Why Arsenal must sell Mesut Ozil in January

Why Ozil must be sold in January by Alfie Culshaw

Unai Emery clearly doesn’t fancy Mesut Ozil and doesn’t trust him in his system, that requires a number 10 capable of intense, consistent pressing. It’s either that or there has been a severe breakdown in their relationship, but I feel as though it is the latter.

Yesterday, hooked off at half-time, it appeared this was the climax of this tension and this situation. The substitution was not “tactical” for this particular game, but was made as another signal from Emery to the board that he doesn’t see the German as a key part of the future of the team. In a half where Ozil had enabled Arsenal to control the game, having 6 shots on goal, scoring once and getting into dangerous areas. Arsenal lost all their momentum in the second period when Mesut’s replacement Alex Iwobi failed to have the same impact, and the team failed to muster a single shot on goal.

Whilst Ozil wasn’t scintillating, he provided a link between the 3 deep midfielders in Guendouzi, Torreira and Xhaka, and the forward players Lacazette and Aubameyang. In the second 45, our midfield struggled to bring the front 3 into play, continuously losing the ball when looking for them. This struggle was eased with the introduction of Aaron Ramsey, who looked to get into the pockets between Brighton’s defence and midfield and bring in our attacking players, offering our midfielders an option to link defence with attack. However, the decision to revert to a back 3 when Maitland-Niles was introduced removed an attacking player, thus removing an option for Ramsey when getting the ball in these forward areas, therefore not maximising our attacking potential.
Ozil had provided this out-ball in the first half. Whilst fans may look at his lack of defence splitting passes or driving runs as a signal of his lack of input into the game; he was at the heart of most of our play that allowed us to get into the final third. In the first period, 32% of the play was in Brighton’s defensive third. Comparatively, in the first 15 minutes of the second period, just 2% of the play was in the same third of the pitch.

Yes, the substitution derailed us and was a poor one from the manager, but it was an indication of how far Emery has come in his desire to use the playmaker. It was merely a few months ago when Emery named Ozil as one of his 5 captains and said that Arsenal needed to be “like his home”. Now, he doesn’t start away at Bournemouth or get into the matchday squad against Tottenham for tactical reasons. We can say, with almost certainty, that he won’t start away at Liverpool, despite the huge list of injuries we have. Both an out of form Iwobi and an impending departure in Ramsey are more likely to start than the German. This is our highest paid player and biggest name, yet we are confident he won’t start in one of our biggest games this season. This speaks volumes to me.

You can’t deny Mesut Ozil’s talent, but you can question his ability to produce it on a consistent basis. On his day, he’s one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. But his day doesn’t come often enough. Emery, combined with not seeing him fit into his pressing style, has recognised this and no longer wants him at the club. For this reason, as we must be looking to provide the manager with all the tools he desires to bring success to the club.

This means that, for me, Mesut Ozil has to be sold.



  1. Lenohappy says:

    Here we go again,keep bashing our best player.

    1. lugdush says:

      OUR BEST PLAYER? best payed player, thats for sure…

    2. Footballistrivial says:

      Best mannequin you mean? Lol

      1. Mickw says:

        Alfie, good article and some good points well made, my reservations around Ozil leaving is that we currently have no other creative players at the club, without a replacement who provide vision and technical ability to the side then we have lots of true workers in the team which fits Emery’s coaching style but if we can’t also unlock defences we become another defensive minded team (currently without defenders). We hopefully have a longer term plan which won’t include Ozil, but is now the right time to let go, I for one am not convinced.

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Mickw, I agree with your assessment. Without a good CAM or two in the Arsenal team, having two goal scoring forwards like Lacazette and Aubameyang will be a total waste. They will wither on the vine because of lack of service; the ball will not get to them. With the same personal as played in the second half at Brighton, I expect the goals to dry up and Arsenal start to slide down the table.
          Yes, Mezut Ozil should be sold by Arsenal, because he has priced himself out of the Club. Selling Ozil frees up £300k+ per week in wages to invest in 3 good players to address deficiencies in Arsenal’s squad.

        2. Things are changing says:

          Didn’t we have some of our best results without Ozil?

          I’m can see Ozil on his day is a good player but more importantly, do you abandon an entire system of play just for one player? You can play the pressing the game if you field Ozil. If one player doesn’t press high up the pitch the whole system becomes less effective. As we saw last weekend us conceding our goal started by Ozil not closing down the defender giving him time to pick out a pass.

