Who do Arsenal fans think is the biggest mercenary now? Ozil or Alexis?

Ozil is the mercenary, not Alexis by ThirdManJW

To this day, I find it extraordinary the love Ozil gets over Alexis. Understandable in way I guess, considering the mass following Ozil has on social media, but shouldn’t we be considering their attitude, and performances as well?

I decided to look at Ozil’s, and Alexis’s Arsenal legacies, and I think we need to re-evaluate our opinions on these two. Although divisive, Ozil is still getting love from large parts of the Arsenal fanbase (I use the term “fanbase” loosely), whilst Alexis’s time at Arsenal has been viewed negatively by many. Which baffles me considering their respective impacts at Arsenal.

Putting emotions aside, I don’t think anyone could have begrudged Alexis a move when he did, because Arsenal were only heading in one direction under Wenger. He joined a bigger club, to play under a better manager, so ambition played a big decision in his move to Utd. However, Alexis was labelled a mercenary for joining Man Utd over City, which I get. City were the better club at the time, and had Pep in charge. To be fair though, playing time would have also played a role in his decision to join Utd, given City already had Sterling, Sane, and Mahrez on their books. Either way, one can understand the mercenary tag put upon Alexis. One last big payday!

It’s unfair that many then saw Alexis only in monetary terms, especially given his move to Inter. He took a massive pay cut to join them. Is that the act of a footballing mercenary? Of course not! He wasn’t happy at Utd, and wasn’t’ getting enough game time, so he took a lot less money to find happiness again. His pay cut move to Inter, doesn’t’ undo what happened when he left us for Utd, but maybe we as fans should start giving him a little slack. Alexis clearly is not a classic case of a footballing mercenary. He also wanted to happy.

Let us also not forget that Alexis was brilliant for us! Even those games when he gave the ball away a lot, he still worked his socks off, and would hunt down the ball the very second, he lost it. He would score both crucial, and spectacular goals as well, and pretty much carried the team on his back! We can debate is attitude off the pitch (although I 100% back his wanting to win “too much” attitude that Bellerin told us about), but no Arsenal fan can complain about what he did on the pitch. Yes, he looked disinterested in his final six months, but blame Wenger and Gazidis for that. They decided to not sell a player, with only 12 months left on their deal, and who desperately wanted to leave. Despite that, I think Alexis was still our top/joint scorer that season, and first or second in assists for us as well, at the time of his departure. So, his productivity was always extremely high. He didn’t have a bad season for us.

Then we have Ozil…Who just refuses to budge! Alexis gets labelled a mercenary, despite still getting game time, whilst Ozil has been told he will not play for us again, and hasn’t for over half a year, yet it’s perfectly fine for him to sit on his massive contract, in the eyes of many. Ozil is a perfect example of a true footballing mercenary! He’s working in a difficult environment where the club don’t want him, many Arsenal fans have had it with him as well, and he knows he won’t be playing any more football, yet he refuses to move. Some may argue, money is not the issue, he’s staying to punish Arsenal, for whatever reason. If that is the case, then that puts him in an even worse light, than any mercenary tag could do.

Then we have Ozil’s Arsenal history. Whilst Alexis was brilliant, Ozil, who, by the end of his Arsenal career of 8 years, will have given us only one good season, and will have cost the club well over 100 million. Before his exile, he had done pretty much nothing for 3 years solid. Even before that, didn’t really do away games, and often vanished against quality opponents. The Ozil Arsenal got, was not the one Real had. He did get a lot of assists, but it’s not just about that.

Apart from assists, he hardly offered anything else. To be a top player, and contributing to a team, you have to do more. It’s been no surprise, the very second Wenger left, Ozil got found out by subsequent managers. The fans had seen it for years, and FINALLY we had managers doing the same. Ozil has shown a terrible attitude as well, both on and off the pitch. Acting like a petulant child at times, and hiding behind his social media team.

