opportunity to play more than 70 minutes, it is impossible to say he is lazy etc etc…this is a new season and we need creativity more than ever.

      2. 1) Mertesack,er Sanllehi, and the freaking MANAGER of the CLUB! But sure, you know better!! And you are seriously questionining Mertesacker when youth squad has been known to train with the first team at times and we have so many youth players in the first team. Why do you seriously pretend like Mert has no idea what goes on outside of the confines of the Youth academy. That’s a desperate reach and you are completely ignoring facts. THREE reliable sources have talked about his fitness and you STILL think there is some conspiracy.
        2) The logic he uses in the interview is ridiculous. Feel free to disagree, but it would be better if he just held his hands up and said he hasn’t been good enough because THAT is the truth.
        3) Wow. Imagine being so gullible.
        4) Thanks for being the clown of the day. Thanks for acting like you know better than Sanllehi, Mert and Emery. It’s mid October and Ozil is not ready to start EPL matches FOR NO GOOD REASON!!!

  13. It is so funny to read fan’s new “awerness” and talking about someone’s wages. It is not Ozil’s fault that Wenger gave him 350 k! I dnt know anybody who refused big wages if offered!
    All those who are “concerned” about Arsenal’s money situation can remember what was a “rumor” among fans about lack of transfer funds and what happened at the end of transfer window? For me, it was no suprise that Arsenal’s splashed 72 mil for Pepe, cos Arsenal HAVE money!
    So it is Emery’s decision not to play him and I dnt care for a reason, but I know that Xhaka is no better then Ozil (each on his position) and Xhaka is a frakking captain now! Also, Ozil had a serious cronical back problem and we will se next few games what will happen about Ozil and his playing time.
    Try to understand this: if you are Arsenal management and you have a top player with a cronical injury then it is better to be silent about it.
    For me… Ozil is an Arsenal player and I hope he will be back in the team and play well.
    If not, what can we do…. we are just fans.

  14. we really need ozil
    front four of ozil, lacazette, auba and pepe plus a deep midfield pivot of guendouzi with torreira at DM will win games. It is so sad

  15. Let’s talk about Dennis Bergkamp. In his last game for Arsenal at 36 yo against Everton in a 6-0 win, he scored 1 goal and had a part in the other 5. At that stage due to Arsene Wenger’s “player over 30 policy”, Bergkamp had been on a series of 1 year contracts. Even though Arsenal finished second that season, his contract was not renewed.

    1. Can’t believe he didn’t play v Barcelona. We had DB, RVP, Clichy, Flamini, Reyes, on bench that day. Bergkamp should’ve played, that Barca defence was there for the taking but Arsene overloaded midfield instead. I know Hleb looked good back then in CM, but we could’ve still played him and put him in the Vieira role and put PV at CDM instead of Gilberto. Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, Ljungberg, they were winners with panache. We still had strong defenders and Bergkamp was the best at that free flowing counter attack with Henry and Ljungberg running off him, Pires was good at both making the final pass or making the dangerous run. We really should have won at least one CL, our team deserved it.

  16. To whom much is paid much commensurate service is certainly expected from him or her to give back. Arsenal are paying Mesut Ozil £350k/w wages thinking he has the requisite football playing skills capacity to give them super performances in games that will lead to the club winning titles. But since Ozil arrived at Arsenal, it’s only the FA Cup he has managed to contribute his quota to for Arsenal to win. PL title nil, League Cup nil, UCL and ELC titles nil. And so far this season, he has largely been missing in matches for Arsenal. His defence is poor and doesn’t hold any honest truth in it. Even he himself knows it. If he still has the high quality football paying in him, let him start displaying it for Arsenal as from the Sheffield Utd match on Monday night in the PL and keeps to consistent high quality performance regularly for Arsenal onwards. This is what I think he can justify himself with. But not clever talks to justify himself with I would think. If he continues negatively for Arsenal, I can bet with him the club who have the trump card will force him out of the club during the next January window whether he accepts it or not. But I hope it won’t reach this level.

  17. Ozil seems strong headed, Ozil for me won’t change his game at this stage of his career, and he’ll say to himself ..sure why should I, I am a world champion who played under some great managers and I have one of the largest fan-bases for a single player. He will say that he respects Emery, respecting all manager decisions, but is not always in agreement with them, esp when it comes to what’s best for Ozil. He’ll also say that he wants the club to reach its goals, but he will not change and I think that is the only way that Ozil can win his way back into the team, with a senior role.

