Our job as supporters is not just to celebrate when things are going well. As a fan we should back our own, be the voice that pushes them on with our encouragement giving confidence when they face adversity.
And at the moment Ozil needs us gooners more then ever. Ozil was already due to start the season with a spotlight on him. He’s often been cited as an example of a player who became too comfortable and not challenged enough under Arsene Wenger. Examples include being given too much time off after international tournaments and missing too many matches due to illness. Even Jose Mourhinio has stated he had to use certain techniques to manage the German’s confidence at Real Madrid.
How Unai Emery gets the best out of our play maker was one of the fascinating prospects of having a new manager. But we may need to accept that a stunning start to the season from Ozil is now not realistic. Not just should we accept it but a true gunner should understand it.
There’s often been a myth in football that players earn so much money that they don’t care about the everyday issues we all face. Even if your earning 350-000 a week, you’re still human, feeling racially abused, feeling neglected by a country he served so well, that’s going to hurt. Indeed for someone who’s mentality is often in question, it takes strength to release the statement he did at the weekend. He would have advisors questioning, with his family receiving death threats, if now was the time to take on the head of German Football.
He’s smart enough to know that he will be encouraging abuse not ending it by fighting back. He also knows that there will be Germany fans even more happy to use him as a scapegoat for a team’s collective failure. There’s a cruel irony to take out of the last World Cup. Many of us were told not to go to Russia as their game was crippled with racism, yet it’s the defending world champions who have been accused of the offence by one of their own.
So Ozil isn’t enjoying his summer right now and I dare say he’s not in love with football In general. So us Arsenal fans now have a job to give him a hug. Show him that the Emirates is a place where he is valued, respected and wanted. Let’s not worry about his form in the short term.
Let’s show empathy. We know he’s hurting so lets pick him up.
It’s what true gooners would do…