Could Ozil’s absence be affecting the Arsenal dressing room?

Arsenal and Arteta are missing Ozil! (opinion)

After Ainsley Maitland Niles reportedly said that the Arsenal dressing room is behind Mesut Ozil since Arteta left him out of the team and it has been revealed to the press, the team just have not been the same no matter what changes come in!

The questions I am asking myself are; are the poor performances all because the players don’t agree with what Arteta has done but cannot speak up for fear of being left out and punished or is there something more to it?

It is clear to see that there seems to be a divide or an issue in this team and things don’t seem right. Whatever Arteta is putting across is not working or filtering through any more with our players.

Ever since Ozil has been left out of the squad entirely I believe the players that are in support of Ozil are failing to find the performances they had before the news that he would be left out of the team broke completely. No team wants to see a big character and special player be treated in that way and most of the squad have played with Ozil at some point or another.

Off the pitch they are friends, and on the pitch too. But something is clearly lacking and has been for a while.

Just look at the likes of Lacazette and Aubameyang, to me they just do not look happy anymore, and most of the team if not all of them are struggling mentally and physically!

Before Ozil’s absence was revealed it was all smiles when Aubameyang signed an extension and things were looking up for the club, but since his omission Laca and Aubameyang -who both played with Ozil and who worked well with Ozil in the team, as we saw when Ozil’s last contribution came with the assist for Lacazette to strike home for the 1-0 against West Ham at home back in the last game before lockdown in March- just have not been the same.

Whether it is down to Ozil’s omission and whether there is a divide because of the way Ozil has been treated and the players don’t agree with it and want him back, only they know. But there is clearly an issue because even Arteta is looking stressed and unhappy. Obviously, the performances do not help when we lose but there is definitely more to it!

So, could Ozil’s absence really be affecting the Arsenal players more than we think? I will go with ‘yes!’

But could it also be said that Arteta even believes he made a mistake in leaving Ozil out, but now his pride is too big for him to turn around and admit his mistake? Will we see a U-turn with the Ozil saga and Arteta? Are the boys missing Ozil that much that it is impacting them mentally? Only time will tell!

Shenel Osman


  1. Shenel you need to wake up from your obsession with certain subjects…
    Your constant obsession with Martinez Vs Leno, the Ozil saga and a few others is becoming appalling.
    Dude Ozi wouldn’t have done jack in the last game.
    The whole team stood lazy, and Ozl in the midst of that performance would’ve only given people like you the chance to blame him once more.
    Dude let go of this Ozil drama.
    Nearly everyone on here has done that.
    When it feels like okay we’re focusing on real problems as fans, you and a few others would bring up the Ozil saga again.
    Don’t you get tired of recycling the same thing with different words?

    1. I don’t think this is a recycled article. It is a fresh topic to what is currently happening and what the writer says might have crossed some gooners minds. It is a valid fear that players could do a Unay to Mikel. God forbid it goes to that stage.

      To the writer of this article I have seen it is becoming a trend for people to bash your articles perhaps you should ask yourself why? I love your articles and I praise your effort but in my opinion unless you are getting paid you should go with quality over quantity.

    2. Well, if you were an Özil fan you’d understand. You don’t know how it feels knowing your player’s out of the squad because you probably like Aubameyang. But I’ve seen some crazy theories on Mesut and I’m not willing to let this one slip.

  2. If that is the case then the players should be booed to oblivion. Their allegiance should first and foremost be to us the fans and secondly to their salaries. They are paid too much for what they deliver. They should give their all for the fans and the badge and not one individual.

    1. Their allegiance is to the fans and they do want to please the fans but look at our creativity from midfield, it is non-existent. Personally, and I know a few or more may disagree, Auba and Laca as highlighted in the article probably do miss Ozil. With Partey in the team, Ozil will probably not have to do too much work tracking back so he can be devastating in the last third something Auba and laca have missed. Man city have De Bruyne, Villa have Grealish, Liverpool Jota even West Ham have Berahim recently from Brentford. Who do we have ?

      1. They were sending our team to relegation zone in order to have Unay removed. I don’t see how that is an allegiance to the fans. And if this article theory is true why should they punish us because of one player?

        It’s the fans who are hurt the most with defeats.

        Whatever is happening behind the scene there is no justification whatsoever for them to play half-heartedly.

        1. You have never played a team sport, have you?

          When Ozil was removed from Real, do you know who was really, really upset?