So, in terms of performances, and attitude, Alexis wipes the floor with Ozil, and we now have evidence that it’s Ozil that is the real mercenary. It wasn’t my intention to play these two off each other, I just find it interesting how they are viewed amongst fans, regarding their productivity and attitude at Arsenal, and obviously the financial issues as well. Given what has happened, I now view Alexis in a better light. He has scarified a huge amount of extra money to be happy, which in turn, has really helped out Utd. Ozil just disgusts me even more nowadays! Because I am an Arsenal fan above anything, and Ozil is deliberately causing harm to the club I love.

In light of new evidence, I wonder if others have changed their opinions on these two?


Tags alexis sanchez Ozil


  1. I always thought Alexis was given a very raw deal by the club and fans considering he was outstanding for the most part of his time with us regularly getting 30 goals a season , whilst dragging a team with a losing poor mentality up the league and to FA Cup success – while Ozil was the posterboy of underachievement and poor mentality

    1. Please prove me wrong Liam but I’m fairly sure Alexis never scored 30 goals in a single season let alone “regularly getting 30 goals a season”.

    2. Isn’t it strange that when Alexis left Arsenal his form melted faster than ice cream in the sun? Is it possible that it was Mesut who made Alexis play better and Alexis who made Mesut being useful?

      1. Strikers need proper service.

        Ozil made Sanchez and Giroud better. Sanchez was deadly in the box, and Giroud was really good in the air. Both got service from Ozil.

        When Auba refuses to leave until his contract is done, the Arsenal “fans” will turn on him too.


  2. Ozil. Like Xhaka and Mustafi, Sanchez never hid from challenges and contributed many goals/ assists from a few games in his last season at Arsenal

    Arsenal need money to buy Partey, hence they sold Martinez and dropped Ozil. Arsenal don’t have to pay Ozil his full salary if Ozil doesn’t play, so Arsenal can save money and buy a 45 M midfielder whom we really need

    I was highly disappointed when Ozil got his hefty contract extension, because he was a passenger most of the time. Gareth Bale is another player who is reluctant to risk his legs in the field after two years in Madrid

    Those divas should’ve realized that their big salaries have to produce big performances, otherwise they must accept their relegation to the bench. Yet they chose to play as victims and blame others for their performance drop

    1. You sure Arsenal don’t have to pay full salary? That would be a clause in his contract and I doubt he would sign to such a clause.

      When all is said and done though, Arsenal as a club have been badly miss-managed from the top level! They had a wage cap which was broken and they had an age cap which was broken (no contract of more than a year to any player over 30). To gave any player £350,000 per week was always going to open a flood gate at some stage! Our board have been sloppy for a long time. The wrong people were put in high places.

      Personally, I think it should be a case of “payed on performance”. Every player would have to put a shift in for the stupid money they earn! For that reason, I don’t blame Ozil. The club allowed the situation to go for too long and should never have renewed his contract!

      Players do have too much power. But clubs have allowed it because they were too focused on attracting the biggest names and ridiculous prices. Look at Man United for example? Every one wants to charge them an extra 50%, just because they are one of the richest clubs in the world. It’s not right, but they put themselves in that situation. Just like we did with Ozil!

      1. It’s on the news and it makes a lot of sense to pay a 30+ years old mega-star based on his performances/ appearances, to prevent the lack of efforts from the aging star after getting his final big contract. Arsenal have surely learned from Walcott’s case, who chose to stay in his comfortable zone at Arsenal

        I like how Arsenal as a big club and Arteta become ruthless/ decisive for the team. Ozil and Sokratis exclusions have surely sent a warning to the other high-paid senior players like Aubameyang, Luiz and Willian

        If their salaries don’t justify their consistencies in the field, they’d likely get axed as well

        1. Sokratis? Arsenal refused to him let go to PSG albeit on a free to not have him in any squad,so the club are paying a player to train who is going to be out of contract at the end of the season,how does that make sense?

