Former Gunner questions the leadership of the current group of Arsenal players

Ray Parlour has defended Mesut Ozil after the midfielder rejected the club’s plea to take a pay cut and he instead questioned the leadership and togetherness among the current players.

Arsenal asked their players to voluntarily give up 12.5% of their wages for the next year to help the club save some costs now that it isn’t earning money following the suspension of football.

However, Ozil and several other players decided against giving up their share and the German came under increased scrutiny yet again.

He wasn’t the only player that didn’t give up some of his earnings, but he is the only player that has been mentioned and Parlour has defended him.

Parlour reckons that he didn’t blame the German and that several players around the world wouldn’t give up their paycheque either.

He blamed the club for giving the contract to the German in the first place and questioned the leadership among the players for Ozil to be mentioned and not the other players who didn’t take the cut.

Parlour told talkSPORT that the playmaker’s situation is of the club’s own doing: “It’s not his fault he’s on £350,000-a-week, I look at it and say it’s Arsenal’s mistake to give him the money.

“You’re never going to do it turn, are you, if you’re a player?

“So that doesn’t come into it really.

“I do believe that if there are three or four players who haven’t agreed then they should all be named, why is it only Ozil?”

Parlour added: “It shows a bit of the leadership qualities again.

“In my era, Tony Adams would have been the captain, he would have gone, ‘Right I’m going to go round to every single player, and we all agree together – we either all do it or we don’t do it’.

“That’s what it would have been and I would have gone, ‘Yeah Tony, I totally agree I’m going to do it as well’.

“And it would have been a decision that everybody does it. So it shows a little bit of a lack of leadership again.

“Even Patrick Vieira, when he was captain, would have done exactly the same.

“Because it’s down to the players, they wouldn’t have had meetings with managers or anybody like that. Patrick would have been on the phone or in a Zoom meeting with quite a few players.

“So it’s negative news again, that they don’t need at this time.”

Tags Ray Parlour


  1. After seeing how chelsea decided that their players are mature enough to represent their club by donating their NETT pay to the causes they want, this 12.5% pay cut seems to have taken on a different angle for me.

    Firstly, it is reported that many of our younger players feel that they were pushed into accepting a wage cut – if that is true, would the likes of Saka want to sign a new contract, when he sees other clubs treating their players so differently?

    Secondly, as these pay cuts were seen as a signal of premier league players supporting the NHS, carers etc etc how does the said group benefit from our enforced pay cut?
    The only person/group who has benefited is the owner/club and it is plain to see that, whoever decided not to sign, were the leaders of the group of players…as they questioned where the money was going.

    I find it increasingly glaring that no other club has tried to insists its players agree to pay cuts and I am sure more harm than good will come out of the reported pressure put on the players by Arteta – well done chelsea and abramovitch for treating your players with common sense and deflecting any criticism of said players and club in these trying times.

    At least your billionare owner has put his money into the NHS, as detailed in an earlier post regarding what premier leagues owners had done to date.

    Meanwhile, we remain the club being used as the whipping boys by the media, by creating such a ridiculous situation available for widespread condemnation.
    Sadly, some of our own fans were to quick to jump on the bandwagon without knowing the full facts, just as we still don’t know today!!

    1. The criminal owner of Chelsea that is not allowed in the UK tried desperately to get the Chelsea players to agree a pay cut like so many decent players have done already, but he failed and it was only after he failed that the club had no choice but to use their own money, unless the Oligarch stumps up the cash, to prop up the club and its lowest-paid workers. Just thought I would fill in some gaps on your narrative. Also, it is about the high earners helping the club as 25 players at Arsenal (not the highest-paid though),management and executives have already done and not funding the NHS, thought I would straighten that falsehood as well.

      1. Yes, he tried but failed – Why?

        Because the players of Chelsea have an owner who, whether you see him as a criminal, which the UK government does not, has put more money into supporting the NHS than our owner – that is not a “falsehood” it is a fact.