    2. Buddy at the end of the day ozil was a huge figure in that dressing room and the lads are human after all.. So there could be some truth to this article… I know i hope to see ozil play with Partey and pepe… Aub and laca need the service and they feeling it now… The whole team is feeling it… We have had a view run of games come in and we played with no real pressure up front… We need a play maker like ozil in that team… Even as a sub… Gunner need to sort this shit out… Waste of money and talent… Or sell him and replace him with someone of the same talents.. Celabos is not good enough… To many square balls.. Not enough penetration thru balls.. Or cohesive play like we use to play..

  3. I do not think for one moment that the players are influenced by what the fans think. I understand that the fan base pays a certain percentage of the players salary but that does not give anyone the right to dictate what they should think or do. Arsenal players, like any other players, are firstly human beings with all the faults and attributes that humans have. If some of the players think that Ozil has been treated badly and that the management lacks class then that’s for them to decide. We fans are not in any position to know what truly goes on inside the club but some of the decisions made by the management and the recent changes at senior management level make me think that all is not well.

  4. Personally, I found this article over indulging in the influence that one player may have had or be having on a team of 24 grown men

    1. I see you point. But at the same time Ozil is a big player for the club whether people like to here it or not and also a figurehead in the team.
      it wouldnt be farfetched to think that the way Ozil has been shafted from the team might have a negative effect on his team-mates who hes played with.

      1. I see your point too, but I’m unconvinced that in the dog eat dog world of professional football that at the very least, the senior players would be overly concerned about anything other than getting regular football and their salaries. Does anyone care that Sokratis got left out as well? If they are out, it means 2 others get their chance in the first team. Did Martinez care that Leno got injured? No – it gave him his chance. Chances don’t come along too often and have to be taken. That is my take on it

        1. Well I think the way we are playing football at the moment will of course turn heads in the dressing room and at training. I don’t believe for one second someone like Aubameyang and of his quality wouldn’t be thinking why Ozil isn’t in the sqaud, as we are not creating chances at the moment. And our football is dire and not fluid at all. Sokratis was trying to get a transfer in summer I believe but the club mucked that up hence why he’s still here.

  5. That because we have no creativity in our team. It is essential going forward as an attacker. De Bruyne, Grealish, Jota, Berahim from Brentford to west ham, Tottenham’s midfield (😭😥) etc etc. Where’s the creativity in our midfield name one player in our squad of 25 or more that you can put on a par with the mentioned players. Isn’t it a shame on our club that the flair has been sucked out of our team. Without creativity we have become downright boring and predictable

  6. Whether this article has any truth in it or not, the fact is that nothing will be changed until January – so this speculation does absolutely nothing to help the situation.

    However, has anyone noticed that, since AMN came out with his statement that the players were “with Ozil” (whatever ones interpretation of this is), he has been only used, I believe, sparingly as a substitute?
    That is despite being in the kind of form that saw him called up to the national side as well!!
    Coincidence or is it adding a little creedence to the article itself?

    1. Ken
      That could be classed as trying to whip up more theories and certainly never occurred to me. Of course, it may be that many others have thought the same as you and will express them as such on JA 🙂

    2. Ooh Ken… I wonder if you’re onto something there 😂 It is strange though how he hasn’t made the team…

    3. Ken: I had the same question few days ago about AMN. Maybe Ozil is not the reason but the accumulation of Ozil , AMN , Guendouzi , Torreira plus the formation plus not scoring are no doubt affecting the players. Mustafi spoke because he is leaving the club. As a player, you can’t help but ask who is next? If you examine the history of Guardiola, you see the same tendencies.

    4. Ken…

      I guess in a 3-4-3 system, which Arteta has used frequently in the last games, the only way AMN could have featured is through either of the following: bench Saka or bench Belerin.

      Now, I guess prior to the Aston Villa loss, a more interesting question that you may need to answer is should AMN have been benching Saka or Belerin?

      If your answer is yes, then maybe I could understand the thought process leading up to your “conspiracy” theory. However, if no, then your theory may only continue to stir an issue that can only be resolved in January…

      Do let me know your answer!


      1. Fire, read your post after I replied to SueP.
        First of all, the word “conspiracy” seems to be used more and more on this site and I really don’t understand why.
        Nobody is planning an illegal or harmful act as far as I know, but, rather, MA is carrying out his personal wishes and thoughts, as manager that is what he should be doing in my opinion.
        To be a conspiracy, one has to conspire with others and I am sure MA makes his own decisions, as he has proved with the likes of Ozil, Salibas, Sokratis and Guendouzi.

