Is Ozil and Arsenal simply a marriage of convenience?

OZIL & ARSENAL – a marriage of convenience? by Funsho

It was towards the end of the 13/14 season’s Summer transfer window that news of Ozil’s likely signing by Arsenal started filtering through in the tabloids. As it occurred, the then 24-year-old world class pass master and king of the final pass (crowned by the special one himself-Jose Mourinho), chose to sign for Arsenal. I remember with nostalgia the scenes at the Emirates on SkySports Deadline Day Show, and the warm, fuzzy feeling this marquee signing brought. Gooners throughout the world spoke about the new signing with much gusto and pride.

He registered his first assist on his debut, scored his first vs Napoli in the champions league (when last did the competition’s theme tune play at the Emirates? Sighs!), and with that season culminating in the end of the club’s 512-game trophy drought, the new signing made a good impression in his debut season. He was a big part of the FA cup run and while he was arguably not the main spearhead (maybe Ramsey? maybe Santi?), buoyed by his signing with belief and a spring in their steps, the whole squad may have been covertly spurred to such trophy-winning heights.

Then came the 15/16 season in which he registered 19 assists in the EPL (a figure that would have been higher had the finishing been better), a couple of cup wins followed with Arsenal almost always flattering to deceive in the bigger competitions (EPL and CL), leading the club’s most prized assets (along with Alexis Sanchez) to doubt the feasibility of Arsenal competing with Europe’s elite and the ambition of the club’s powers that be. But, fast forward to Jan 2018 in a tale of two destinies (Sanchez left), the dilemma of keeping him at the club beyond that Summer was cleared when he signed a new deal until 2021. As you would have already decoded, this article is about the enigma-Mesut Ozil, but we have a long way to go in unpacking his relationship with Arsenal in this discussion; so, shall we?

First, a disclaimer that my motive here is neither to castigate Mesut nor is it to ramble on about his high take-home pay. Also, even though I may not be his biggest fan, I’m not a party to him being called names like “thief”, “fraud”, etc.; but I opine that Ozil and his agent – Dr. Erkut Sogut, are the “PR kings” of football, proficient at the “playing-the-victim//them-against-us” game. This agent speaks to the press every transfer window about Ozil’s desire to stay at Arsenal despite his many struggles. He may likely have a hand in some of his client’s most cryptic tweets, and while advising his client to hold off signing a new deal (and rightly so, who wouldn’t want a better pay cheque!) in the saga leading up to 2018, the unreal PR to the fans about his love for the club was steady. Okay, before you start criticising this writer, would you kindly read along and let’s think some things through. . .please?

To start with, think about the effect his meticulously-timed cryptic tweets had on Emery, was it too much of Unai to ask for more commitment and application from players to be in his team/matchday squad as the case may be? With the media questioning about Ozil after every bad result under Emery, I imagine how much pressure his “I AM READY” tweet the day before would have created for Arteta on July 15th had Liverpool won that league game. Well timed long ball, isn’t it? Thankfully, it was not to be, as Arsenal dispatched the champions 2-1 on the day.

Furthermore, while I’m against the witch-hunt by the club to freeze him out, how much glory does the German cover himself in whenever he plays? Granted he was decent recently when Arteta played him, but would you say he’s as indispensable as a De Bruyne at City, Henderson (err; Fabinho) at Liverpool or Bruno at United? Oh, I see you citing the club’s EPL chance creation stats (which Ozil led for 19/20 season by the way; kudos for that considering how little game time he had), but did they still not find a way to win a trophy in the face of such meagre goal-scoring opportunities after the team’s best creator was dropped?

Though it’s obvious there’s an undertone of hierarchical victimisation in the fate Ozil has suffered for a while now, isn’t it believable that he’s been dropped for “footballing reasons” like Mikel Arteta always says? We have to wait and see though, now that Raul Sanllehi (probably the greatest proponent of Ozil’s victimisation) has left the club, if his playing-time fortunes will improve or vapourize altogether.