    2. You don’t know much, his salary is contractual. Bonuses is what he wont get. He got 8 Mill before the season started.He gave us a lot, all Sanchez goals were created by Ozil.

  3. Ozil should have left since he knew he wasn’t in the managers plans. This happens all the time, if you’re not needed, then leave so you can play football elsewhere. Mkhi left to roma so he could play and has now signed permanently. Why stay at a club that doesn’t want you, to prove a point? To continue earning the wage? To punish them? Whatever the reason, think about your footballing career and move on, then you can later complain that you were not given a chance but at least TRY to find football elsewhere. As long as Arsenal doesn’t owe him his wage, then i can’t support this victim angle he’s trying to take with his latest post.

    1. Why do clubs insist on keeping a player who has made it clear he wants to leave? Zaha and Palace comes to mind. Just asking for a friend.

      1. You have asked this question a lot of times but have yet to see a brave soul provide an answer. Seems your friend is in for a long wait.

  4. Leave him alone Arsenal gave him the contract and they should pay him. You should blame your team they don’t know what they are doing. Ozil is not a top player he never been l don’t know why they bought him in first place, that was Wenger biggest mistake and it costs him his job

    1. Not a top Player. Not now I would agree. but I suggest to look at his record before you make statements of this nature. 5 times German player of the year World cup player and winner at a time when German football and German players were amongst the worlds elite. Never a top player I wonder how you judge who is a top player.

  5. You will make more trying another profession if all you do is thrive on propaganda and dishonesty. The world needs very nil of your type if all you are good at is tell lies and spread disunity. If your career in whatever you do was half as good as Ozil’s or Alexis’ you will have achieved more and not be here spurring fracas and Junk. There are better ways to remain relevant than disparaging fans and disrespecting 2 hard working players of the club. Go get some ambition.

  6. Disturbing article that is ‘Scapegoating’ Ozil. Is this journalism? Like a pack of wolves going in for the kill. Not the usual ‘Just Arsenal’ standard.

    1. This site is not called Just Arsenal anymore, it’s been renamed Just Ozïl or more accurately Just Slag Off Ozïl.

      1. What has ThirdManJW stated that is not fact, in making his comparison between the Arsenal careers of two ▶ ers? 🤔

  7. All I know is that Ozil is a very good and unique player who has a not so good body language. He does not deserve what the club is doing to him, and if l were him, would’ve left.

    I just saw an interview where Arteta was beating his own chest, boasting that as the manager he’ll be 100% responsible for what happens with his decision to shut Ozil out. All I can say is, “Let there no incident.”

    As much as I love Artata, it’ll do him no good if something goes wrong. It is very very difficult to wrap one’s head around the constant excuse that Ozil is left out for footballing ability reason only. It doesn’t make any sense at all to me.

      1. Yes “wasted” because he is no more given the chance to show he still has it. It showed throughout pre-covid19 lockdown.

  8. I read the first few lines of your article and did not read it anymore, alexis sanchez was visibly annoying people in the team at arsenal during his final days whereas ozil’s case is different, he never had a rift or caused disruption in the dressing room apart from a little show of frustration which is normal … anyways you bloggers should be doing your best to milk in the last few months of click baiting since ozil will be out at the maximum next summer and all this talk will end….

    the bottom line though is it will leave a bad image towards arsenal , no big name player will either sign because of the way they treated him (the club and a lot of fans), mark my words,, we hear auba and willian are on a big contract, just wait till they start underperforming(which they already are for the last few games) and let arsenal lose a few,,, all our fan base will start cursing them too… that toxicity ended arsene’s tenure, it ended emery’s tenure , hope it doesnt go the same way for arteta, because we have on our hands a gem of a manager who is certain to go on and achieve great things if we are patient….at the end of it all #COYG,, but our board and top management sucks currently, they need to get their act together,

    1. Little show of frustration? He kicked the air when subbed, said emery wasn’t a coach, goes on social media to play the victim card whenever he gets a chance, gets paid to play fortnight and then gets back injuries alot especially when he’s being named to be on the bench. I’ll ask you, how many times have you seen ozil start games from the bench.? And then you claim he doesn’t disrupt the dressing room? Are you privy to Arsenal’s dressing room to know what actually goes on? And by your last paragraph, I guess Thomas Partey is not a big name player then. Even Gabriel, despite better pay from napoli and man utd, chose us regardless of the Ozil situation. So what are you on about?