        Now, let me quote you Mikel’s actual words regarding AMN in July 2020:
        “He’s a player that can play in many different positions…he has incredible quality, he has every quality that you need as a footballer to play at the highest level…he’s one that can adapt to any position”(source
        High praise indeed and we have seen him play in numerous positions to date.

        Three months later, on the 22.10.20. AMN was quoted as saying “Mesut Ozil has the full support of the squad and that issues over his squad exclusion willl be resolved. The squad is behind Mesut Ozil, we’re a team and that’s always going to be the case until Mesut decides to make his decision on what he wants to do and say.” (source eurosport).

        Since that statement, he has been on the bench for all three PL games and played just 4 minutes against manchester united.
        He has played in the europa league against Dundalk (90) Molde (63) on the bench and not used against Rapid Vienna.

        So I ask myself, have I seen the performances and talent from the players chosen in front of him, as justification for his absence from the starting and finishing eleven?
        In my opinion, I don’t believe I have…so I then ask myself why has he been ignored and I can only find one link, his message regarding MO. Of course I might be completely wrong and that is why I asked the question to JA contributers.

        I don’t see that Bellerin or Saka should be the only position we should be looking at, when querying his exclusion from the starting line up, what about a back three of Tierney, Gabriel, Holding with AMN on the left of the midfield for instance? Or even giving Elneny a well earned rest, if not starting, then as a sub with more than four minutes to play and show his worth.

        What I am asking is this, why is a player who was in the best form of his career (noted by his England call up), suddenly put on the bench and seeing just four minutes of PL activity…even forgetting his MO comments, it needs to be pondered over wouldn’t you say?

        Like you, I did say that January will be the time for the issue regarding MO to be resolved – but that doesn’t mean we cannot discuss other players situations and the issues surrounding them…no conspiracy thoughts whatsoever, just, in my opinion, a sensible question and possible answer.

        1. Ken…

          I engage you here quite frequently because I am always convinced that you must have applied some thorough thought processes to your comments before posting them, and again, you have done so to the best possible degree! My due respect!

          Conspiracy-theory wise, you may want to argue that Arteta is the final face behind any decision made as concerning Ozil and the likes, nevertheless, such decisions are never void of the entire Arsenal board and management, and for this reason, it is typical to consider such explanations as to why a player is sidelined due some relationship with Ozil as been a conspiracy between multiple elements, which includes Arteta and the board…

          You would also agree that despite being a utility player, the positions that I mentioned are the typical positions we have seen AMN play in for most of his career, even in the English team presently. By miles he would not bench Tierney, Gabriel or Holding in a back three, to which you would also agree. Elneny only seemed to have established himself after the Man U game and so there is a hierarchy of Partey, Xhaka, Cebalos, Willock to contend with in the middle of the pack before AMN would appear.

          Again, you would agree that the only feasible positions for AMN are the positions currently occupied by Saka and Bellerin, and the sincere question we must ask without bias is, should AMN be benching Saka or Bellerin?

          I guess Saka and Bellerin are presently staking their respective claims in these positions, and so the only outlet for AMN is to stake his claim for a regular start through the Europa, FA, and the Carabao Cup.

          And as you have rightly mentioned, Arteta has given AMN game time in these competitions and you wouldn’t say he was the star performer in these games. So Ken, putting aside your theory regarding AMN’s comments regarding MO, Arteta has actually provided game time for AMN via other competitions while considering the size of the squad and the growing competition for start-time between players…

          As we have both agreed, we will wait till January for a glimmer of hope for Ozil to stake a last claim to end his Arsenal career on a better note…

          Always a pleasure discussing with you Ken!


          1. An awful lot of me “agreeing” with your thoughts in that reply Fire, but you make a good point regarding AMN’s time in the europa league…. where we have been successful and have a 100% record, unlike the PL I think you will agree?!

            As his official playing notes describe him as “a versatile player, he can play in central midfield, full back or at wing back – where he usually appeared last season.
            He is comfortable on either flank” -(source official handbook 19/20) I don’t just see him challenging Bellerin or Saka.

            As I suggested, a back three of Holding, Gabriel and Tierney, with AMN operating down the left flank and covering Tierney if needs be is an option as well.

            But, going back to my original thoughts regarding AMN and MA, I am really puzzled to see him on the bench, especially when one looks at what MA has said in the past about him.

            As for MO, I sense that you and I have the same wish, but for me, AMN will hopefully have a longer future at our club.