    He won’t get enough games otherwise, to hit that form he once had, he’d need the game-time and he won’t get that without giving in to Emery’s demands no matter how inept he might believe them to be. Ozil is not an aggressor, he never will be and you can’t fake that stuff have to go in head first at times and put your body in the way when needed, it is hopeless to try and get Ozil to dish it out, I don’t think it would’ve worked in his late teens neither so what chance is there now.

    He can probably fall back in line quicker, we’ve seen him doing that, helping us to keep a shape. We’ve also seen him trying to turn the heat up with more purposeful running and by making an odd extra tackle or two that he wouldn’t usually have made, but for the most part that is as far as it will go before he takes a step back and starts playing the game he is most comfortable with.

    I won’t bring up the money as we’re all tired of hearing about it, so it’s best just to talk about – What has Ozil got to do to make it back into the side, and can he ..or will he do it. Injuries is another route I suppose, and that would be a route where he gets a chance to showcase his best stuff by turning on the magic for the fans. I’m not sure how this one will end, and I must admit I don’t care at all for the waves it’s creating.

  18. @Glorious: “… don’t mention Zhaka because none of our midfielder has the kind of stamina he processed, until we have another player who can displace him, he will continue to get selected over the likes of Ozil whose position has been occupied by a better player.”

    “… don’t mention Zhaka – just who are you to tell us what we can or cannot write?
    Given your reasoning (kind of stamina he possessed) do you think a marathon runner should be bought and stuck in the team? Step forward Mo Farah! What do you mean a marathon runner might be no good at playing football? Neither is Xhaka but that doesn’t stop our manager from picking him – and then making him captain!

    “… Ozil whose position has been occupied by a better player.” Who’s that then?
    Here’s part of an interview mentioning Ozil from Hakim Ziyech of Ajax, who Arsenal were said to be chasing (back in May I think):

    Justin Kluivert: Who is your idol?

    Hakim Ziyech: Yes, i actually do have one. Özil

    Justin Kluivert: Maybe you are better than Özil?

    Hakim Ziyech: No, i’m not even close to Özil’s level.

  19. One way to MOTIVATE players is to put up their ratings by their locker in the dressing room for every match they play using specific performance statistics. Players who get higher ratings on average will know they are doing the right things and look to maintain or even improve on them. While players with low ratings will be desperate to improve and do better. These ratings will help the club to know those players that a stealing a living and those that are earning their wages. It will also help the club know which players to ship out or not extend their contracts and those who deserve improved contracts. For me, any player with the rating of 7.5 and above are doing the right things. While players from 7.4 and below should either improve on their ratings or be prepared to leave the club cos they are not good enough to wear the ARSENAL jersey. COYG!\



    Leno – 7.3

    Tieney – 8.1

    Bellerin – 7.8

    Xhaka – 5.1

    Luz – 7.0

    Socratis – 6.0

    Guendouzi – 8.1

    Lacazette – 8.0

    Aubamayang – 8.3

    Pepe – 7.0

    etc, etc

  20. Got to have a break from all this Ozïl talk so………….. not only are Arsenal 3rd in the current Premier League table but also 3rd “dirtiest” team in the all time bookings league since the Premier League began 😳

    1. 😀😀😀 I’m trying to refrain myself from posting a comment but you make me do. 😂😂😂😂 we certainly don’t get bullied again. Thanks to Emery.By the way B-O-T what an excellent post.

      1. Mobella, we don’t get bullied, because our captain marvel has told everyone we were scared of Watford, thanks to emery’s choice of a strong, exampled leader.
        No, teams go round laughing at us – just watch what Sheffield United do to us on Monday night.

  21. Ozil hasn’t really ever done it for me. But I can’t accept that we talk about his wages as if its his fault he managed to negotiate better than the club could. He did well for that and took care of himself. As all people should. The club cocked up there. I actually don’t care that were paying him. Thats the clubs fault and the club should rectify it. But it should denote nothing to if he should be playing or not. His salary is besides the point on that regards, and the club has made that clear. I don’t understand why this fan base can’t get over it.

  22. Looks like Ozil’s decision to speak out and defend himself has got to Emery.

    In today’s Metro Emery “admits he’s been impressed with Mesut Ozil’s improvement in training in recent weeks and is adamant that the midfielder will feature for Arsenal in their upcoming run of fixtures…

    “He has big skills and quality we will need in the next matches. I’m happy now how he is improving, how he is training every day.”

