Mesut Ozil – The man, the myth, the victim?

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?


Tags Mesut Ozil


  1. I clearly don’t give a damn about him playing or not playing but your statement
    “Is Mesut overly sensitive to criticism?”

    Is He? You and I know what gets thrown at him is beyond criticism.
    When you including every other single fan seems to be obsessed about him and people attack him every minute of every single day.
    I stopped being a fan of his but You call that criticism?
    I mean yeah,he’s declined. I criticize him and already made my conclusion only based on his performances and fact that he’s declined, but how many of you can say the same?
    Fans either bring him up in articles regarding other players or topics, obsess over his wage like he should’ve turned down the huge pay rise in the first place. What Arsenal fans say about Ozil is way beyond criticism. Don’t play that card here, you and I know it’s above criticism. It’s an obsession, is it a vendetta? Some have it in their head, perhaps an agenda?
    The man hardly speaks to the media, but he did this time around and you question if he’s being too sensitive.
    Humans, what you guys want is to constantly kick someone, abuse and throw all sorts of words and let the person keep quiet without fighting back.
    All in all, I want a better player at my club, the club needs to move out a lot of people

    1. He invites criticism – his playing style doesn’t scream “I care” and he’s been unable to influence big games. That will always get criticism – players like mustafi, eboue and senderos received far worse criticism from that perspective (at least it’s universally accepted that Ozil has the talent of a top player) and while it affected them more or less, they were humble enough to understand that it’s part of playing at that level.
      On the contract, I don’t think many people seriously criticise Ozil for signing it, more so the club for offering it – biggest mistake they ever made – the issue is that he doesn’t show any real desire to honour it in the sense of trying to show that he is the best player in the side.
      I think everybody knows that if Ozil put together a run of form where he was seriously influencing games, the criticism would turn to praise very quickly – there is no agenda from that side.
      At this point it’s clear that he’s not making a big difference in games and he just wants to play the victim and make excuses. He’s behaving arrogantly in my view, and it would be best for everyone if he’d find somewhere else to play. Won’t happen because no one else will pay him what he thinks he’s worth, though (again, arsenal’s mistake).

      1. Has that not been his playing style right from the beginning? Did Arsenal not know that that is how he plays? Precisely why I’ve never been his fan from day 1. Is that not the way he was playing pre-lockdown under Arteta?

        The club suddenly playing the victim card is ridiculous. The club should just accept it’s a “failed” deal and move on. If I am Ozil, I’ll see out every minute of the contract. Dude sacrificed the German national team, so you should know he’s strong willed (though he looks soft).

      2. ” his playing style doesn’t scream “I care” and he’s been unable to influence big games.” It could be because he was surrounded by below average players at best from a CB who gifts the opponents 5 penalties to a LB who gives the ball to the opposition more than his team mates to a N0 9 who does not score for 10 months to a coach in Emery who took the club 5 years back. Rnaldo, Messi and Neymar together can’t influence big games.

      3. I completely agree with you. They said Ozils body language doesn’t show that he cares or he is giving his all but really he does and he is. I find this very hard to believe because his actions shows he just isn’t up for giving his all. Take a look at Monreal at some point I walked out of matches he was named in. He completely shut me up with his performance. Mustafi is another one, he has turned everything around. The truth is fans can criticize you and even insult you today and turn around to praise and chant your name. Once you play well or even give your all fans will praise you. If you fail to perform or even don’t act like you care there will criticize you. It’s as simple as that. It has happened countless time and to many players at arsenal. Xhaka, Monreal, Mustafi, Ramsey just to mention a few

  2. Some facts about Ozil:

    – Talented
    – Was one of Germany’s first team players when they won World Cup. He has also won three FA Cups with Giroud, Walcott, Cazorla and Ramsey
    – Made the highest distance covered and chances created stats at Arsenal, before he was excluded from Emery’s and Arteta’s teams
    – Virgil Van Dijk has made more goal contributions than Ozil, since Ozil signed his mega contract extension in 2018
    – Prefers to shadow the opponents rather than making hard physical contacts
    – Rarely wants to race with the opponents
    – Give a lot of money for charity, like other wealthy men such as Stan Kroenke and Cristiano Ronaldo
    – Likes to declare himself as a victim in interviews
    – Made some political comments about some issues, especially the ones that are related to his identity groups

    He seems like a nice person off the field. But in my opinion, he is now a waste of space on the field

  3. Hardly speaks to the media? He has one of the best PR organisations on the planet and his social media sites have 3 times the hits of Arsenal FC.
    So much for letting your football do the talking.