          Either we abandon the pressing game or we abandon Ozil. Given that City, Liverpool and Spurs utilize the pressing game I think we can agree to recognize it as currently the most effective playing style. That leaves Ozil on the outside looking in.

    3. ThirdManJW says:

      If you think Ozil is our best player, then something is seriously wrong haha. Even flop Miki does more than Ozil in the big games!

      1. Sue says:

        Everyone knows Iwobi is our best player! Jeez!

    4. Innit says:

      Best player????

    5. Kenny Rolfe says:

      Off topic but important issue:…. Sad to hear of the passing of Peter Hill-Wood, like his father Denis, a man of the utmost respect and class. I remember one of his favourite quotes when Michael Thomas scored the 2nd and decisive goal at Anfield in our 2-0 win to secure the 1989 Championship from Liverpool. He leaned over to his friend, took one puff on his cigar and said in his own wonderful way”NEVER IN ANY DOUBT YOUNG MAN” Brilliant and the last of the great owner’s of our club. In contrast, we’re now stuck with a greedy American Kroenke whose knowledge of the game and class would not even fit in to Peter Hill- Wood’s smallest toe nail. RIP Mr Chairman

      1. Kenny Rolfe says:

        Just like to add, not a mention on Sky Sports of the sad news, doesn’t surprise me however being the cheap classless TV channel it is, I’m sure if it J.W.Henry or Michael Glazier we’d have an hour long programme of tributes.

        1. Kenny Rolfe says:

          To their credit Sky have finally given a decent report on the sad news.

    6. Maks says:

      Hey Leno, I agree with you, and if Ozil is player from UK he will be praised like Maradona, not slamed on every corner.
      Lot s of young hypocrites on this forum are sad that their FIFA haircut hero ramsey proved how big shit he is.
      …and just a remainder dear lads – Ozil doesnt care what you think. We dnt know whats goong on behind closed doors but just take a notice how Di Maria stars in PSG since Emery left! Maybe Emery dnt like Gazza type of players, so he plays Ramsey, Iwobi and Auba like he had played Cavani, Mbape and Neymar at PSG… this is my 1st negative comment about Emery but let s what will happen. Emery is great after wenger.

    7. Gizzle says:

      If Ozil is your best player he is clearly not mine .So speak for yourself

    8. RSH says:

      If Ozil is our best player we are doomed. He has the most talent, but that doesn’t count for anything when you run around the pitch like a zombie on sleep medication.

  2. Emma Anizoba says:

    You didnot see that the inability of Ozil to run back and assist the defenders resulted in the equalizer from our opponent
    Ozil should go
    He can not defend
    He’s a lazy player
    Arsenal fc does not need him

    1. Sarmmie says:

      So that’s Ozil’s fault too, that’s another one I’ve heard o

  3. jon fox says:

    Firstly Alfie, Congrats on having the courage and OBVIOUS ability too to write a sensible and much needed article. I have hitherto been almost alone on here in predicting OZILS MOVE AWAY BY, AT LATEST, CLOSE OF NEXT SUMMER WINDOW, and probably sooner. For the very reasons Alfie has so clearly stated, NO manager who wants a player to leave- as I STATE THAT EMERY DOES, will long put up with being denied his wish. That manager, with his fine recent pedigree, has only been here for seven months and for less than five in competitions. To me it is OBVIOUS that Ozil will be on its way and I wish to make public knowledge that Ken1945 and I HAVE STRUCK A £100 BET AS TO WHICH OF US IS RIGHT. I fully expect to win his money and will be delighted to do so. You heard it here and now , and from a far younger man too in Alfie, who has wisdom beyond his tender years. PLEASE SUPPORT HIS NEW WRITTEN ARTICLES. THEY ARE WELL WORTH IT!

    1. Mickw says:

      Oh dear Jon Fox, Didn’t see his age in the article, have we presume you know him, family member perhaps? I presume as he agrees with you, he is not in the Dullards corner with all those that don’t agree with you. I was under the impression that one objective of this site, was to allow people the opportunity to have an opinion, without someone who ‘believes’ they they have a high level of intelligence, to regularly insult everyone that doesn’t believe. Very strange and sad.

      1. Xxnofx says:

        If it’s Alfie who does the podcasts then as a regular reader on here you would know he’s a younger lad .on the subject of ozil for me he should be sold on in the summer but until he is I don’t see anyone who can come close in what he does ,hopefully the board might also get rid of iwobi and some of the other deadwood hanging around our squad and making a decent living but not actually earning it

        1. Mickw says:

          Xxnofx thanks for the info, unfortunately I have limited time for podcasts etc due to work commitments, I obviously must try harder, I think the other comments are completely valid though and seems we agree. Thanks again.

