Are We Being Unfair To Ozil? by Dan Smith
So, we know how Ozil articles work. If you defend him in any way, you’re accused of being a ‘fan boy’, putting his brand over the club, and let’s be honest getting negativity. Yet I decided a long time ago, if you think something is wrong, point it out even if you’re in the minority…
I think how we are treating Ozil isn’t ‘The Arsenal Way’.
Let me stress. No, he hasn’t justified his salary, he hasn’t been consistent enough and yes for all parties it’s time to start a new chapter. Yet however much I love Arsenal, I won’t sacrifice my moral compass. There is still right and wrong, and the club doesn’t have the right to mistreat someone just because they don’t want to pay him anymore.
Some gooners can’t even have an objective point of view. In any kind of debate our opinion should be based on our conscience not on who is the subject matter?
Ashley Cole had fake notes waved at him when he returned to the Emirates, a petition started to remove Fabregas’ image from outside the stadium, and you will often hear the C word and mention of his wife in a song which references Van Persie.
You can say it’s how they pushed for a move, comments they made since, who they joined, etc, yet the reality is most were hurt because we wanted them to extend their contracts. Anything else most saw as a lack of loyalty and it’s now an asterix against their legacy. So Ozil did the opposite…
At the time, many fans and pundits said we couldn’t lose Ozil, just like they are saying now about Auba.
Did Ozil stay based on the wage on offer? Sure, but most footballers do. You know Aubameyang. If he stays, it won’t be due to his love for us?
In that sense he’s no different to Ozil. Why do you think Auba doesn’t just sign a deal? Because like Ozil’s agent, our striker will be paying representatives to negotiate as much money as possible. His advisors will be suggesting that the longer he keeps his employers waiting, the more cards he holds when negotiating.
If he chooses to remain it won’t be his love for the fans, his friendship with Laca, or his pride of being captain; it will come down to us paying over the odds for a 31-year-old.
Those who accuse Ozil of greed don’t ask why the Gabon striker needs 250,000 thousands pound a week. Why is that not greedy?
We blame Arsene Wenger for being held over a barrel by Ozil, giving a 29-year-old a contract at an age where there is zero resale value. So common sense suggests if it was bad business to give 350,000 pound a week to someone about to turn 30, why is 250-000/a week for someone past 30 any better?
The answer of course is he’s doing well for us at the moment but what if in 2 years time the goals dry up, or he suffers a serious injury – or Stan Kroenke suddenly wants to save a few bob? Does that me we mock Auba? Abuse him online?
Do we now only look back at our ex-players fondly if they leave exactly when we want as fans, don’t leave too soon, but don’t stay too long? What a sense of entitlement!
Because that’s my understanding. Where we used to support our own, we now only base our principles on ‘what have you done for me lately.’
Of course, if this week we got the news that Auba has signed a new contract all corners would be buzzing but make zero mistake we did that when Ozil did exactly the same thing. It will be for the exact same reason, Arsenal willing to pay over the odds.
Ozil has not justified his wage but in the last couple of years who has?
If your basing performance on what they earn, name 5 players who can look in the mirror with pride
Was it Ozil’s fault we replaced Sanchez with Mkhitaryan? Is it Ozil’s fault we let Ramsey leave for free, the only midfielder who would make runs into the box? Ozil’s fault we replaced Koscielny with David Luiz?
Isn’t that our area of concern for this campaign? Goals from midfield, a weak defence?
We can’t blame Ozil for that. Yet because he earns the most it’s like the rest are immune from criticism.
David De Gea earns more, Gareth Bale earns more, Sanchez earns more, etc. Yet while their fans might judge them on ability, they don’t attack the person and, if they are being harsh, they do the same to others.
I have seen our fan base break down Ozil’s statistics but if you use the same criteria against those picked ahead of him and they are not doing better, why do they escape any flack?
I see through our owners motives. If he was forcing Ozil out for the betterment of Arsenal, then great, yet it’s only for his own self-interest. I refuse to judge the midfielder on the last two years because coaches have refused to get the best out of him, which is their job, to maximise the resources available to them.
Instead Ozil has had mixed signals ever since Arsene Wenger left. Unai Emery included him in his bizarre 5 captains group, then admitted there were fixtures where he didn’t tactically trust the German, then started him all the time (often as skipper). Then he went back to not selecting him in his squad even when it was clear we lacked any creativity.
The response to Ozil making goals at Watford and Liverpool was followed both times in being dropped for the next game.
A question no one has been able to answer me and often deflects is; how come Arteta trusted him to start every game in the League pre-pandemic, then post-lockdown only twice picks him even to be on a bench of 9?
I deal in facts not an agenda. So, it’s a fact that our only winning sequence in the Prem came when Ozil was playing. Many were happy to reference in the 3 month break how we were unbeaten domestically in 2020 under the new regime. So surely, it’s equally fair to point out that was the only period this season when Ozil got a consistent run in the team. I’m not saying he was perfect; I’m claiming it was working..
We then lost to Man City and Brighton and guess who didn’t feature? In other words, Ozil was dropped and the likes of Willock failed to do any better. In most situations that would lead to the player being recalled. After all, his last game for us was him assisting the winner, you then freeze him out, instantly losing your unbeaten run – so decided to leave him out altogether.
We know it’s not his attitude as it was good enough for Arteta to originally play him, and we know it was working in terms of us winning games. So, is it me or did something happen during the forced break? …..oh, wait he refused to take a pay cut. So no, I’m not impressed we are treating someone like this.
We chose the terms of that condition; we were not forced. We should show class and honour the agreement that we wanted. We shouldn’t be trying to make someone feel so unwanted they feel forced to leave. It’s a lack of class.
Even this weekend we didn’t include him in the 10 non playing staff who could attend Wembley. The same readers of Justarsenal who argued he didn’t deserve a medal then feel let down that he has the audacity to visit Turkey with the clubs permission. In fact, I saw him get more backlash for sending a congratulatory tweet to his teammates than Guendouzi, who never referenced us winning the FA Cup. If he did the opposite would that have been okay?
If he had sat at home, playing on his PlayStation and put something else on social media like going bowling would that have been better? It wasn’t his choice to stay away at the weekend so in many ways he was in an impossible situation and would have been wrong whatever he did.
The club is not treating him this way because we have someone doing any better. We don’t need his wage to fund anyone better.
That’s why I choose to stay in the minority over this. We are not doing what Man United are doing. We won’t be releasing the equivalent of Sanchez because we want his pay packet to be given to a Sancho.
The Kroenke family wants to get a worse player for not even half the figure, with the other half going back in the bank.
So, do I want a player treated like this just to save a billionaire a few bob …. not really. If Ozil was the best player in the world and we refused a move to Barcelona. What would you say if Ozil sulked, refused to train, made it clear he will make life hell till he gets his way?
We will preach the word ‘loyalty’, ‘respect’, we would point to how he was more than happy to sign a contract when it benefitted him. So why have we justified it’s okay to abuse Ozil just because it suits us.
This isn’t even a debate about football but morally right and wrong. Ozil seems to be getting singled out by his own supporters.
Can I ask, apart from you thinking he’s not good at football and liking living in London, what’s he actually done wrong?
It hurts not that he will leave. It hurts not that other fans will hear how he was treated unfairly because other ex-players have done that before. It hurts that on this occasion…. if Ozil says anything negative about his time with us ……. he’s right!
That’s okay though, as long as we slash the wage bill for Stan…
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