Arsenal wanted Mesut Ozil out and were even prepared to pay him off to end their joint misery, but the player has decided to sit tight and count the cash. So much has gone on behind the scenes that even now, it appears highly unlikely that the German playmaker will make a comeback.
Rumours of conflict with players, the coach, and the club persist and with the history between all parties you’d think that Ozil would choose the nearest escape exit, but seemingly not. The only man left with any principles in football is now going to try to persuade his teammates, coach, and the Arsenal management that he is still needed, even if he isn’t wanted.
Arteta has planned for a life without the midfielder and the club have agreed to terms with Willian in a different role. Mmm, I wonder what that could be?
They are also looking to secure another loan deal for Ceballos and have interest in another two attacking/creative midfielders, that says all you need to know.
“My position is clear, I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club. Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger. I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.”
Yet, it will require a gargantuan u-turn from the club and coach to exonerate and reinstate the number 10 after being at loggerheads for so long.
His refusal to take a pay cut annoyed Arsenal chiefs but that was nothing compared to the controversy of his social media post condemning China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims back in December 2019. Chinese broadcasters pulled the plug on Arsenal games and the club feared a backlash with their commercial interests including shirts.
In truth, Mesut Ozil has become adept at lurching from one public disaster to another at his own hand since Wenger was dismissed from Arsenal. Freddie Ljungberg gave him a chance after the midfielder’s “You are not a coach” comment to Unai Emery but in all honesty, it always felt like a situation that could go in reverse at any stage.
After the Premier League’s restart, Arteta assessed the player’s fitness, form but more importantly his attitude. The coach concluded that little had changed to alter his decision to exclude him in the first team.
He refused to accept a pay cut during the Lockdown period and questioned the difference between BLM and the treatment of Uyghur Muslims, which created some tensions. It was said by a source close to the club that he found the club’s position completely contradictory and that he wasn’t happy to accept that the players had to adopt a kneeling stance throughout the remainder of the rebooted season.
Two appearances on the bench were as close as he got over the season and Özil’s chances decreased substantially when he took to social media to announce his readiness to return. He managed to alienate his employers by seemingly overstepping the boundaries by pressurising Arteta to include him.
Yet, the playmaker was adamant that he will decide his own destiny when he told Ornstein:
“I’ll decide when I go, not other people. I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone. Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home.”
Let’s hope Arteta didn’t read the Ornstein article because it questions his exclusion:
“I fully respect the coach’s decision but I believe these things should mainly be decided on the pitch. After the restart, I wasn’t given a chance to show what I can do. You don’t play 10 games in a row if you’re unfit, not good enough, or don’t behave well. If I played these games badly and was then left out completely for that reason then I might understand, but this was not the case.”
Mesut Ozil may not be able to swallow his pride and turn his back on Arsenal, even with a multi-million pound pay off on offer, but Arsenal could still refuse to have him in the team. He has addressed the issues from his perspective almost trying to goad the club into a reaction, but that ploy may also have failed miserably. He needs to go.