If you visit the many Arsenal forums, blogs, websites, YouTube channels etc you cannot fail to notice that Mesut Ozil is not popular and that the general consensus is that he should be sold.
I will say straight up, right at the start, that I am one of those that feel he should indeed be sold, that his attitude stinks and that he is a total waste of space who is no better than a Championship player for what he contributes.
But, anyone reading the comments on here will have seen that there are some defenders of Ozil and believe that he is being made a scapegoat for the whole team, that his wages are distorting the facts and that he remains our best player.
Now, I do disagree with that viewpoint but his supporters are entitled to their view, they are Arsenal fans like the rest of us and their opinions are just as valid.
In fact, some of them do make strong arguments which fuels debate and is worth listening to.
So, what are their arguments about Ozil?
I should say that because I am not one of his defenders that I am not able to articulate in the same manner as his defenders but I will try my best.
Mesut Ozil wages are not an issue.
The argument goes that even though he earns £350k a week he is, in fact, the highest generator of money out of all the players and we actually covered that here.
He is held more culpable than any other player when Arsenal lose
His defenders believe that when the defence plays poorly somehow Ozil is blamed just as much, certainly more so than any other attacking player, a viewpoint expressed here.
That his wages are always used when Arsenal play bad
It is true that his wages are mentioned a hell of a lot and that no other Arsenal players salary is mentioned when they play bad, no one says £180k per week Aubameyang missed a penalty that cost us three points. This one you can check on Google yourself.
Unai Emery does not pick teams to Ozil’s strength
The argument is that if Arsenal played to Ozil’s strengths that the team and the player would perform much better as articulated here by former Gunner Jeremie Aliadiere
Ozil is not surrounded by world-class players and his game drops because of this
When he was at Real Madrid he was surrounded by genuine world-class talent and the argument is that it is no coincidence that he played very well then but now he is surrounded by lesser talented players that his game is affected. This is covered beautifully in an article we published in 2017 and some will argue is as true today as it was then.
That he is not lazy
His supporters claim he is not lazy and that the way he plays and carries himself is just his style, that he has always played like that but only now does it seem to be an issue, which Nacho Monreal also mentioned here.
There is a lot more but I think you get the general gist of what is being said in defence of Ozil.
I am not going to take on each of these points, I will leave them there for others to debate and even for his supporters to elaborate on.
All I am trying to do here is say that there are two points of view and that not everyone thinks Ozil is a waste of space and should be sold, that some do feel he is harshly treated and could yet be a huge asset for us.
I suggest that you read this from the Independent, its headline says it all, “Mesut Ozil’s biggest crime at Arsenal isn’t the player he is but the one he isn’t” and it is a very good read that dismantles some of the criticism aimed at Ozil.
You may also want to read this great piece in defence of Ozil and how Arsenal are worse off without him.