        He also took the stance, after a lengthy discussion with the players, to accept their decisions as to how they would/should donate their money.
        No forceful tactics required, chelsea fc and it’s owner, listened to the players and accepted their 100% wish to be treated as adults and spend their money as they wanted – something that a reported number of Arsenal players (including our highest paid player) wanted to do.
        What is not being reported (for why I leave that to the fans to work out) is that at least one of our “rebels” has declared that he would want to donate much more than the 12.5%, once he knew where the pay cut money was going, but that doesn’t make the headlines…I wonder why???
        It seems the chelsea players were of the same opinion and the club accepted it, thereby ensuring no bad headlines fro the media would blacken the club – seems a very mature and sensible action to take, especially as our club is still reeling from the reported but, as yet, unsubstantial claims made by the media and some of our own fans.

        So it know seems that any player who has not taken a pay cut is “not decent” – let’s just digest that statement for a second…so every single premier league player, except the 25 reported Arsenal players are not decent human beings???
        seems like a high pedestal for players who have been lambasted for being paid over the odds by the club.

        As for branding Abramovitch a criminal, you have got this completely wrong – he has been prevented from entering the UK because his visa ran out and it coincided with the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripa.

        The British authorities DELAYED the renewal of his visa, along with many other Russian citizens, as tensions rose between Russia and the UK.

        He can actually enter the UK as a visitor for six months, but will need a visa to live, work or study in the UK ( as reported on the 29/5/18 by a PM’s spokeperson) whenever he wants to.

        Abramovitch abandoned his UK application two months later and, instead, he took Israeli citizenship and that entitles him to come to the UK for a maximum of six months – again, if he wants to live, work or study in the UK, he needs a visa.

        Once again, you are very quick to label people with names and accusations that, if you cared to check the facts, are not correct.
        No need to look for gaps in my narrative, or correcting falsehoods you think I have made, you have enough in your reply to be checking on.

        1. First you defend selfish Ozil and now you claim Abramovich is not a crook, I mean, who does that? OK, Abramovich was deemed a security risk by the UK, go check it out, freely available if you can be bothered, he had to cancel trying to get a Swiss visa because of Money laundering. There is so much more but what is the point. So, not a single word I wrote is false yet you write an essay doubling down on your misrepresentations. A simple cursory fact check on Google would have saved you the time you wasted writing such an inaccurate response. Try harder.

          1. adminmartin, so now he is not a criminal then as the British government clearly say so – you were completely wrong, diddn’t do your homework and can’t admit it – thanks for the advice regarding sites to collect facts. I actually gave you one via the Prime Minister (no less) spokesperson, which you conveniently overlooked.
            I think they have a little more knowlledge than you as to whether Abramovitch is a crook or not, wouldn’t you?

            As for Sweden, no charges were made, because the Swiss couldn’t prove anything – surely you checked that out?

            I really don’t have to try any harder than I have already, it’s very simple to just counter your accusations with facts.

            First of all you state he is a criminal banned from the UK – completely false as you now seem to acnowledge…doesn’t matter if you don’t actually because they are the facts.

            Secondly a change to a security risk – as were all Russians following the poisoning of two people – a UK retaliation move against ALL russians applying for visas – but don’t let that hinder the reason why he was not granted one.

            Thirdly another change in his status to being a money launderer in Switzerland – nothing to do with him owning chelsea football club of course..PLUS …the accusations were never proved and not based on any court ruling…PLUS… Abramovitch has never been indicted in Switzerland.

            At the time of this reply, Abramovitch has no criminal charges directed at him and, in actual fact, has never been found guilty of any criminal acts whatsoever.

            As for defending Ozil, I just let Ray Parlour, the Chelsea players and every other premier league player who has not taken a pay cut to do that – simple really, if one does ones homework.

            As for the long reply, it seems I have to be absolutely precise with you, simply because you deny what you have said, accuse me of not checking facts and ask me to try harder – so I have delved deeper for you.
            Let”s see if you can disprove any of the facts, including the one from the British government, that I have already laid out?

            Believe me, no matter how hard you try, you won’t.

