There has not been much talk about the actual football during the international break, and with Mesut Ozil now out of contention with the mis-firing German team, it looks like the Arsenal midfielder is taking the opportunity to launch a charm offensive to try and get the Arsenal fans back on his side, after many criticisms over his massive wage packet compared to his performances.
The PR exercise began last week, when his agent Dr Erkut Sogut said that Ozil always wanted to remain in north London. “We had some really big offers from Asia, there were some crazy offers. But for Mesut, money was by no means the biggest factor,” Sogut said. “Money is definitely one important thing to consider, but people must remember that footballing ability is just one aspect of a contract negotiation. The commercial impact of a footballer is crucial nowadays.
“His market is worldwide. The club makes money out of these players as well, but it came down to what was in his heart.
“We were free to sign with other clubs and in the end Mesut loves the club. I put everything to him and he just said, ‘This is my home, I want to be here’.”
So he is saying that the new contract had nothing to do with money, and Ozil makes so much for the club commercially that it was sensible for him to have his wages doubled. In fact he may have done us a favour, whether he plays well or not!
Now Ozil himself has spoken to Arsenal.com about how much the fans love him, and how much he loves the fans. “When I first arrived here I was very excited and a little bit nervous as well.” he said. “It was always a new chapter and at the end of the day I was very happy to play for such a big club like Arsenal and meet all my team-mates.
“When I first arrived at the training ground, outside there were so many people. They were waiting for me. It was very special and it was a very good moment for me. The feeling was amazing, even the first game at the Emirates was so special for me. All the fans supported me until now and I’m really grateful and appreciative of that.
“I just heard that the club hadn’t won this trophy [the Emirates FA Cup] for many years so it was very special for me and for my team because it was our first title. It was important to continue this work and as a player you work for titles.
“If you win at the end of the season, you’re happy because you really have worked for that and you want to reach your goals. At the end of the day we were happy with the team. It was special, not just for us, but for the fans as well.
“We keep trying to win trophies to make us and the fans happy.”
Ozil is not famed for giving interviews and normally likes to stay out of the spotlight (until forced into the open by Germany this summer) so it is unusual for him to open up. Do you think he has been advised to try and up his popularity rating, which could be on the wane lately? Will this new openness make the fans love him just a little bit more?