Many thought-provoking questions already, eh? It should be noted that Ozil is at a loss with most Gooners because of his easy-going style, but that’s not to say he doesn’t try. Ever since criticism of his “lacklustre” demeanour began, he’s posted good returns for distance covered, sprints in a game, pass completion, accurate long balls, chance creation, among others. Being a very intelligent player, he’s good in tight spaces, in switching play, in dead ball situations and in the well-documented final balls for chance creation; but are these returns commensurate with expectations? I mean, does his actual output match up with the expected output based on his talents? Notice I didn’t say “based on his income”? That’s because I am of the opinion that the figure on his cheque when payday comes should not be the yardstick by which he’s judged, but by what he’s capable of doing on the pitch in relation to his innate ability; and most will probably agree he’s immensely blessed with talent for the beautiful game.

In the final analysis, there are several things we are not privy to, like the details of his lack of mins post lockdown, his motive for doing the recent David Ornstein interview, his actual rationale for joining Arsenal, whether he really loves this club or not, and his declared goal of either fighting for his place in Arteta’s team and actually playing football – or if there’s an undertone of just engaging in a power tussle with the Arsenal board for the remainder of his contract while he keeps getting paid by virtue of being legally contracted to the club.

However, some things are there for all to see: expectations at Arsenal are arguably not as high as they are at Real Madrid; fans at the Santiago Bernabeu are arguably more demanding than those at the Emirates; Ozil was in a more competitive team in Spain before he elected to move to England; and the mental strength to keep going at such a high level would not have been so easy to consistently muster.

So, was choosing Arsenal an easier option at the time? PERHAPS SO. Did Mesut genuinely believe this club offered a better opportunity to win the biggest titles, make history and achieve his career objectives? MAYBE NOT. Is it then safe to say #YaGunnersYa and other social media show of love between Mesut and his “bride” (the Arsenal) is just a marriage of convenience for the player? I’LL LEAVE THAT UP TO YOU TO DECIDE. But hopefully, an agreement that will BENEFIT both club and player can be reached this Summer.

Really appreciate you taking the time to read!



  1. Since he is not ready to leave arsenal until his contract expires, the only choice for arsenal is to use him so that the club won’t loose totally but using him will have limit bcos he only has a year left, I am 100% sure arsenal won’t offer him new contract of such high pay. Meanwhile, you can’t write about Ozil without mentioning his high wages that doesn’t measure up with the fans expectations because that is the main issue.

    1. I don’t know about the marriage of Arsenal and Mezut Ozil, but the divorce is proving depressingly messy.
      Funsho, you have made some very pertinent points about the malign influence of Ozil’s manager Dr Erkud Sogut to paint his client as the victim at Real Madrid, the German National Team and Arsenal. One day the player himself will have take a good hard look and take some responsibility. Mark 8:36

  2. The decision to freeze out Ozil is a surprise to some of us. The reason cannot be football reason. From when Arteta came, he became a regular. He started all the games. Then the lock down. The Arsenal management should tell us why. I support Ozil’s stance

  3. Blah blah blah, there’s nothing about Ozil that we’ve not taoked about like a thousand times..Next!!!

    1. People need to stop clicking and commenting on Ozil’s articles,that’the only way to stop them,I have now and this will be my last comment on the subject!

      1. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!
        Most of the Ozil articles are from Guest Writer’s who want to give their own opinion on the subject, and actually the one we are commenting on right now was a very interesting read from a different perspective. Are you saying we should BAN Ozil articles because you don’t want to read them any more???

        1. No ,I meant people who complain about articles about Ozil if they have enough,they should stop read or comment on them!

  4. An interesting read to be honest
    Though i dont agree with some of the things,this was good.
    And i know some of “them” always say that sanchez made ozil look better but guess what sanchez couldnt even get into the man utd team,so who made whom better or did they both contributed to being better,will let u decide?
    And let me also point out a different thing if its footballing reasons that ozil is not playing then why did he play 10 games in a row.

    And this 343 structure could well be exposed by a team sitting deep or in other words those who park the bus.I think MA went this because he had no other options

  5. : which he registered 19 assists in the EPL (a figure that would have been higher had the finishing been better” .Well quite an admission on your part. And why do you say the finishing was not better? Was it because Sanchez was replaced with Iobi and Welbeck took center stage in the offense? It is not a small matter when 2 or 3 well served assists per game are wasted because of the lack of talent while the defense is gifting goals left and right.