    1. Even on this site, Ozil articles have 3 times more comments that that of any player…even much more than match days. That has nothing to do with the man himself but with all those obsessed about taunting him.

          1. One thing is clear, our club has issues and rubs it on Ozil. Ozil is not perfect and very few people can come out to say ” i have not done well” and Ozil is not one of them. No matter how innocent Ozil is, I think it is time for him to go. He is not as cool as he looks, he looks like a slick politician to me. our board is messed up and enough of this Ozil’s saga

  4. You are just telling about the part of his speech which is convenient for you. U call ur self a reporter! Shame on you.
    It seems ur r too inclined to highlight the fact that fact he refused a paycut. But not telling about the facts the board didn’t give any details about where the money is going and other player also refused too. Now we see 55 lost jobs

    1. They can also do well to tell us who the other players are who also refused the pay cut. Wouldn’t surprise if at least one could be our “favorite” players.

      1. Maxis, I have listed the rumoured other two on another post. They are easily obtainable if you search.

  5. Hypocritical article.

    You say he refused the paycut while the club is making losses but you have chosen to ignore his explanation for doing so.

  6. Enough is enough with Ozil articles.Who cares about this lazy guy anymore?He’s finished as a player.Let’s just ignore “ the man,the myth,the legend”.It’s already toxic.

      1. Cut & paste ad infinitum and if Ozil doesn’t win Arteta’s trust and does his talking on the pitch, I certainly won’t change my opinion. ✂️

  7. When we signed ozil, I gave my self the name ozil hence my name is Uzi ozil here. I have been a huge fan. Followed him from world cup 2010 where he was awesome. Then with schalke, Werder Bremen, Real Madrid so I was delighted the player i loved came to arsenal..

    Honestly, right now I am tired of this whole ozil saga and can’t wait for all of this to be all over. Yes, off the pitch he seem to be a nice lad but for me, his playing days with arsenal is over. I doubt he care less about football anymore and probably lack that extra motivation. For a player earning such amount, he should be fighting for the team and his shirt. Yes, I know Ozil is the quiet type but even the most quiet players find a way to make a mark in the team…. Started off his career at arsenal decently but sad that its not gonna end well..

    Maybe, I may have to change my name from uzi ozil to uzi Tierney 😄

  8. You are one of those who want to destroy him. Your article respects your wishes.
    In my opinion, you have to be objective and start by telling us the facts as they are and the facts are that he was a great player as long as the club was stable. The changes of coach, managers and lack of time of play have clearly affected the level of this player who despite everything this year yet he is the player who created the most scoring chances at Arsenal. Please try to explain to us why with Arteta he was the first on the scoresheet and that he miraculously disappeared after the restart! Explain why he is only his name that has escaped from those who refused the reduction of wages and explain why the managers did not give any explanation to the players on the money that They were going to take them and finally explain why the managers are hiring employees and why they are increasing the swages of other players and trying to recruit new players. The point is, you are all sick of Özil’s contract and his wages and the rest is rubbish. This guy is clear and consistent in what he says. You want me to go so let’s make a deal and that’s the LAW

    1. Alaoui, Ozil is doing a good job of trashing his own reputation and legacy at Arsenal without anyone’s help.

  9. Everything worth saying about Ozil has already been said. Everyone’s position on him is clear. We can’t discuss Ozil 24/7/365!

