Mesut Ozil has been playing amongst the best players in the world for most of his playing career, but has become entangled in off-the-pitch issues on too many occasions and is singling himself out as a victim (again).
The midfielder was thrust into the spotlight as a 17 year-old when making his debut for Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, and was labelled the ‘next big thing’ to come out of Germany.
Much to his club’s surprise however, 18 months into his senior career, Ozil declined an offer to extend his contract with the club who gave him his big break, and in January 2008, quit the club to join Werder Bremen.
The playmaker’s rise to fame took an upturn following his move, and not before long he found himself thrust into the German first-team, and after an amazing World Cup campaign in 2010, found himself being headhunted by Real Madrid.
Despite being a hit in Spain, Ozil only collected one cup success and one league title from his time with Real in his three year spell, before becoming the most expensive German player at the time when sealing a move to Arsenal.
I don’t think I need to tell you that he was initially a fans favourite in North London either, eventually forming a formidable partnership with Alexis Sanchez, but that ended with both holding the club to ransom with only six months left on their contracts, with the Chilean forcing a move to United, while Ozil landed himself a monster contract.
From this point onwards, things have gradually been on a downward spiral, and with a monster wage being pocketed and very little return on show for fans, you can excuse the critics for demanding more.
With fans growing frustrated with his performances, and with manager’s refusing to acknowledge him as the key player that his wage intimates, the spotlight was always going to be on him, but now believes he is being wrongly targeted.
Ozil’s comments told to the Athletic today claim that people inside the club are unfairly trying to ‘destroy‘, whilst admitting that he refused a paycut during the Coronavirus pandemic, and is turning himself into some sort of victim.
I struggle to believe that those fans who are not devoted to him (or which I know there are many), are now going to pity Mesut for being singled out when he admits that he did refuse to take a decrease in wages from his £350,000 per week income, despite the losses that the club was making.
This isn’t the first time that Ozil has tried to label himself a victim either. He previously stood down from the international team whilst citing racism claims, as reported by the Guardian. I’ve never thought to question his comments previously, but we’ve all read about the boy who cried wolf.
Is Mesut overly sensitive to criticism? Is the stance on his earnings and return unjust? Will his latest comments actually aid his cause or hinder it further?