    “Granted he was decent recently when Arteta played him, but would you say he’s as indispensable as a De Bruyne at City, Henderson (err; Fabinho) at Liverpool or Bruno at United?
    There is no doubt if you replaced any of those players with Ozil he would have performed as well because of the system, continuity and quality of players around him.
    Your beef with Ozil is his salary even when you say it is not. Your logic behind it that his output should equate to his salary. On the other hand you contradict yourself by mentioning De Bruyne at City and Bruno at United who won a big nothing. Maybe because Football is a team sport and players salary is just a small part of it.
    Stop torturing yourself by guessing what’s in Ozil’s mind and pocket and pay more attention to the man’s football. You could be surprised.

    1. lcw, if Ozil was still a “professional” footballer, clubs throughout Europe and the MLS would be putting proposals to Arsenal for loans, with Arsenal subsidising his wages, at least without considering options to buy. No one wants him apparently.

      1. And how do you know that other clubs are noy putting proposals ? And if we suppose they are not, maybe they are too busy putting in proposals for Abumayang, Lacazette, Luiz, Peppe etc… We all know Arsenal has a surplus of talent every other club wants. NOT .

        1. lcw, let’s be honest, if Arsenal got a reasonable proposal about a loan deal for Ozil he would be gone, provided Ozil (like Sanchez) wanted to play football.

          1. lcw, question again does Ozil want to be a “professional” footballer and play or sit out his contract?

  6. Clearly a writer of substance and I found the article deliberately balanced and honest from the writers own point of view. I do not see OZILas anything other than a massive “inconvenience” and I would never use such a mild word as that as my REAL choice of language. If we assume that it is even a “marriage” at all it is one heading for the divorce courts and the decree nisi will be on the precise day his contract expires.
    After that date, the name of OZIL will only ever be used by almost all Gooners in contempt and scorn and as a lesson to be learned and NEVER repeated again.

    1. @Jon Fox,what do you think of Joe Hart to spurs?he is 33 years old,signed as a third choice GK and not so long ago on football focus,he said that all he wanted was to play week in, week out and would be ready to go abroad, doesn’t make sense to me?

      1. Siamois, Firstly I am flattered that you may even think I have any opinion on who Spuds sign. All I can sensibly say is that for Hart it is a huge and unusual regession in the middle of his career, as to the way that he has lost his form , in general, from his former position as Englands No 1. Players have also had to reduce their financial ambition. I believe that Covid is the real reason why Auba is about to extend with us. Otherwise, I think he would have gone elsewhere.

        As to why go to Spuds though, I put it down to the major financial rethinking at all clubs since Covid arrived. I doubt he would have been on their radar at all without Covid. What do YOU think though?

        1. Thanks!to be honest I couldn’t care about spurs,I was just interested in your opinion from the point of view of Hart(player and family man),because our fans talk about our players over 30 years old especially one and their contractual situations,saying if they were proper professionals,still in love with the game that playing week in week out should be their priority since they are already multimillionaires but once again here we have another player former man City GK and England number 1 GK who by signing as a 3rd GK shows that personal, family,financial reasons were behind his move and that those situations are more prevalent than people think and that there are reasons why older players decide to stay put,run out their contracts…even they are not playing and like it or not, right or wrong,there is not much we the fans and clubs can do about it no?

  7. Ozziegunner,I wanted to thank you,because of you recommended articles on other sites the day of Raul’s sacking,I have rediscovered some good sites like Le Grove,Arseblog ,.the Athletic….I don’t think that I am the only one, these sites made a killing that day and have earned a lot of new readers,by the way they have very good articles,very informative,truth being told JA missed the boat on the Raul situation and bombarding us with hourly articles didn’t work,even people running JA would admit to it!,I also realized that even though we argue disagree…it is the regulars that makes this site and the reason I keep coming back to JA!👍

      1. You did miss the boat admin!there was no articles about it on the day,are you going to deny that?other Arsenal sites had it covered and in details,even the day before Le Grove had an article by Pedro”something is rumbling in the corridors …”don’t worry I get it,you report news and don’t investigate them,no big deal!

      2. By the way admin PatI read all the articles on JA that you mentioned,may be I didn’t express myself properly,the point I was trying to make was about the timing,the day itself, that’s all!no need to get upset or worked up about it.