    As Ozil has always maintained that his training is the same year on year I’m not sure about Emery’s statement. More likely he was counting on Ozil just keeping quiet.

    1. Wow, you have great insight into Ozil’s training GunnerJack. What are your sources. Tell us how you know more about Ozil’s training than the manager of the club.

      1. Actually RSH, he was quoting the manager as reported in the metro…only pointing out the answer to your question.

        Being a suspicious kind of guy, i wouldn’t be surprised to see Ozil selected for Monday night, just the game to bring him back, see him kicked all over the park and watch him get the blame for the defeat – a miraculous recovery from being unfit last week if he is selected and a perfect excuse to drop him again.

        1. Maybe given additional training over the period since the initial comments were made, Ozil has reached his fitness targets? Some people seek conspiracies where there is not one. At the time the initial comments were made by Emery, Mertesacher and Sanheili to Emery’s latest comment, the situation with Ozil may have changed.

  23. Problem here is people cannot accept the fact that whatever wage is being given to him is earned while forgetting the fact that he has achieved so much in football.Not even Messi or Ronaldo have even won the world cup which he has done.

  24. Accusing Ozil of “stealing a living” is going too far. The situation with Ozil is bound to generate strong opinions on either side but as I have said here many times before we should refrain from insulting players because they are human beings and have people who care about them too. Ozil did not put a gun to anyone’s head to get his salary. If we are not happy with his performance for the pay he is getting well it is the nature of contracts.

  25. No footballer in history has divided opinion the way Ozil does .
    Samuel Eto , Yayaha Toure ,Zlatan where dropped by their manager not because they couldnt play, not because they were not gifted, according to the manager they didnt fit his vision. Ozil is a nice guy , a talented footballer sure but he has declined , why cant we all just agree to that . People criticize him because he doesnt assist enough others say he doesn’t track back enough or defend . I choose to criticize him on his attacking play .When was the last time Ozil controlled a game . Miki divided opinion he is gone , Iwobi divided opinion he his gone , Can we let Ozil go in peace so we can continue to support arsenal and not Ozil united .
    IF we are being honest the cons outweigh the pros of having Ozil around .
    PRos .
    1. HE generates more followers due to his reach in certain communities .
    2.Generates income from sponsors such as Adidas
    3. He attracts certain big name players
    4.HE is our biggest jersey seller
    1.HE is an inconsistent footballer who doesn’t justify his wage
    2.His wages affect the structure of the team
    3.His nonchalant attitude may sip to the youth
    4.Too much controversy surrounds him and he is slowly dividing the fan base

    IF Ozil thinks he has been treated unfairly he should show everyone on the pitch why he is world class or used to be . i have respect for players like Rosicky and even Carzola this is someone who is more gifted than Ozil and has genuine desire and proved everyone wrong on the pitch . Instead Ozil is busy giving interviews instead of putting the work . I sincerely hope he grows as a player for our betterment . Players evolve to their coaches vision so If Emery wants Ozil to bark like a dog we have no say in the matter. At a time where our captain says we are scared and another senior player says he is made a scapegoat for Arsenals failings. Surely we know top players dont behave this way .
    I followed Ozil from Werder Bremen and much like KAi HAvertz he is talented that cant be taken away but in present day football talent can only take you so far .
    If Morinho refused to play Ozil would anyone complain .the answer is no-one will .
    Someone said Ozil loves the club thats why he is staying thats a lie OZil likes his comfort and paycheck and he should rightfully enjoy those .
    Another group of people argue that Members of the club dont know what they are saying regarding Ozil”S on the Training ground , that in itself is delusional, these are people who watch Ozil much more closely than us and yet some of us claim to have more insight .
    Another group say Emery has an axe to grind with Ozil . Ferguson threw a boot at David Beckham ,Jose insulted PEpe on live Television . My point is this is all normal .Others criticise Emery for his time at PSG . I dont think they are a lot of coaches who can handle divas like NEymar and BenHarfa .No player should have more influence than the coach of his team simple hence why Fergie and Wenger for a time never let players earn more than them .
    Emery may have his faults but we are third and have lost a game and i for one have seen brilliant performances whether it is is a cup game or a Europa game .
    I am tired of articles here about OZil the player should either come good or get out ,i am not holding my breath .

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