            1. Ken…

              I am glad we are converging following some thoughtful conversations! And credit to you again!

              You mentioned “with AMN operating down the left flank and covering Tierney”, but isn’t that the same position Saka plays?

              Honestly, I will love to see AMN blossom any where in the Arsenal team, however, I am also clear that he provides more of a defensive cover than his offensive capacities, and unfortunately for him, Saka seems to be a notch ahead in this regard. In my opinion, AMN wouldn’t necessarily be a starter in the English team and he may remain as a backup.

              On a lighter note, your sudden and persistent worry about AMN’s limited space in the EPL continues to indicate that you are much aligned with your “theory” without the “conspiracy”, and it’s obvious link with Ozil…

              For Ozil, I wish him well and hope he ends on a high! The idea is to have our great team back again!


              1. I like the “theory” much better than the “conspiracy” angle, perhaps the word “opinion” might be even closer in thgis very enjoyable exchange?

                Arteta has been playing Saka, naturally left footed, as a right sided attacker in our last two games, so that suggests AMN isn’t competing with him, being a defensive player who is comfortable on the left side, central, or right hand side of the defence or midfield.
                I would also query your suggestion that Saka has the edge over AMN regarding defensive duties, or have I misinterpreted what you have said?

                As i say, Fire, this is just my observation regarding a player who has, it seems, fallen from grace (despite his time in the europa cup)’
                As there is only one other player who has seen this same kind of downward spiral under MA (unless you can think of anyone else that fits the bill from the beginning of the year?) I look for an explanation that MIGHT just link the two parties together.

                In my thirst for knowledge and explanation I just suggest an opinion and ask for comments – thank you for giving me yours.

                1. Ken…

                  *smiling*…. I will stick with it as being only your opinion and not a “theory” with/without the “conspiracy”.

                  It is obvious that you are someone who seeks knowledge, understanding, and more than anything else, application. And for that reason, our discussion has been truly enjoyable!

                  However, as I believe and I presume you as well, Arteta sees better than we do, and we can only hope he makes the best (or as I will say the “optimal”) decision at all times, which implies ensuring that all WILLING players succeed in the end…

                  We will be able to make a better judgement come the end of the season… And I am convinced it will be delightful to us all because I am someone who upholds and believes in establishing the right processes, and in time the results will follow. I judge by actions, principles, and processes, which in the end govern outcomes…

                  I do wish you a blissful day Ken! Let’s hope another thought-provoking article(s) comes along the day.

                  Do stay safe!


  7. Well SueP, now I’ve got you thinking about it, what do you think of the suggestion?
    After all, it does seem a little odd don’t you think?…especially as MA was praising him for his attitude and play just before he was put on the subs bench?

    1. Hi Ken
      You didn’t get me thinking about it at all

      All I can add is that I’m supporting Arteta until at least the end of the season and accept he chooses who he thinks is going to be the best on the day. Things haven’t worked out well lately so it is up to him to solve the puzzle. If he doesn’t by the end of the season… well that will be a different story , but I want him to succeed more than I want to find reasons for thinking that AMN has been deliberately sidelined

      I’ve read that you are supporting Arteta in several posts, so I can only assume that this is your wicked sense of fun

      The nearest I have ever come to believing a conspiracy theory was that Trump faked his covid diagnosis

      1. Sorry SueP, as you said it never occurred to you, I thought you might have given its some thought, like Sue, lcw and Fire for instance, but never mind.

        I admire your wish to see MA succeed and, funnily enough, so do I, but that doesn’t stop me looking at things going on around him – otherwise I might as well wear blinkers and believe everything is rosy in the patently isn’t after Sundays result.
        I hope to give him until the end of next season, unless relegation threatens and, while I do have a wicked sense of humour, I also have an inquisitive mind.

        1. Not an exactly ringing endorsement Ken
          Have you started thinking about who’ll replace Arteta if relegation threatens?

          1. Not in the slightest, as I believe Arteta is the right choice, despite making mistakes and, seemingly, ignoring some players while favouring others.
            This was an accusation made against both UE and AW and we should judge and hold MA to the same principles.

            I cannot give anyone involved in Sundays humiliation a ringing endorsement, but at least the likes of Ozil, Guendouzi, Sokratis and Saliba etc can’t be blamed.
            That, at least, is a blessing in disguise.