            1. I thought this was an Arsenal site, don#t tell me Ozil is heading off to Chelsea and you are getting prepared. My article about Ozil and his fans is being proven 100% by the day. You do this to everyone Ken, you think long-winded Trump-like responses will wash, they do not. Try your inaccurate responses with someone else. you will get no traction with me. Read that from the BBC about your dear Mr Abramovich and the Swiss The man is a crook end of debate but I know you will come back in the same way you do about Ozil regardless of the actual reality. I see a pattern developing here, I have even written about it. Brilliant 100% truthful article that was extraordinarily popular.

  2. AdMartin- Congratulations on pitting the record straight. And you know all of this to be correct how exactly? The press? Other media outlets? Your own interpretation of events within the Club and the Players collective thoughts and decisions?
    In reality you can confirm NOTHING. You know, for certain, NOTHING. WHY? Because at this time only the Players, Agents and Club Officials know exactly what has been agreed, decided and by whom.

    1. I do know some things Phil. I know that Ozil is a greedy lazy selfish parasite that I know. I know that Abramovich is a crook. I know he has been banned from the UK. I know what the Arsenal statement says because I used a trick called reading. I know that Chelsea could not persuade their players to do the right thing and not follow a vulgar mercenary at Arsenal, I know that the pay cuts are to fund the lowest paid. All freely available from official sources. That much I know son.

      1. Well PAL- if you read the Arsenal Official Statement, I believe it clearly said that ALL PLAYERS had agreed the 12.5% pay cut. Or did you just forget to read that bit?

        1. Nope, it did not. You have peddled that falsehood on here non stop and someone needs to call you out on it. Find me the word “all” and I will accept I was wrong. I expect you to show the same courtesy. Here is the link to the statement for you to read at your pleasure

      2. Actually, you do not know that abramovitch us a crook and has been banned from the UK – he can walk in tomorrow with the correct visa and has NO criminal charges against him whatsoever – where have you been reading this rubbish? The beano?

        You have your views on Ozil, just as Ray Parlour does and his summing up of the way our club has handled this is spot on.

        I would love to know what the thousands of young children who owe their lives to Ozil’s generosity, or the Ray of Sunshine childrens charity, or the 100,000 homeless people he feeds, or the sick kids in Brazil when he donated £240,000 to fund their operations, on a regular basis, would say to you calling him a “greedy, lazy, selfish parasite”?

        Dislike the player or the chelsea owner, as is your right, but isn’t it about time you did your homework on those people you seem to want to crucify at every opportunity you can??
        Labeling them with names that are not true just makes your opinions and arguments look so very weak and personal.

        1. YAWN, another one using the charity tax write-offs that Ozil and thousands of other footballers do as if that is any sort of defence. At least you admit that you regard the BBC as the Beano seeing as that is where I got my info from. Try Google, it works.

        2. Ken
          I haven’t yet waded through the entire back and forth between you and Admin but believe me the one thing I am prepared to stick my oar in about is Özil’s generosity to the less fortunate

          I give generously to charity
          Lots and lots of people do too
          Your wife has been busy making wash bags for the NHS

          Tell me why you have to keep mentioning his charity as if it carries any more weight than my £20 to Captain Tom? Or my sponsoring a guide dog for the blind? Or raising money for our local hospice?

          Have a spat with Admin but I don’t think it’s right to use his generosity as being more valuable than mine or any other average person. He advertises his charitable giving on social media. I’m not on any of those so none of my non followers can know what I do

          I feel very strongly about this

          1. SueP, just check what was said about Ozil at 6.26 pm and you will realize exactly why I mentioned it.

            I also feel very strongly about people giving to charities who are then accused of being a greedy, lazy, selfish parasite, no matter who they are.

            When have I said I value his contributions as more valuable than yours or anyone else come to that?

            If you want to have a go at me and “stick your oar in” please read first of all why I reacted the way I did and, by the way, do you think the description of Ozil was appropriate?

