Ozil’s Last Dance? by AI
When news that Arsenal had signed Ozil broke in the summer of 2014, it sent the fanbase into a reverie not seen since Sol Campbell appeared with Arsene Wenger at a press conference with a mischievous smile, and for good reason. Mesut Ozil was the world’s premier playmaker, clocking an astounding 80 assists in three seasons at Real Madrid. Arsenal had signed one of the most talented professionals in the world and that was enough to send a success-starved fanbase into heaven.
77 assists, three FA cups, and 350,000 euros a week later, Ozil is on the fringes of the squad, ignored by two consecutive managerial appointments. Has it been worth it?
Yes, all things considered. Ozil led Arsenal’s strongest push for the title in years. Ozil made Arsenal competitive again. Ozil gave us moments worth their weight in gold. Who can forget the goal against Ludogorets? A thing of such kinetic beauty it’s a wonder why it is not yet a United Nations heritage moment. Ozil was a star in his prime playing for The Arsenal and other stars came in his wake. Imagine if we did not have Ozil in the late Wenger years, how less of a side we would have been.
Now it is his last season. Unless he takes an unprecedented paycut, Ozil will leave England. He has repeated it again and again: he is available to play if the coach chooses him. Why, then, is Ozil constantly out of the squad? Perhaps all the rumours about the clauses in his contract if he plays or is an unused substitute explain it. One thing is clear, Arsenal pay less when Ozil does not play. But how does it make sense, when you agreed to pay so much and suddenly realize you might have agreed to too much.
When Mikel Arteta came in, he promised each and every player a new slate. Ozil came back in and performed well. And then he was out again. Maybe the suits in the upper offices had informed Arteta that the mercurial 10 couldn’t continue playing. Maybe Ozil suddenly stopped training well, or maybe the club has agreed across the board that Ozil’s performances, while still potentially good, was just not worth all the money he would be paid. And you wonder why Ozil refused to take a further cut to his wages.
Arteta has recently been upgraded to the status of manager which means he gets more power in the decisions taken up there. Maybe that will represent a new break for Ozil, whose time at Arsenal will now be defined by all these maybes.
If Ozil gets his break, then this season represents Ozil’s last dance in England. Arsenal currently suffer from a dire lack of creativity and Ozil being reintegrated back into the squad can serve as an internal answer to that.
He has shown several times in his career that he can put in the work and graft to play for Mourinho and Arteta amonst others. We all know that a renaissamce is not beyond the possible and that there’s nothing better than a curtain closer.
If the droopy German can help Arsenal qualify for the Champions League, he can leave with a good legacy and Ozil would have been definitely worth it.