Ex-Gunner gives verdict on Ozil’s refusal to leave Arsenal

Alan Smith has encouraged Mesut Ozil to leave Arsenal and look for a new team just like the club wants, or he will regret sitting on the bench at the Emirates.

The German is the club’s highest earner at the moment, but his performances haven’t been up to par since he was given his current deal in 2018.

The Gunners have been desperate to sell him since last summer, but he has made it clear that he is going nowhere.

He has even reiterated that he will not be forced out of Arsenal (BBC) and that he will leave the club when he wants to leave the club.

Smith has watched as the drama unfolds and his verdict is that the longer that Ozil stays at Arsenal where he is not wanted, the worst it is for both parties.

He added that it is best for the German to leave the club to where he will be appreciated this summer, else he might look back on his career and regret the years he wasted on the bench at the Emirates.

‘As for Mesut Ozil, the tiresome saga rolls on,’ the former Gunners striker told Sky Sports.

‘In an interview this week, the German insisted he is staying at Arsenal, even though he obviously does not feature in Arteta’s plans. This is a funny one.

‘Ozil is well within his rights to see out a four-year contract the club were happy enough to give. But from a purely football aspect, why would you do that if you are not going to play?

‘”This is my profession”, he says. “It’s what I love doing: being on the pitch, playing matches, showing the people, helping the club and my team.” Ok, so if you love playing so much, why not go somewhere you’re actually wanted?

‘There’s an old saying in football – you are a long time retired. Come the end of his career, he might live to regret these wasted years.’

Tags Mesut Ozil


  1. It’s not for anyone else to say how he should run his life. Arsenal chose to give him that contract, if he’s happy with it that’s his business. Good luck to him.

    1. Rupe

      How do you feel then, as a gooner, that he is unlikely to feature for the club next season, if all the rumours are true and that the club are freezing him out? Good luck to him is your answer and you have no other feeling on how this affects Arsenal?
      Meanwhile, other players at other clubs come and go on the merry go round that is the transfer season and Ozil is happy (?) to sit on the sidelines for his last season at Arsenal. That is the reality unless he is able to convince Arteta in the warm up to the new season that he is able to compete with the rest of the team for a starting place. It would show an admirable level of resolve to get back to the highest level, and I would love him to fulfill that

  2. Alan asking the right questions many fans choose to ignore. If nobody wants him, why is he still here? Same reason as Bale. To collect the money. Let’s just be very clear about that and not make it out like Ozil is a victim. He is being paid to play Fortnite and when the next season starts will be paid to practice with the youth team. All within his right to do, but him peddling to the media that he is committed to the club, and wants to play football… Obviously not true.

    1. Unless, of course, he feels that the club are not honouring a three year contract that they offered and wanted him to sign at any cost… probably Bale feels just the same with regards to RM.
      The fact that both players were offered ridiculous contracts, that no other club will try to match, is the reason they are both still at their current clubs.
      As neither feels they are being treated fairly by their club, they will respond accordingly.

      Two big clubs that are acting like little ones – if they want to get rid of said players, then buy out the agreed contract and move on.

      Let either player stay, as is their legal right of course, then the situation simply remains.
      The idea that this is all down to the players being greedy, is as false as believing that the two clubs are whiter than white.
      Obviously not true.

      1. Ken

        Yes both Ozil and Bale need to be paid off if for no other reason than it stops both clubs from moving forward

        It also means that ludicrously large sums of money have been dished out by executives and agents’ in dealings which then hinder the club when situations like this arise
        C’est la vie one may say but my goodness Arsenal are suffering as a result
        What has now resulted is a standoff where there is only one winner
        Money, whether you like it or not is the issue. Both players could alter the future that has been mapped out if they so chose
        I’m not judging; it’s just a dreadful shame

        1. Only the club and the player know the real story, for us the fans, we have our opinions and speculate accordingly.
          The one binding thing is the contract and if our club wants to let Ozil leave, they have two options :

          Pay him off and end the saga – or have the evidence to prove that he is not fulfilling any of the contract stipulations and get involved in a legal issue.

          As the latter has never been the case, the only option left is the former.

          The player has, yet again, stated his wish to see out the contract he signed in good faith and no amount of abuse will make him change his mind – such is his strength of character.

          At the end of the day, we have to back Mikel Arteta’s judgement and hope that kronkie supports him… if that means buying out the contract, then so be it.

          It does amuse me, however, that when a pundit voices a negative view, it is seen as the truth – but when a positive opinion of the player is given, we are lectured and told not to be taken in by such talk.

          1. Ken, is he a “professional” footballer or not?
            Alan Smith raises the right issues, the career of any sports person is limited and surely there will be regrets (regardless of money) if that career is wasted.
            In opposition to Ozil, Alexis Sanchez looked at his situation, analysed the options and moved on to pursue his career as a “professional” footballer, despite the considerable loss in earnings.