        3. Ken
          I read the almost 3 way slag fest bar the other Sue and me, and the tone got worse as it went on
          I stuck my oar in as Ozil is frequently mentioned for his charitable giving by many of his supporters. He truly is generous but the fact remains that all those who advocate for Ozil bring this up whenever there is a debate and know exactly how much he has given and to whom
          You probably know by now that I am not Özil’s biggest fan and that is my opinion on his performances on the pitch. I am not generally prepared to criticise him beyond that. Putting one’s good works out on social media shows a form of self promotion that doesn’t sit well with me, however, I cannot fault his compassion and generosity
          Of course the answer is that his contributions are not any more important than mine and that was my point even if it was misunderstood or badly put by me.
          Regarding Admin’s reply I definitely can’t speak for him. Greed, I imagine is one person’s view on his salary. Selfish could be construed by some to mean that he is unwilling (if reports are true) to help the club by taking a pay cut. Lazy is one term by Admin that I can agree with and it is just my opinion.
          It was by then as I said at the beginning, a three way argument that became more bruising and made any debate for the rest of us very difficult

  3. So your info is solely based on the media. Of course they are never wrong are they? Which of course makes you right all the time. Because of the media.
    Do it seems you only believe what you want when “ reading” the press. I cannot believe you didn’t read what ESPN stated last week, bearing in mind your exulted position on this site. You will know for sure that they stated that Ozil refused to agree to any reduction until he knew where the money was going. Pretty much the same stance as the Chelsea players is it not? Or are you getting confused with the Dandy and Beano, which of course is what juveniles like you read.
    I know for a fact you have had your nuts chewed off for your pathetic and childish spats of last week, culminating in you removing every reply that was against yiu on a particular Topic Headline, of which there were plenty other than me. Wow- what a child. This will most likely be removed- as if I’m bothered PAL. It’s what little boys with inflated ego’s do

    1. AdMartin- you are quite right. The official statement released by Arsenal Football Club, which every single fan would wish to be 100% correct, does not use the word ALL. But it also does not use words such as SOME or MOST.
      What the statement clearly states is, and I quote “ We are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time”.
      I would go back to the kiddy comics PAL if I was you.

      1. So, you was wrong then son. I await your apology and will ignore your childish ramblings because I know you are now hurt that I exposed your falsehood. Please do not repeat it again.

    2. Ah, so you have read the Arsenal statement, did you find the word “all” no you never, you made a false statement. I get your character now when you are wrong, you detract and spout out more falsehoods. As for spats, I said nothing in the comments apart from two comments that did not address your meltdowns and as you can see, every single word of that 100% accurate report is still up on the site and one of the most popular posts in such a long time. Your foul-mouthed rant was removed because it broke the rules. Tut tut, try using wit and intellect as opposed to insults son, you are not very good at it. Now, the word “all” found it yet? You did categorically say it was there did you not?

      1. So martin, why did you remove all the replies that called you out, but kept the ones that agreed with you?

        Perhaps you were feeling a little threatened and I remember Phils posts quite clearly, there was no foul mouthed language used whatsoever – while you alienated at least half of the fans on here (even those such as Jon Fox) with your unbelievable flippant remarks about those fans who disagree with you.

        The official statement reads as follows:

        “we are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our FIRST TEAM PLAYERS, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time.”

        Now, the last time I looked, Ozil was part of the FIRST TEAM PLAYERS and has actually participated in every premier league game…so please explain why you think that means anything other than every first team player is not included in that official statement?

        Deary me martin, your desperation at trying to get everyone to see it your way knows no bounds and trying to belittle others makes you look even worse.

        1. Nah, just five of you, four Ozil worshippers and one argumentative rude man, a bit arrogant thinking you represent half the fan base. Your comments did not just break the rules, they smashed them. Either debate politely or don’t, your choice but foul-mouthed rants will not be allowed on here. I am glad you posted that quote, It vindicates everything I said. Thank you Ken.

          1. So tell me Martin, how many regular posters did you lose with that article?
            Yet here you go again, trying to belittle people who have been on here for years, followed The Arsenal for years and have an opinion different to you.

            How many replies did you delete that were saying you were wrong?

            How many replies did you delete that were saying you were right?