      1. 👍 And Alexis Sanchez was disruptive because he called players out for lack of commitment and being in their comfort zone, taking their wages without putting in. Arsenal need more players like Sanchez, not less. Imagine some of these players fronting McLintock, Adams, Keown or Viera in the dressing room?

        1. That’s just the Gospel truth Ozzie.. I remember then I used to say I wish we had 11 players like sanchez, we would be winning the league consistently

          1. His work ethic was crazy, reminded me of Ronaldo. Chamberlain even said at some point that sanchez was a workaholic who improved him personally, was the first to come to training and the last to leave. There was a week sanchez scored a free kick from a difficult place, chambo said he’d been practising that on his own for days.

  9. Let’s get the facts right please.During his last season with Arsenal, Sanchez was at best, mediocre.During that time he played well in only two matches both away from home against Everton and WBA.I know this to be accurate because I specifically monitored his performances in every match.He moved to Man Utd for money and during his time there he was an absolute disaster,just ask any Man Utd supporter.He earned more there than Ozil does at Arsenal and the fact that he moved to Inter on apparently 170m per week hardly turns him into a martyr.Like Ozil he is finished as a top class footballer but personally I do not feel one ounce of sympathy for either.In the context of what is happening in the World today they are both very fortunate.

    1. He played poorly in his last season because he desperately wanted to leave and arsenal were clinging to an unhappy player, what did you expect, a balon d’or performance? The reverse is the case however with Ozil, whom the club has wanted to get rid of but he’s still clinging to the club because he has a “contract”. And Do you watch Inter Milan play Grandad? If you do, you probably wouldn’t have said sanchez is finished as a footballer. Yes he went to man utd for the money initially when he should have gone to man City, but an attacking player like sanchez would always not fit into a mourinho system, wasn’t that the same problem with Di Maria who now shines for PSg as sanchez shines for inter? At least sanchez realised his mistake and figured, football is not just about the money.

  10. Who else saw Arteta’s pre match interview where he was being quizzed about Ozil. It was pain to watch how frustrated our manager was with the persistent questions that seemed to make him feel like he was a puppet of the Arsenal board till it got to some point, they had to tell journalists to stop asking questions about Ozil. What stood out for me, was when he was asked “Are you surprised by Ozil tweeting about how the club is not loyal to him?” to which our manager replied “No, I’m not”. That speaks volumes. Deduce what you will from it. It’s time to shut out the noise makers and back our manager 100%.

    1. Kstix, the Ozil PR machine is always working away. Too bad Arsenal players, including Ozil, don’t put as much effort into their football, as they put into a social media presence.

      1. It’s sad if you think about it really. The way they try to make Arteta look dumb or stupid for not playing Ozil. I’m sure the excess talking outside the pitch convinced Arteta the more to axe him from the team and I like how honest Arteta has been about the whole thing, with the fans and with Ozil himself. Emery deflected the question for a very long time till fans pressured him to play him. Arteta learnt from that obviously.

  11. The only thing I can find fault with in this superbly realistic and spot on article, is that it was written by TMJW, not by me. I agree with every single word and JW must be my long lost identical twin separated at birth!

    How cathartic to read so much plain common sense truth among all the claptrap that is spouted out about Ozil almost hourly on this site, which really OUGHT to now be called Just Ozil(JO)!