      2. jon fox says:

        Dear Scorner Mickw, all regular users of this site – which clearly excludes you personally – know very well that Alfie is indeed still a teenager from his regular blogs and by his picture and by his own self description. I suggest next time that you question whether anyone else actually knows someone , first be sure that YOU are the only ONE who does NOT know and which reveals your own ignorance. Secondly, perhaps you would point out to me and to others where in my above post, is the part where you claim I said I had superior intelligence, as I SEE NO MENTION of this bogus “claim” by you on my behalf whatsoever. Perhaps you would like to match my £100 bet with Ken? You have only to accept and I will gladly take your money! And actually my post was partly an homage to Alfie, in FACT! Plus a firm opinion from a normally intelligent , NOT superior intelligent man, that I believe Ozil will soon be gone and that I am prepared to put money on that happening. PERHAPS STRAIGHTFORWARD ENGLISH CONFUSES YOU?

        1. Mickw says:

          How strange that you choose to ignore my point around the insults to all that don’t agree with you.

          1. Mickw says:

            Also as you are quick to point out to anyone who doesn’t use your exact words, you will note that I didn’t use the word superior, I guess I should now insult you as per your usual example, but that’s rather childish I feel.

          2. ken1945 says:

            Mickw, as the man who has made the bet with Jon of £100, I think I understand your frustrations at the way he writes and describes others, dullards being the latest.
            However, passion makes fools of all of us (especially me and my money maybe) and this site allows everyone of us to do just that, especially as we are all gooners at heart.


            I even believe Jon and Xxnofx were to meet in court, what happened there you two? Did it die a natural death?

            By the way Jon, I have replied to you on the other Ozil subject, where you misread my support for Unai…looking forward to your reply.

          3. jon fox says:

            Done, as requested Ken.

          4. ken1945 says:

            Jon, can’t find it!!!
            It was on the “ozil is not perfect, but” post, is that where you went?

          5. Mickw says:

            Ken, thanks for the response and appreciate your comments, regardless of the passion we all I have I just don’t understand the mentality of someone who feels it is right and acceptable to continuously insult people who are all joined by their passion and love for our club. Just seems bizarre to me.

    2. Break-on-through says:

      Is this the same Alfie that does the podcast, if it is, not a bad job in trying to figure out some of what you saw. I must admit, I don’t like podcasts, I talked with many fans over the years. I prefer to read from them when I am not with them. Because they’re given more time to think, and the anonymity gives them a little more freedom with their words. So send us some more articles to chew on, Alfie, and have a brilliant new year.

      1. jon fox says:

        Well said. I agree that the general lack of response to Alfies podcasts has shown him that the written word is far more effective ; at least on THIS site. He has also shown himself well capable of a well written article. I admire ALL who have the courage and originality to write something from their own brain in an article, as those skills and courage are not given to everyone.

  4. Durand says:

    His wages will have huge impact on any transfer fee we get, as well as a suitable team he fits into with his style.

    I would agree that his performances have not been good enough or consistent enough this year. Emery is manager and team selection is his choice, but he can still get it wrong.

    Personally I’m not a Ramsey fan, but starting Ramsey in place of Guendouzi would have been far better against Brighton. Xhaka and Torreira been great combo, having Ramsey bomb forward while defenders marking Auba, Laca, and Ozil would have been ideal.

    Unfortunately, we played with a very defensive setup against a limp Brighton, and it showed in our lack of directness and creativity. Emery has done well this year, but FFS he clearly got that setup wrong.

    Rather see Jenkinson over Lich, and AMN get 15-20 minute cameo in the midfield.

    Is Ozil’s time up at Arsenal? That setup with only Laca and Auba didn’t do Ozil any favors, and Iwobi and Mhki have shown they’re not up to the task themselves. Even Ramsey looked dreadful with his opportunities in that creative role earlier this season.

    Unless Scrooge plans to unlock his wallet and put his money where his mouth is, we should keep Ozil. Mhki and Iwobi have been woeful as replacements, and our shelves are bare in terms of replacements.

    Rather see what Sven has in store than Emery’s 30 yr old Banega solution. Isn’t that why Sven was brought on board?