          2. Ken
            This is what is so terribly wrong about the Özil fiasco
            There is one set of fans who believe he brings something to the team and another set with a completely opposing view and neither group thinks they are wrong and the recriminations continue

            Group 1 think his performances are not good enough and wonder why that for the love of football he doesn’t go and find a new challenge albeit on less money because no one in their right mind would give him £350k pw. There is the perception that he is only now staying because of the money alone as Arteta hasn’t got him in his plans for next season This stops Arsenal being able to invest his earnings in the squad and righteous indignation follows

            Group 2 see a man who never asked to be given £350k pw He is a misunderstood genius who is still capable of turning a game as proved when he started every match under Arteta. Not only that, Özil is showing enormous strength of character to want to stay at Arsenal even though there is an agenda against him as shown by the actions of the board in trying to freeze him out. Righteous indignation follows

            For me as I have written to you before, is that Özil needs to be paid off. Not because I want to see £18m go down the Swanny next year but purely and simply because this is eating away at every level the club

            It is not to Arteta’s advantage In moving the club forward to be caught up in a maelstrom created by the standoff with Ozil and his employers. It makes me hopping mad to think that he could be de-railed or considered as being in cahoots with the executive level at a time when we should be supporting his vision to get the club back to the CL.

            We both believe in and back Arteta. But both of us think differently on one issue: I believe that Arteta picks the team on the basis of who he thinks should be on the team sheet but you think he is having his arm twisted not to include Özil as being the only rational reason for not playing him

            My feelings on having our manager being forced to drop Özil is alarming and Arteta should then consider his future if he has any integrity at all

            Regarding AS I don’t think he was being negative, rather looking at the whole sorry situation from a neutral perspective

    2. You have a blunt point bro. Imagine for once you (employee) against a Big Company (employer) pondering and squabbling in this embarrassing fashion about who is right on a contract that expires next year 2021. The general Moral Rule about a contract is ‘”your word is your bond” or in Latin “dictum meum pactum” What would you do?

      Cancel a lucrative agreement even when your own share will be reduced? you cant vote against yourself.

      Ozil has every right to let his contract run to the end i.e. 2021. Ozil stood by Arsenal when everyone was calling us a selling club. The man is really smitten by the gun power Ya Gunners Ya has 16 million viewers.

      The man just said he will stay at Arsenal until ” at least 2021″ – his words not mine. Something in him wants to stay even longer.

      It is suspicious that Arteta just suddenly stopped using Ozil after being his to-go-to man in the early months of his managerial contract at Arsenal.

      And Arteta’s decision to drop Ozil coincides nicely with his refusal to get a 12.5% pay cut. and you this the Corporate beast will just slumber at such presumed disobedience. and now Ozil has morphed into a greedy glutton. Really.

      What happened to all the jealousy British tabloid journos who used to trash Arsenal for typically letting their good players run down their contracts. Just tie him long term. its simple, they used to say.

      Give him whatever he wants! they used to say !
      it appears the decision to bench Ozil was not made for footballing reasons..

      Play Ozil. His job is to play football as per his signed contract and allow both parties the unhindered opportunity to honor their deal.

      For the Love of the Gunners.

      1. Godonga, the head coach doesn’t believe he should be selected. If the head coach gets it wrong, team performances will suffer and Arteta will lose his job.
        Alexis Sanchez fell out at Manchester United; he moved on to Inter Milan to play football for less money.
        “Mark 8:36”

        1. Why everyone making the comparison with Alexis Sanchez? Why not compare his situation to that of Gareth Bale?

          Why you lot trying to tell a grown man what’s best for him? He’s got a legally binding contract, which he is committed to see it through and no amount of blackmail or abuse from the club and fans will change that.

          BTW, I’ve never been an Ozil fan right from the first day he was bought. I think he has declined further from even those levels. I stand with the coach 100% if he thinks Ozil doesn’t fit his system. But the classless attitude of the board and fans towards his contract is repulsive.

          It was a contact that didn’t turn out as perfectly as hoped for. It happens all the time. Bale, Coutinho, Ramsey, Sanchez, etc. The club should take responsibility and stop blackmailing the young man.

          1. Maybe you can start a football club and sign Ozil.. because Arsenal and the people in charge don’t want him at their club.. what you want is not important unless the club is yours which I am certain it is not.. if he wants to sit on the bench so be it but the club will make a decision that favors their ambitions and the only thing we fans will do is argue and speculate.. but in fairness it is not a good look for a player that is supposed to be a legend with his ability alone.. he has morphed into an unwanted commodity and a greed.. I feel sorry for Ozil though.

          2. The “young man” should start letting his playing do the talking.
            By the way Bale and Coutinho never were Arsenal players; Sanchez and Ramsey were and accordingly have been discussed with relevance to the Ozil issue.

        2. Ken1945, thank you. You sound more wise than the ones I really thought was with brain in here; on football, contracts and empathy matters….. No further Comment

  3. I describe such act as unrealistic, callous, devilish act and calculated attempt to soul his name. Please we should all tried to acknoweldge the development he brought to ARSENAL. Alan smith you are such a useless player, what have you done for Arsenal and your nation.

