The German midfielder Mesut Ozil has been the most divisive person at Arsenal since Arsene Wenger left, and he is constantly being talked about, especially on JustArsenal, but the fact is that he rarely speaks to the media to defend himself..
But now he is happy to admit that he refused a paycut and to explain his reasons, but then he goes on to say that there are people out “to destroy me”, and they have been doing it for quite some time.
This is what Ozil told the Athletic: “As players, we all wanted to contribute. But we needed more information and many questions were unanswered.
“Everyone was fine with a deferral while there was so much uncertainty – I would have been OK to take a bigger share – and then a cut if required, once the football and financial outlook was clearer. But we were rushed into it without proper consultation.
“For anyone in this situation, you have a right to know everything, to understand why it is happening and where the money is going. But we didn’t get enough details, we just had to give a decision. It was far too quick for something so important and there was a lot of pressure.
“This was not fair, especially for the young guys, and I refused. I had a baby at home and have commitments to my family here, in Turkey and in Germany – to my charities, too, and also a new project we started to support people in London that was from the heart and not for publicity.
“People who know me know exactly how generous I am and, as far as I’m aware, I was not the only player who rejected the cut in the end, but only my name came out.
“I guess that’s because it is me and people have been trying for two years to destroy me, to make me unhappy, to push an agenda they hope will turn the supporters against me and paint a picture that is not true.
“Possibly the decision affected my chances on the pitch, I don’t know. But I’m not afraid to stand up for what I feel is right – and when you see what has happened now with the jobs, maybe I was.”
So he does think that his refusal to accept a paycut is the reason for him being frozen out, and ends up with a little dig at the Arsenal heirarchy over the job cuts, but has he done himself any favours by speaking out like this?
What do you think?