    1. enagic says:

      Banega is 5 times what ozil is or is better than Ramsey, Ozil, Elneny combine!
      Banega = Santi Carzola besides that you will never ever get the best out of Auba or Laca and if you understand football game tactically and technically, Arsenal does not have a play maker Centre MID but if you gonna just love names for the sake of it its ok too! but we approach the game differently. Emery inherted what we have from wenger and he tried to improve with 5 signings get right with Socrats and Toreira and Lichts in some games but going forward we need atleast one winger in jan or two and one CB.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Enagic, the players inherited from AW finished sixth last season.
        Only one player has left, Jack Wilshere.
        The club signed five players to improve the squad in the summer and, with kronkies assumed blessing, will have the opportunity to sign further players in January.
        With all the facts above, your words “tried to improve” should read “has improved” as we sit at fifth in the league.
        Mistakes have been made, but forget replacingke Ozil, we need defenders to cover the awful injury scenario unfolding after each game it seems.
        Gary Cahill must surely be a target, along with the Celtic defender, who’s name I forget at the moment.

        1. enagic says:

          why should i forget for Ozil to be replaced? he is what we dont neeed at Arsenal.

          1. Xxnofx says:

            Yea I’m with you ken ,I’m not sure who the fans think can do what ozil does till end of season.
            It seems I’ve upset a few on here because of certain player which they metioned can play and do what ozil does .
            Like you said it’s the defence that needs urgent players ,strange though because we signed 5defensive players in the summer and our defence is at an all time low

          2. Xxnofx says:

            And to reply on the arguments with Jon it as eased off yes ,only because I can’t win an argument with him ?and he is not going to change how he speaks to others on here so let bygones be bygones and let him carry on ,dosent mean I agree with what he says most of the time maybe 20% at most .
            Think we’re all old enough to know when we’re right but never old enough to admit it when we’re wrong

          3. ozziegunner says:

            Ken, don’t forget Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

          4. enagic says:

            Arsenal need both defense and offence players you can’t compare arsenal attacking line with Liverpool or Mancity, Auba looks like he is isolated sometimes and get luck score goal like our last game what i am trying to say here is like when we used to have hleb and Rosicky as wingers, fabregas as play maker and Henry, van persie and Ade as our main strikers, we really dont have that right now, and Ozil doesnt have that kind of energy and Iwobi is just another project.

          5. ken1945 says:

            enagic, what I am trying to say to you is that, due to injuries and players not good enough, the defence is the first area to strengthen.
            We have proved we can score goals, that’s not the problem is it?
            With the limited transfer kitty we all expect Unai to be given, surely you can see the priority for him is to bring in defenders?
            Maybe then we can get a top four finish and that will enable us to start doing what you say.

            Xxnofx, glad to hear you and Jon called time.
            I know your views and doesn’t every one of us upset someone else on here?

            Jon, still can’t find your response, any ideas where it has gone?

          6. enagic says:

            Thats my point here, yes players are not good enough how do we fix it coming this january? we have biggest problem scoring goals and we really struggle big time.

          7. enagic says:

            Most of big teams now score more than 3 goals every game something we really struggle doing, don’t you see a problem there apart from defense?

  5. Lenohappy says:

    @Alfie that wasn’t directed at you,just being sarcastic and Jon foxa very sure you will win the bet,I also don’t see Ozil here next season.

  6. Break-on-through says:

    The opponents were different in that second half too. In the first half they gave us space, Ozil, Auba and Laca were switching positions and looking hard to track. The space was there though. In the second half they (opponents) looked like an infantry unit, they had good distances to one another and only pressed when we entered the final third. Ozil does not play well when opponents are like that, denying us the space. In the first half, that ball over the top was on, Auba looked really dangerous. If it’s on for him then it was on for Laca too, but Ozil didn’t look to get an early ball so he could play those passes. A playmaker should see that, and he should demand the ball in the right area so he can play one over the top. The second half that ball over the top was not on, and the only one who could probably try them would’ve been Xhaka. If Xhaka had received the ball time that Guendouzi got in that first half, I think we would’ve created more. Not knocking Guendouzi, very special talent, but I think he can slow the game down at times even when one of our others are trying to do the opposite. Ozil needs quick balls into feet, before a man has spotted him, Xhaka is best at that. Man marking too, man marking can affect a performance, but fans wont have any of that. You get tight to Ozil, Guendouzi, and Xhaka, and that will seriously hinder our ability to create.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Ozil, had to constantly drop back to chase the ball because Arsenal’s midfield and defenders were incapable of making the pass to him.