    1. You expect respect for Ozil but say things like that about Smith… I don’t remember him as a useless player or having to do anything for his nation. The obvious difference between the two is that one is a World Cup winner for Germany

    2. Hosi, you are unfortunately showing your ignorance, as do many who don’t know or fail to read up on the history of this great Club.
      “Alan smith (sic) you are such a useless player”
      Alan Smith English International centre forward 13 caps 2 goals, England B 4 caps, 4 goals
      1982-87 Leicester City 200 games 76 goals
      1987-95 Arsenal 264 games 86 goals
      Honours with Arsenal
      First Division Winner 1988-89, 1990-91
      FA Cup Winner 1992-93
      League Cup 192-93
      Football League Centenary Trophy 1988
      FA Charity/Community Shield 1991 shared
      UEFA Cup Winners Cup 1993-94
      PFA Team of the Year 1988-89
      First Division Golden Boot 1988-89, 1990-91
      I think you need to do your homework before you disparage the opinions of a great Arsenal player.

  4. Among footballers are players and businessmen.
    The players want to play football and will give anything to do so. Footballers like Alexis want to play football; that’s why he can take a pay cut to move to Inter rather than stay at ManU and earn 400k a week for not playing football.
    The likes of Ozil, on the other hand, are businessmen; for them it’s the money that counts

    1. Just like different clubs have different priorities. For some, it’s more about trophies and footballing success no matter the cost. For others, it’s more about how the books are balanced even if that means going trophyless.

      Funny how the same fans want to hold the player to a different set of values than the club…lol.

  5. Ozil issue date back to Arsene Wenger time when he and Sanchez were the stars in Arsenal. The club fail to renegotiate their contract extension early enough that the two decided to see off the end of the old contract. This disorganized the whole team as undue attention was drawn to the impending contracts. The two decided to take advantage of the situation by forcing Arsenal to buy out the new signing on fee. Arsenal got busted, could not afford the two signing on fees and chose to pay for only Ozil. This had effect on the overall performance of the entire team as they saw it as whiles most of them are working their butts to keep the team going a few were enjoying the fruits therein. The then captain weekly wage was just a fraction of what they were demanding. This was evident, expercially in Ozil case as he had very low work rate and all the team see him as lazy to a fault. Arsenal made the mistake of adding their agreed sign on fee to their weekly wages. They should have paid this off as is usually done when buying a player and just adjust their wages just a little higher. So that others don’t see it as robbing Peter to pay Paul. This greediness on the two players has turned to affect them in their individual performances. They had lacked the love and affection of their mates wherever they went. Whatever they feel they were putting in the game has come short of their asking price and they are unable to attain the height of their professional carrier. Sanchez has realized this and has taken the safe way out and I hope Ozil will follow suit. When Arteta found out its effect on the team, he left Ozil out of the equation for the remainder of the season which was a wise move. The team then fought for each other and was able to achieve their goal of landing a trophy.

    1. Ozil condemns himself out of his own mouth. Smithy has it exactly right. Having someone like Ozil at the club is so bad for the young players struggling to make it as a professional. Who of the 1971 double winning side would have thought like this?

    2. Alexis Sanchez did not take the safe way, but went to Manchester United, because he was in demand.
      Sanchez’s main issue at Arsenal was that the ambition he showed and the effort he put in to try and win games and ultimately trophies wasn’t duplicated in the players he shared the dressing room with. One could also argue that the Arsenal organisation has similarly lacked ambition like its overpaid complacent players.
      Sanchez also didn’t take the “safe” option of seeing out his contract at Man U, but went to Inter Milan to pursue his career as a “professional” footballer.
      I know which footballer, Arsenal missed most between the two.

      1. Sanchez has done it now with Man United by renegotiating to end the contract and start anew with Inter with a reduced weekly wage

  6. This continuing saga, if left unresolved by the Board, will be the greatest challenge facing MA and the team for the next twelve months. Perhaps the best decision for the Club at the moment, is to let him go now and try to recover as much as possible from any income he earns in the next year. I wish him well but believe his career as a footballer is over, particularly if he decides to take a full year off.

  7. John Noble, I’ve missed the part where all the players see him as lazy to a fault, when /where did this actually happen or occur?
    Also, Arteta must have realised the effect Ozil was having on the team, during the corona virus lockdown and the pay cut discussions then?
    Because up and until that time, he had selected him for every premier league game and we were undefeated – why hadn’t he realised this before then?

    By the way, Sanchez had told the club he wanted to leave, nothing The Arsenal could do about that, especially if the reported £500,000 a week played any part in his wish to play football.

    1. And ken, Arsenal blew the chance to get £60-80 million from Manchester City for Sanchez and later settled for a swap for Mhikatarian. What the Club could have done with that money!
      By your reasoning if Sanchez was only interested in the £500k per week to play football, how do you explain him leaving Man U to play for Inter Milan for considerably less money?

    2. All the coaches after Arsene Wenger had said it In one way or the other. Do you think they are wrong and you think his mates will be blind to it. Just watch him after he has lost the ball.

  8. Ozil`s salary makes me sick. Arsenal`s stupidity even sicker and now we have Willian 220 thousand a week, playing to empty tables and a stadium full of ghosts. Logic left the game many years ago.

  9. ozil was once a team mate of arteta, it is disrespectful to chase him out by force.hei has done alot for arsenal let him stay and become a legent at the club thanks.

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