  10. Afine article Ptrick except for thre last paragraph where as ALWAYS, you ask questIons. You are in way insulting our fan intelligence by so doing, as most of us will write exactly what we wish, as all are entitled too, within the bounds of decency of course . Posing superfluous questions in EVERY article is tedious, vaguely insulting of our intelligence and pointless. Until this last usual questioning paragraph, your article pretty much hit the nail on the head. Drop the constant finishing questions, PLEASE!
    What this site would be well advised to do is to now drop this constant OZIL obsession though. A large majority of Gooners hold him in utter contempt and I personally have regarded him as the clubs enemy for some time now. He DOES, still have a few brainwashed diehards who would still not dislike him,even if he bombed Emirates Stadium but those daft minority apart, most of us have had more than our fill of reading about the clubs most disastrous signing in our entire history and long, LONG, for the blessed day this fraudster is kicked out on his conning a..e! He has already admitted he will continue leeching off us til the moment his contract expires. UGH!

    1. For a self professed intellectual and professional writer, why are your names in small letters? Just curious because I think there might be an intellectual reasoning behind it.

      I think your bombing example is more unnecessary than the article last paragraph.

      Mesut is not leeching anyone here in this forum. Its Arsenal who pay him not you. Don’t tell me its because you spend on the club because you are not the only one. Those who like him spend on the club too. Probably more than you.

      1. HH YOU DON’T LIKE ME AND I DON’T LIKE YOU. That is clear to us both. I regard your intellect as poor and your mind as a juvenile and bitter one. Now you know for sure and from the horses mouth so to speak. All that matters to ME about Ozil is that for at least the last four seasons he has been bone idle, lazy and interested only in himself and what he wants.

        He has zero interest in the club or the fans that have contributed to his luxury lifestyle. He is in fact a low life and an enemy of our club and I only hope you can emotionally survive the “dreadful” day when he finally leaves us next summer and you find yourself bereft and lonely, weeping for the loss of your “hero”, made even worse for you in the certain knowledge that MOST of your fellow Gooners will be toasting his leaving with champagne.

        1. I wouldn’t say that. I don’t go around disliking strangers on the internet. If I do that I will be very disappointed with myself. I have seen enough players come and go to have a dreadful day when one more leave. To a have a toast with champagne, that’s very pathetic.

          What about the name though?

    2. Whilst I accept that Ozil has declined dramatically in the last two years I do not accept your statement he is a fraudster. How can a man who has won 92 caps for Germany with 23 goals and 40 assist including winning the World Cup. Ozil is the only player in history to have been the season’s top assist provider in the Bundesliga, La Liga and the Premier League. Ozil has been named Germany’s Player of the Year fives times with the likes of Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng, Manuel Neuer and more have providing stiff competition in that time. A i player in decline, a player who can not adapt to the style of play required by Arteta yes.A fraudster NO.

      1. @PatH, don’t waste your energy on his accomplishments and Stats. Those that dislike him, don’t even pause to read it. Their focus is 100% blinded by his wages. They forget so soon, when we were labelled a “trophyless” club because of those barren years and how everything changed the very season he joined. I’m not even sure if Alexis would’ve agreed to join us if not for someone like Ozil already in the team.
        The same fans that wanted the club to extend his contract at all costs, have now turned against him.
        I strongly believe that all this is happening because Arsenal dropped out of the Top4 and lost the revenue from the UCL. Yes, that’s why so much focus is on the wage bill and Ozil’s wages.
        Let’s save ourselves some energy. He’s said he’s going nowhere. It’s up to the club to either use him or let him stay for another 11months earning free money….Simple

  11. Arsenal board agreed to make Ozil one of the highest paid player in the league but he ends up playing like a player who receives £100k or less a week, no employer or fans will be happy about situation like this.