  7. Leon says:

    Who honestly would want to sign a player who commands £350k a week and who has a very questionable attitude and poor team attributes?
    A very technical player but not one that would be a attractive proposition to the few clubs that could afford him.
    Very sad to hear of Peter Hill Wood’s passing – a true Arsenal man through and through. Could show Kroenke what it is to live and breathe Arsenal Football Club…

  8. Grandad says:

    A very good article which reflects what actually occurred on the pitch at Brighton and the very real reason why Arsenal should endeavour to unload a mecurial over paid employee.Unfortunately the prospects of any Euopean side being prepared to take on the financial terms of his current contract must be distinctly remote unless Arsenal were prepared to waive a transfer fee altogether.Even then at £350m per week this would represent a risky investment for any potential buyer.If we could unload Ozil I suspect Emery might renegotiate with Ramsay who would be a better fit for his preferred, high pressing system.

    1. Maks says:

      No, ramsey can not be more suited for anything cos he s not holding his position and tasks on the field. Maybe he will stay on his position as false no. 9 until he realises he is really a fault.

  9. Break-on-through says:

    Do you know what article, I’m surprised hasn’t come along yet, and I thought it might never need to come. The title of the article, would go like – Do we “miss Danny Welbeck”. I think we do. When Iwobi began looking cumbersome, you know you noticed it too, we needed Danny so we could rest him. Would’ve liked for Danny to come in, he was making the team when Auba, Laca and Iwobi were looking difficult to maintain. We switched between the four at times and it was working, we also miss Bellerin badly. In this system, Bellerin at times is hugely effective. Not all the time, but enough times that he’d make many teams of the week.

  10. CorporateMan says:

    A guy who pockets 350 grand a week should influence our games more. He should be the first name on the team sheet every day. If he is not, then he should go. I agree

  11. Declan says:

    R.I.P. Mr Hill-Wood, proper Arsenal man who oversaw so many trophies as Chairman of the Board.

    1. jon fox says:

      RIP , indeed to Peter Hill-Wood and to a true fan who loved the club. Such a shame though that, in common with other then directors, he chose to sell his shares to the current non- fan owner. But he was a good man nevertheless and deeply loved our club.

      1. ken1945 says:

        That was what one would call a “proper board” with the interest of Arsenal F.C.at the centre of its being.
        It imploded with the arrival of Stan and culminated with the selling of his shares to him.
        However, he did a marvellous job before that and is another man whose DNA will forever be part of our club.

  12. Innit says:

    He doesn’t need to be sold in January
    We won’t be able to find a replacement in January
    We NEED Ozil this season

    However, yes we should sell him in the summer
    And get a more consistent CAM

    1. stubill says:

      So, who’s going to buy him then? Even if we gave him away for nothing, a 3 year deal on his current salary, plus a “small” signing on fee would cost in the region of £60 million.

      Who in their right mind is going to pay that for a 30 year old, who appears to have lost his desire to play football, week in, week out, I can’t think of anyone, can you?

      The only 2 ways he’ll leave is if he accept a much lower salary, or if we continue to pay him a huge lump of his salary, and his new club pay the rest.

      1. PSG or the Chinese could afford him if they really wanted!

        1. stubill says:

          Why would PSG pay him £350k a week, and forget the Chinese all together.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            stubill, claims have been made that big offers were oug there from Chinese Clubs because of Ozil’s high profile and prospective merchandising.

  13. jim wall says:

    If we play ozil against Liverpool were going to get thrashed, we need a front 3 of auba.. Lacca with ramsey playing as a number 10 ,they need to chase everthing down. Also kolas plays a lot better in the wing back role with amn other wing back we need their speed, liverpool 2-2 arsenal……

  14. Kunle says:

    Ozil can leave now because if any player taking highest wages such player should be able to do highest job on the field of play,player like hazard,messi,mbepe and pepe.such player most be able to win match singlehandedly several time.

  15. Amo says:

    Ithink what we are witnessing is inability or fear of amanager to manage aplayer to his optimum. Together with Lacc am starting to feel that if the same manager had players like CR7 or Messi…he will be lost on exactly what to do with them. qoute me on this, owners of Arsenal are going to think twice before refinancing the club.it is just asimple business concept…has he the right attitude to manage my major asset?

  16. RSH says:

    January sale makes no sense. Do it in the summer. Either way, he’s on borrowed time. Sick of him and will be happy to see him out the door.

  17. Petit says:

    I fancy Felipe Anderson of West Ham. Could be a perfect replacement for Ramsey . At 25yrs, he’s currently at his peak years. We should try and get him this summer, if possible.

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