          1. @Dan Kit,I am going to have to check and again I could be wrong but that day I kept coming on the site and didn’t see any articles on Raul’s sacking.

        1. Siamois. Total agreement about the tardy timing on JA, compared to other sites. Pat knows that very well but simply cannot bring himself to admit it, PUBLICLY!

          I always respect total truth(from the point of view of whoever is saying it) , irrespective of whether or not I agree with them. Truth should always be paramount with no dissembling. But we humans are fallible ; all of us. I say my piece at the time and then move on and I never hold grudges, which is childish and always most hurts the grudgeholder. As with football, so with life generally.

          I always try -though of course often fail – to live by my important principles. It is why I am plain speaking and never wishy washy when giving what I see as MY truth.

          Some, unfortunately, do not welcome plain speaking and prefer half truths or “sit on the fence” language. It is why so many politicians are rightly despised by most folk. THAT IS NOT THE WAY TO BE; always say what you mean and mean what you say, is my motto. I do not mean to preach though, if it comes over that way.

          1. It is a good motto Jon,but it could get you (or anyone else who speaks the truth in trouble which I’m sure it already has!I😁 I guess it comes down to choosing you battles by that I mean sometimes having to keep quiet/not telling the truth!

          2. In reply to Siamois and Ad Pat. Yes I do get into trouble as I will insist on always speaking thr truth, as I perceive it. And to Pat, you are right. I do not like rap. I MUCH PREFER MUSIC! I DID TRY LISTENING TO THOSE LYRICS BUT COULD NOT EVEN DECPHER THEM AS HE DOES NOT SPEAK CLEARLY. Something of a relief probably. I used to sing opera professionally, so it is hardly surprising that I do not appreciate rap.

    1. Siamois, I reported the sacking of Sanheili on justarsenal and gave my opinion on the reasons behind it, as soon as I knew. As you are aware I have been raising for some time that financial input from Kroenke wasn’t the major problem at Arsenal FC, but the lack of oversight by KS&E of the Board and senior executive as they mismanaged the player and financial assets of the Club.
      The appointment of Tim Lewis to the Board by KS&E to investigate financial and contract dealings and the sacking of Raul Sanheili shows that Kroenke was prepared to intervene and be ruthless.
      Thank you for your response. There is nothing wrong with people holding different opinions provided mutual respect is maintained. The world would be a dull place if we all thought the same about matters which are subjective, like admiring a particular footballer or not. We must always remember Voltaire.
      However, I do have a problem with people who are ignorant of the history of this great Club and state nonsense.

      1. By the way, in support of your observation, that was the first mention of it on JA, if you check my postings

        1. I can confirm that ozziegunner, becuase that was what made me go on to the other sites to check your statement.

          Have to say though, this is the very first time I can recall JA being late with the news – I think it was Jon Fox who asked the question within another article as to why it wasn’t being covered?

          Ah well! as with everything in life, we can’t be right all of the time.

          What an excellent article this one is – very thought provoking, no name calling, well written and able to be discussed in the right spirit of JA’s original concept.
          Found myself agreeing with nearly all of the content, but not some of the replies, which once again focused on the salary aspect…looking forward to more from the author.

          1. Declan, fair play; the appointment of Tim Lewis, to the Board by Kroenke was an indicator something was up on 1 July 2020.
            I don’t see any “blame” towards JA, because so much is going on, rumours flying around and a lot to filter. We depend on each other for info and I don’t like going in “half baked”. 😄

  8. A good read. Loved it. I remain a fan of Mesut. I can’t wait for the season to begin. Our loss if he is not included in any match day squad. Shame that we still have many fans thinking he is not right for Arsenal FC when actually what they only envy about him is his pay check. Leave that out, Ozil has never being the worst player in any game we had lost in the past. It would be his fault if we lost a game even he had not played. Fans need to search their souls and ask the question when will it never going to be Ozil’s fault? We need to give him the support he needs to thrive and not be like a father that only condemns but never rewards a deed. Ozil is going no where and I want to see who his going to leave him on the bench a whole year without kicking a leather. I hope we all want the same thing. Thank Funsho for the enlightenment.

