Mesut Ozil & Gareth Bale – The Tale of Two Fallen Stars

It was West Bromwich Albion away back in 2013 when I first heard it:

How does it feel to be Tottenham,
How does it feel to be small,
You sold Bale,
We signed Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil

It always saddened me that the rip-off West Ham Dimtri Payet song took over as the chant for Mesut Ozil. But that day in the course of the Hawthornes, we were bouncing.

On 1 September 2013, Real Madrid announced the signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham for a then world record fee of £85.1 million. A day later Arsenal Arsenal announced the club record signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42.5million.

It felt very much that Madrid had sold Arsenal their world class German creator to make space for the Welsh winger.

Tottenham had sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, which allowed Real Madrid to sell Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.

It was a glorious moment and one which made a mockery of Tottenham’s special relationship with Madrid.

7 years on and both players are at similar stages of their career.

No longer are they world beating stars. Neither is performing to their former world class standard, but both still earn world class salaries. No longer the first names on the teamsheet.

After 7 years, Real Madrid and Arsenal both want rid of Bale and Ozil.

Anyone who has watched the pair will know they are no where near their former glories. Anyone that thinks that they are still capable of playing to the high level they both previously performed at is deluded.

Mesut Ozil was bought for his assists, Gareth Bale bought for his goals. It is interesting that both players peaked in 2015/16 with an identical output; 19 assists for Ozil, 19 goals for Bale.

Neither player has reached that height since – although Bale did have a little renaissance in 2017/18.

From both contributing 19 goals or assists in 2015/16, Ozil and Bale contributed just 2 last season. Clearly neither are as influential on the pitch as they were 4 years ago.

Off the pitch both players have also declined.

Bale has caused a lot of problems in Madrid in recent years, reportedly preferring to be alone on the golf course than with his teammates. He has isolated himself from the team, a salutary character.

Whilst Ozil is still popular amongst his teammates, he separated himself from the Arsenal squad by refusing to take the pay cut. In doing so he became the outlier of the squad.

Both players have also become deeply unpopular with the fanbase. Neither Arsenal or Madrid fans will be upset if Bale or Ozil leave this summer, infact moves will be celebrated by many.

It will be seen as losing a highly paid, underperforming former great player. Someone who fans have never really connected with en-masse, never really bought into The Arsenal or Real Madrid. An individual talent more concerned with themselves than the team they play for.

It is interesting, therefore, that the move of Bale to Tottenham is being celebrated as some sort of coup.

Would the media be celebrating Mesut Ozil moving to Newcastle or Everton on loan? Both clubs would be hammered for signing an expensive player who no longer performs at the top of the game.

Bale and Ozil’s career since moving to and from North London and Madrid in 2013 have taken a similar path.

Very good performances, contributed to their clubs winning trophies, and then demise.

Both are now shadows of the players they previously were, whilst being the top earners at their clubs.

Maybe it is time for a new song?

How does it feel to be Tottenham,
How does it feel to be small,
You signed Bale,
We sold Mesut Ozil, Mesut Ozil

Keenos

2 thoughts on “Mesut Ozil & Gareth Bale – The Tale of Two Fallen Stars

  1. Johnno

    Not sure what type of contract he`s signed but I reckon the Kangas have dropped a bollock re-signing old Cornelius. It will probably give the rest of the players a short term lift but it will only take a few month before people realise he`s not the same player he once was. Surprised Levy the bean counter sanctioned the deal to be honest, smacks of desperation in my opinion.

    Like

    Reply

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