            1. Most popular article in ages so traffic was increased and not decreased. Sorry to disappoint. As for what posts were deleted only those that were rule breakers and rude and ignorant. Yours was included as I am sure you are aware. You really should know better Ken. I suspect most that were deleted were those that disagreed with me or Ozil worshippers whatever you want to categorise them, all the same to me. I do find it strange that when anyone posts a truthful article about Ozil his followers lose all reason and become absolutely incoherent. I found it sad at how some of you just let yourselves go. He is just a man mate, he is not the club.

        1. Deleted again for more misleading info. Please abide by the rules, there is a limit to our patience.

        2. Lying? Are you serious? You just cannot handle the fact that anyone can have an opinion that you disagree with PAL.
          Now tell me where I have lied.
          I AM WAITING

          1. Seems that you will be waiting for a while, well, until you apologise, otherwise what’s the point Phil? I am happy to debate you mate when you do not fly off the handle, get all personal and because of the rage become incomprehensible. You make falsehoods on a regular basis, you have to be called out, I am sorry that upsets you but the site users deserve better. Calm down mate, accept you were “mistaken” then come back for a grown-up chat, I will be here.

  4. Here we go, my reply to you, martin has suddenly disappeared once again – why does it only happen when you are involved?

    1. Give it a rest Ken with your conspiracy theories, If I bin your stuff trust me I would not hide the fact.

      1. What makes you think you have the right to bin anything that falls within the parameter set by Pat?

        This is not your site, it belongs to any Gooner who wants to participate and, of course I know why you didn’t allow it, I proved your acussatios against Abramovitch to be completely false.

        As I said, it never happens with any other article written by someone else, but then, of course, they don’t set themselves up as judge and jury.

        1. Tut tut Ken, I never deleted anything of yours about Abramovich but I did post a link that proved he is a crook. Break the rules and your posts will be deleted. Surely you get the concept, Kenneth. But you are right my friend, this is a site for all Gooners, not Chelski fans or Spuds ot Manure or whoever but somehow they have infiltrated this site but I am working my socks off to eliminate them and clean the site up. I appreciate your help in this matter, I know you would find it unacceptable for anyone to put a vulgar footballer before their own club.

  5. Ken is told to ‘Debate politely’…. does this work both ways?

    Bloody hell, I thought we’d seen the last of this, last week was terrible.. what happened to the nice rapport between Admin and readers???

    As for ‘Ozil worshippers’ smh….

    1. I love a nice rapport but I will not allow a significant minority to abuse the admins, the authors and other site users simply because the absolute minority do not like what is written. The days of overt racism, berating people, abusing the authors are well and truly over with Sue. It was never going to be simple to put a stop to the bullying on here by a tiny few but it will end. You have no idea how many complaints I get about certain individuals and their behaviour and the number of people they put off posting because of their conduct. All I want is a clean site without bullying, rudeness and insults. Is that too much to ask for?

      1. Well, Martin, all I can is I’ve never known it as bad on here as it has been lately.
        Look back at your article last week which started WW3… and insulted a lot of your readers, myself included. We get you don’t like Ozil.. but there’s no need to make it personal….
        Like I said last week, we’re all gooners and not all of us will share the same opinion.. but there’s ways of getting points across without resorting to insults and name calling… I don’t appreciate being called a ‘worshipper’ I like to treat people on here exactly how I wish to be treated!
        A clean site? We shall see….

        1. No intention of hurting anyone’s feelings Sue but I say it how I see it and my priority is the club and not an individual and for me, that is now the dividing line. However, what inspired the article was Lee Gunner on Youtube going on about how many twitter followers left Real Madrid and then popped up on the Arsenal twitter account, he also talked about genuine Arsenal fans etc and I agreed entirely with his point of view. The video is freely available on Youtube, just type in Lee Gunner Ozil, he is in his garden I think. Anyway, the insults came solely from one side, at no point in the comments did I say anything untoward. The vitriol was all one side. No one asked for clarification or anything like that or attempted to open dialogue, no, it was a full-frontal assault from the same cast of characters that do the exact same to anyone on here that dares to criticise the German. I allowed the comments to go up so I could then see who it was, the terms they used, the rules they broke and their overall conduct. Then I deleted the offending comments. The appalling behaviour was all one-sided and truth be told, those that posted those comments that have been deleted should be ashamed of themselves. Anyway, I look forward to a cleaner, friendlier comments section, the silent majority deserve a safe place to comment without feat of being bullied because that is what it is plain and simple.