  12. If Ozil could have been bought by another team, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. All this discussion are triggered by Ozil for refusing to leave Arsenal. In the field og play, Sanchez was far much better than Ozil. I really liked his fighting spirit

  13. Whilst I do think Arteta will be a ‘successful’ Arsenal manager, his character is starting to come across and I am not impressed. The Ethics that translated from Highbury’s marble halls have been devalued, so what price success? Ruthlessness is derived from lacking Ruth, it’s a study all of it’s own. It seems this is where we have ended up, a ruthless manager, who has, for his own ego reasons, got rid of Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil, Socratis and Saliba, all whom he did not sign. He has the attributes of an ‘executioner’ I prefer the world of compassion, kindness and reason. What has the club become? Ruthlessness vs Ethics.

  14. Ozil looks like a player who’s fallen out of love with football & has no reason to motivate himself to step up to the fitness demands made by Arteta….he gets paid regardless. If he was interested in playing at the top level no doubt his wages could have been sorted in a loan deal with another club. There’s no doubt he’s a very talented player but increasingly talent isn’t enough.
    It’s quite possible that he’s just not able to put in the effort demanded by top managers & they probably know that.

  15. This is going to be a long read, get a cup of coffee before you dig in! The way I see it, Ozil was playing under Arteta right after the Corona break. He was playing well & then he decided one day to use his massive social media presence to bring attention to the World about the crimes going on in China against Muslims. China responds by issuing a threat to ban all Arsenal matches in china as a result of this. What does Arsenal do? Fight against China? Oh hell no they are just a football club so they do what people do when one of their employees steps out of line: They distance away from him to show they are politically neutral. Story closed? Unfortunately the Arsenal that is there now does not have Wenger around so players are not backed, they are expected to be Professionals & what Ozil did can be regarded as noble but sadly Unprofessional. End result, Arteta does not have a classy bone in his body, he is an efficient ruthless man, It seems he is absolutely serious about winning silverware as quickly as possible. Rather than deal with the fallout of the mess, he took the age of the Player & you cannot change the fact even though there is no player at Arsenal who can do what Ozil can do, he is still a luxury player;That gloss you put on a finished puzzle. Arteta took the most efficient route, discard him & continue with what he has for the sake of team harmony. I mean you can’t just take Ozil back after the stunt he pulls, it reeks of making Ozil bigger than the club. Sad ending, I will be the first to admit it will take getting used to being Class-less Arsenal now but I guess that is one of the sacrifices needed to progress. I have no doubt that Ozil loves Arsenal but he is a luxury player in a ruthlessly well oiled run machine that is Arsenal. They can get along without him even though it is kind of sad to me! I still view him as the heir to the Bergkamp throne!
    Ozil chapter was sad but i think we are on the last pages of that saga! In regards to Sanchez, I still think he is the best player we had in the Emirates era…you can’t take away what he did in an Arsenal shirt, man put in a proper shift & for that should be respected for the blood,sweat & tears he shed for the club.

  16. Third man JW”Alexis left to joined a bigger club and play under a better manager”
    Alexis Sanchez”after my first training session I went back home and asked my agent if I could go back to Arsenal,I knew straight away that things weren’t right at the club”.as for Sanchez dragging the team up,the reason is that the team and teammates (mainly Ozil,Ramsey, Giroud..)played to his strengths, wasn’t he a bench warmer at Barcelona before AW rescued his career?yes,did he replicate his Arsenal form at MU?no,well I wonder why??

    1. Well spoken sir! The writer also quite conveniently disregards Ozil’s contribution to Sanchez’s success. They along with Cazorla were the reason we came close to winning the prem, with support from Giroud, Coq and others. When Sanchez’s left, wasnt he trying too hard to impress? Even disrupting others play? He was a great player for us but you cant applaud one while booing the other, as this pot has done.

  17. I have said this already before. True Footballer will do anything to get playtime. Take pay cut & transfer to another club just to play football. That’s what True footballer do.
    Ozil and his fans are fake football fans.. They are virus for football world.

    1. Oh really? Then how has a fake footballer been as amazing as Ozil has been his overall career? Were the true ones lacking in something, I wonder🤔🤔

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