As you have already probably read / heard, the breaking Arsenal story of the last 24 hours or so is the news that Mesut Ozil’s future is interlinked with Arsene Wenger’s. That the German superstar will only remain at Arsenal, signing a new contract, if Arsene Wenger does the same.
Like with everything Wenger related – and the majority of things Ozil result – the full out on social media has been polar opposites.
On one hand you have those that have used the news to show that Mesut Ozil, who in their eyes is better than Zidane, is only at Arsenal due to Arsene, and that him only wanting to stay if Wenger stays is the only justification required when it comes to Wenger’s new 2 year contract that is on the table.
On the other side of the fence are those that blame Wenger for everything and see Ozil as his immortalisation on the pitch. Everything that is wrong with Arsenal is Arsene, and everything that Wenger portrays off the pitch is portrayed by Ozil on the pitch. Ozil is Wenger’s muse. The only reason Ozil want’s to stay at Arsenal under Wenger is because life is easy under Wenger. Wenger does not push him, and he gets away with whatever he wants. Big money for any east life.
Unfortunately for both parties, all this furore has highlighted how much a newspaper will take quotes and twist it to a headline, ignoring what was actually said. How little people read the quotes. And how much press BS people will believe if it suits their agenda. Whether that be Wenger-In or Wenger-Out.
Let’s look at them quotes from German football magazine Kicker in full;
“I want to be clear on what Wenger is doing,”
“I feel very, very happy at Arsenal and have shown the club that I am prepared to extend my contract,”
“The fans want me to stay. Now it’s just down to the club.”
“The club knows that I am, above all, here because of Arsene Wenger – who signed me and whose trust I have,”
“The club also knows that I just want to be clear on what the manager will do.”
At no point has Ozil said that he will only remain at Arsenal if Arsene Wenger stays. Or will leave if Arsene Wenger go’s. There has been a lot of reading between the lines.
Yes, Ozil admits that Wenger was a big reason for coming to Arsenal – and that should be remembered when it comes to replacing Wenger; Manchester United struggled to attract players under David Moyes – but that does not mean he is saying he will only stay at Arsenal if Arsene Wenger stays.
Of course, he wants clarification on what the managerial situation is going to be next season. Arsene Wenger’s contract comes to an end. Any player who is currently in contract negotiations with the club will be concerned as to what will happen next season.
Will Wenger still be at the club? If not who will be? Is it someone they know? Someone they have worked with? Someone they can work with?
Often in real life, when a popular long term manager leaves a company, those who served underneath question their future. The replacement manager could lead to the staff staying, but could also lead to a mass raft of resignations if they get the replacement wrong.
The way I see things, Ozil just wants to know what is going on before committing his future to the club. Does it mean he will only stay under Wenger? No. Does it mean he will leave if Wenger leaves? No. Does it mean he wants to see what the situation is going to be next season before making up his own mind? Yes.
Like Alexis Sanchez, Ozil has said that it is “down to the club”. They know what they want for him to stay. And the ball is in their hands. I imagine for Sanchez, like Ozil, the future depends on not just what Wenger does in terms of staying or going, but what the club does in terms of potentially replacing him.
Playing under Steve Bould or Eddie Howe is very different to playing under Diego Simeone or Massimiliano Allegri.
Of course, some will say that it should be The Arsenal, and not the manager, that is key to their decision. These people live in the past where people used to sign contracts without even reading them.
Footballers now only care about money, and that they will get on with the manager who will potentially drive them to success. More success means more money.
So let’s put them agendas away. I will leave the final summary to blogger You Are My Arsenal.