          1. How on gods earth can you say it was all one sided? Are you mad. Go back and read the Topic Headline what you wrote and tell me you honestly felt those comments were justified. Your now looking to blame anyone but yourself for the embarrassment of THAT article. You knew when writing it the response you were going to get. And got it you did. It was totally unnecessary to go that far and totally naive of you if you didn’t believe the reactions you got were not justified.
            I also find it strange that you seem to have appointed yourself the town sheriff believing your going to run all the bad boys out of town. The way your going PAL i would have thought it’s you who needs to be looking over your shoulder, because irreplaceable you most certainly ain’t.

          2. Well I’m not on Twitter… but Martin on here we’re all genuine Arsenal fans as you very well know. So can you see why some people were pretty p****d off last week?
            Well, hopefully this is an end to it, a friendlier site & people thinking before they post is all I ask for 😀

        2. Your do right Sue. That article last week was in my opinion totally premeditated. AdMartin knew he would get the responses he did and he was totally up for the ruck that followed. Even posters with zero time for Ozil as a player, and there are plenty of them, came out against AdMartin for his personal abuse of a fine a decent human being. He’s even carried it on today. He is too obsessed with attacking the Ozil the player to give any praise or recognition to Ozil the man for the millions of pounds he has personally paid out to countless charities and good causes across the globe.
          Deleted the unnecessary insult, please abide by the rules.

      2. So it’s ok for you though is it not? You cannot live with the simple fact that some have opinions other than your own. You pulled comments last week that differed from yours. That’s embarrassing PAL. You said mine were pulled because of obscene language. I challenge you to note what these comments supposedly were as I was very carefully not to post anything that would be disrespectful to anyone. Other than you that is for acting in such a childish way that has become so typical of you. And as for complaints, just how many have been served up on you PAL? Quite a few I would guess.
        You are never objective where Ozil is concerned, but that could well be to the fact that your replies are decreasing whenever Ozil is not the topic of conversation. Which is revenue to this site. Sort of says it all.
        You basically called me a liar PAL, because I used the word ALL. Anybody with an objective mind would read that Official Club Statement as including every single player. Which means ALL. To everyone except you of course

        1. Well, not really just me is it now Phil, I mean, Ozil has been hammered mercilessly by almost every pundit and journalist but hey ho, it is just me. I called you a liar not because of the word all but other false comments you made. I never pull comments that differ from mine, I pull comments that break the rules. You know what they are, you neem on here long enough, start abiding by them and you will have free reign to express your opinion like anyone else. Finally, regards Ozil, I now know that you will refuse to accept what has been widely reported including by Ornstein, so what is the point of debating it with you any longer. Your actual stance is that Ozil has agreed the pay cut, even other Ozil supporters accept that he has refused, why you want to stand alone on this I do not know.

          1. So that’s it then. Ornstein says it do it must be true. I would sooner take on board and believe the Official Clubs Statement than a journalist, and so will the vast majority. Except you of course.
            And I’m still waiting to be told of the false comments PAL. It was YOU that pulled many other replies not just mine. Are they all false? Or was it the fact that the opinions simply differed from yours?

            1. See, you can post without insults and still have a dig at me. Not just Ornstein but every other pundit that has attacked or defended him, every media outlet and so on and of course, no denial from the club or player and with the mouth on his agent you can take it to the bank there would have been a denial. But you believe what you want Phil. I am not going to continue debating last weeks article with you Phil, I made a couple of comments only, that was it, I simply never got involved, all I did was put up an honest article, nothing more nothing less. As for false statements, where to start but your characterisation of last week for starters but I have now covered that, I trust we can now move on.

          2. I am just waking from inertia.
            Yeah this guy, Ozil. Is he a criminal, why are all journalists after him?

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