  9. Arsene Wenger has left FIFA and is apparently an applicant to manage the Dutch National Team.

  10. Arsene Wenger leaving Fifa if he did might not be unconnected with the ongoing court case charges which are leveled against Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president to defend himself against the charges that are criminal in nature. For, Wenger may not want his name to be rubbish, messed up dragged in the case or got entangled in the serious court case charges that have engulfed Infantino to face and defend himself against the charges..

    In Ozil having a marriage of convenience with Arsenal, but right now in my thinking I don’t think this marriage at all if it was convenient to both parties before now is still looking to be the case right now, as Arsenal, the husband to Ozil, who after having realised that Ozil his wife has for some times now been cheating on him in their marriage of convenience that was so convenient to both of them in the beginning. But Arsenal the husband of Ozil his wife has decided he can no longer put up with her constantly cheating on him for more than 3 years running that have left him in suffering and making him a laughing stock to his rival opponent men. And therefore, as a result of this nonstop cheating habit of his wife on him has consequently decided to file for a divorce or separation against his wife Ozil. Which entails the marriage of convenience that is between themselves be dissolved this summer with immediate effect. But Ozil getting fully paid of her alimony money by her husband, Arsenal Or alternatively, Ozil leaves her husband’s house to to go elsewhere to be leaving separately i.e. (go out on a season long loan) pending when her marriage of convenience with er husband, Arsenal will permanently be dissolved next summer. But when leaving separately on her own, her husband willi be supporting her financially with some money in her finances in addition to the money she will collecting on her own efforts making while she is leaving on her own separately away from her husband, Arsenal.

    But all these overtures as good made by Arsenal to his wife Ozil as good as they look were turned down outrightly by her as she vowed to continue leaving in her husband’s house, Arsenal FC until their marriage of convenience is permanently dissolved next summer. For, Ozil has weigh in the 2 options of to divorce her husband this summer and be paid her alimony money against to leave his house this summer too, but anyway could be getting her finances subsidized with financial support by her husband if what she will be earning while leaving away from him to leave on her own falls short of the £350k per week upkeep allowance that he usually gives her. But not minding if her husband. Arsenal continue to be hurt as she has gravely hurt him by her challant attitude and cheating habit to the point of no more accommodation in his heart to overlook her cheating spree to him, but allow her to continuing staying with him despite all her failings before him. But Ozil her inconsiderate manner has made a vow not to stop leaving in her husband’s house this summer until they get divorced next summer. Even if he doesn’t talk to her anymore in the house or outside of it she will care nor bother herself over his boycotting her attitude as long as he continue to give her her upkeep weekly allowance £350k that he has vowed and signed to be giving her and legally bid by it when they got married at the marriage registry. Hmmm. It looks this marriage of convenience that was contracted in 2013 between Arsenal, the husband and his wife, Ozil is looking no longer convenient for both parties to remain leaving together. And therefore, Arsenal who for a longtime now has stopped deriving any benefits from his wife Ozil in their marriage oda convenience to the point of the duo partners no longer see themselves eye to eye in the house anymore should seek for a legal redress in competent authority body of law to hear his divorce case against his wife, Ozil with immediately effect to get the marriage of convenience between himself and his wife Ozil dissolved immediately this summer. I so advise Arsenal.

    Notwithstanding, how come it is being believed in some Gooners’ quarters that Raul Sanllehi, the erstwhile Arsenal head of football relation was sacked by Arsenal because of Ozil gotten banned from playing for the club after Covid 19 lockdown was lifted to allow the remaining of what left of this season’s campaign to continue? But us Gooners have read it that it was a financial investigation panel headed by one Tim Lewis tasked with a job to investigate Arsenal financial spending particular in regard to the signing of Nicholas Pepe by Arsenal at a whooping over cost transfer fee of £72m last summer transfer window under the watch of Sanllehi supervision that found him wanting and indicted him of miss applying the club’s money on incoming transfers at exorbitant payments, and consequently recommended his sacking.

  11. I don’t think Ozil is doing his career a lot of good and you cannot blame people for thinking he is just happy to sit and take the money,it was wrong to agree to this rediculous contract in the first place,he needs to move on for the sake of Arsenal and his career ,he is not playing and i do not see him playing for us again,what good is that doing,him,a lot of clubs will not want to touch him with an attitude like he has,I believe we are stuck with him.

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