  12. I think it is time to speak of the elephant in the room, people can criticise the player but attacking Ozil the person the way he has been and the length of time,I had a look at players like Bale who publicly mocked RM after winning the CL”Wales,golf RM”who refused to travel with the squad to play against man City, acting the clown in the stands while his team is playing and who earns more money,Sanchez’s career was going nowhere until Wenger rescued it who then dumped us for united none the less,Guendouzy posted a tweet of his holydays after we won the FA cup,no mention of the team,2others players refused pay cuts but weren’t named I could go on…on the other hand Ozil showed loyalty and stayed with us,never refused to play constantly showing support to his teammates on social media and the guy is getting abused non stop, oversensitive I still can’t believe it,I could be wrong but it smells of islamophobia to me

    1. I hope you are wrong on your last point Siamois. Xhaka and Mustafi are Muslim and I’m sure they only got stick because of their performances

      1. I hope too but sadly I have seen comments on other sites, luckily JA is properly monitored it has to be said!👍

  13. It’s not helpful to drone on about him
    There a two points of view and neither side will change their minds

    I keep repeating that my concern is over the integrity of Arteta. He is either a yes man or puppet OR a man who picks the team on the basis of who he thinks give the team the best options

    It can only be one or the other

    1. You are right about going on about it,as for MA the truth is probably in the middle,he has the last say on a number of matters and the board on others!

  14. I am one of Ozil’s fan boys, like it or not. My honest opinion is that Arsenal fans are tired of the clubs under performances and thus taking it out on Ozil to a point. But I do not see him as a scapegoat, I see his abilities being wasted by board members who know they cannot handle fans wrath, so they divert attention to Ozil. Before it was Emery, Xhaka, Arsene Wenger. The board is winning as long as us die hard fans are mislead to real ease our anger on someone else. Please let’s not be like Jerry of Rick and Morty at the Arsenal. Insecurities people express here is really overwhelming.

    1. I can understand some fans frustration with the Ozil situation but abusing him,attacking the man instead of the player is not going to help the situation actually it is making it worse,the more people are trying to push him out of the club the less likely it is to happen ,like it or not Ozil has certain principles ,you just have to look at his statement”I will decide when I leave the club,not other people..!”that says it all!

  15. Why don’t we be honest and notice as I have long ago done, but deliberately not mentioned until NOW. Most of Ozils fan boys are Muslim and hardly any of his foes, like myself are Muslim. This site has adopted a core of “support or not” fans routine of liking or loathing by nationality and /or religion.
    I am never guilty of doing this and it would be against every fibre of what I am as a human being. But it is common in many -though not all- others.
    My own thoughts are based ONLY and ENTIRELY on whether ANY player is of use OR a hindrance to the club I have loved for well over sixty years.

    I hold OZIL in contempt for being a huge hindrance to Arsenal and for NO other reason. Can his supporters say likewise in total self honesty! I strongly suggest the TRUTHFUL answer, at least in MOST of those cases, is NO!

    1. Please Sir, don’t bring religion into the matter! Ozil does have Arsenal fans of other religions and nationalities too, like me as someone who view him favourably based on only his on field contribution. As a senior poster here, I always respect your opinions and views and agree with them mostly. In this case, call me naive but I still think there is not all doom and gloom regarding the Arsenal-Ozil contract saga. There may have been clauses regarding performance or appearances, also the sums may have been awarded based on the off field Arsenal merchandise that Ozil has helped to sell. So I don’t think it is always one way leaching or whatever. The Arsenal Ozil experiment didn’t work long term but it was not all waste, he did help us win trophies and became our third best assister. I only hope you can see some middle ground on this issue, like if Ozil can help Arsenal if we bring in defensive additions and Arteta finalizes a concrete play-style.

  16. I’m quite shocked by some of these comments, bringing religion into football.
    Have we gotten to such level?

    1. People will go to any level to drive an agenda…especially when they do not have any other compelling argument.

  17. I never thought we actually needed a creative midfielder when we bought him. A proven clinical striker was what we desperately needed at the time. Wenger systematically, decimated the team before he left. Either he was strengthening an area we were deficient with the wrong player or buying a terribly poor one. Outside being predominantly a creative midfielder, Ozil doesn’t offer anything else to the team. On top of that, he is the highest paid player- contributing rather little or nothing.
    Wenger was the architect of all these. Now that he has gone , Ozil has to go too. Unfortunately he’ll pocket home every dime of that stupid deal Wenger advocated for him whether he see’s out his contract or he’s paid off. Lessons should be learnt from this ozil nonsence going foward.

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