            1. Ken
              What you are suggesting then is that in all probability any or all EPL managers have their favourites. Maybe just part of human nature and nothing sinister
              I can only concur that the Villa result was dreadful. Arteta looked shell shocked as if he couldn’t believe what had happened. Part of his learning curve and a wake up call InAnder’s article earlier he referred to mentality. That definitely went missing at the weekend

              1. In an article I submitted quite a while back, SueP, I covered the question “Do managers have favourites?” where I suggested that any manager who buys a players, must surely believe he has purchased him to improve the team.
                That, to my mind, is not having favourites, but more having faith in ones own judgement.
                So I didn’t/don’t agree that there are favourite players – neither do I believe that any manager/coach is willing to keep playing those who are not performing, just because he bought them to the club.
                What I do suspect, however, is that some of them find it very difficult to admit that they have made a mistake and keep faith with their own conviction that their hand picked player will become successful – hence the “favourite” tag.

                None of this has anything to do with AMN however, in fact, quite the opposite, as you can see from the quotes I attributed to MA regarding his evaluation of the player.

                It seems that, once again, from being acclaimed as a player who has everything, he has become a four minute substitution in over 270 minutes of PL football.
                I can only think of one other player who has seen anything like this kind of fall from grace under MA and so my instincts are to see if there is any possible link between the two – I just put out my thoughts and ask the question – not saying I’m correct, just curious.

                1. Well Ken
                  You’re more cerebral than I am that’s for sure, hence my initial response hours ago
                  I have from the outset – rightly or wrongly – placed my faith in Arteta getting to grips with the slow demise of our great club which is a bigger job than deciding who plays alongside this player or that.
                  You are making a possible connection between AMN and MO based on his support. I’m not saying it can’t be true but that is stretching my imagination too far. Perhaps Arteta is my favourite and I don’t want to be proved wrong

  8. No the dressing room arent missing him and no Arteta doesn’t regret it. Ozil is finished with Arsenal why cant people move on. BORING!

  9. I use to see mikel arteta as leader.but now a boss.u can’t lead or coach a big club like arsenal with empty pride.a big mistake!.in d whole premiership,there is no creativity mid-fielder like mesut ozil.and thats exactly what d team needs now.

  10. I much distrust and dislike conspiracy theories like Shenels plainly false one, UNLESS some tangible evidence and not just his own opinion is produced.

    All we have here is a theory put forward by a well known Ozil lover, without a SHRED of evidence to support his claim.
    I also reject the suggestion that players care so much about the happiness of their teammates that they will, even subconsciously, withdraw labour. PlayerS are too self centred for that to happen and that is not a criticism of them, just an observation of how human nature works.


    1. ..that is why it is called a theory….imagine AMN was doing very well before being benched. we have no creative players. ..and your fellow player is being mistreated…it kills the team spirit. period.

      1. amo, absolutely correct and using the word “theory” determines the thought process surely?

        As I said earlier, the word theory could/should be substituted for opinion and the discussions need not become personal whatsoever.

  11. Villa game to be honest SAKA was doing nothing from the start of the game till the end.
    What he did was just help them in scoring the goal.
    The first sub was surposed to be SAKA and WILLIAM
    Ceballos was very poor instead of going forward always he was turning backwards.
    Now its when we see the missing of OZIL.
    Auba now and LACCA they need to come deep into the back line and search for the ball going forward.
    Will it help us???
    Until now we doint have the first IX what a shame on us??
    I can see COACH being sacked before the end of the season mark my words.

    1. Who is going to sack Arteta? Who would replace him? Which manager in his right mind would take on a team that is under financed by the Kroenkes?

      No. Arteta will stay on, and he will learn to learn from Wenger, rather than Pepe, who always had massive transfer money.

      The right approach for this team with this sort of funding is Wenger. We can beat most of the EPL but not the top four, and on occasion we can make it top four. However, with a solid back hour, we should catch top teams when they are off their game.

  12. Arteta is losing the dressing room. If he loses Auba, then Arteta is done. Auba is too expensive to lose, just as Ozil was too expensive to lose.

    My sense is that the senior players are going to force Areta to use Ozil. There is no one else to partner Partey, who if over used box to box will break down. With Ozil we have a chance to score more, and that is what attackers want to do. Pepe in particular would flourish with Ozil given Pepe is able to run with the ball on the right, drawing player to him, opening spaces for a #10 to then feed Auba, Laca or back with Pepe.

    Arteta will have to come up with a system that resembles Wenger’s but will have better defenders, which Wenger was trying do as he was leaving.

    Wenger was always right.

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