One of the commonly written lines by fans of Mesut Ozil is that he was frozen out by Arsenal following his comments over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China.
This is a fake claim created by Ozil fans in an attempt to paint their hero as a victim, and Arsenal as an evil entity that have been profit ahead of humanity.
The fact these people claim to be Arsenal fans, yet are quick to peddle lies that damage the club is sad. Let’s be honest; they are not Arsenal fans but Ozil’s fans.
These people will likely begin following Fenerbache or DC United or whatever 3rd world team decides to pay Ozil the millions he desires. For Ozil money is clearly more important than football.
When he scores a goal again some waiters or frat boys, they will be flooding twitter with their admiration. Saying he was proving Arsenal wrong. Ignoring the fact that the quality in Turkey and America is no better than League One or the SPL.
So they paint Ozil as a victim. That he spoke out for Muslims in China and was since ostracised from the team.
I stood with Ozil at the time of his comments, blogging my support of his comments. And I still back him and anyone else that highlights human rights issues, genocide and discrimination across the globe.
For too long sports – not just football – have taken their product to countries with horrendous human rights records. Sport should be highlighting issues by blacklisting those countries from having an F1 race or a heavyweight title fight. Not taking millions to host an event in one of the backwards nations so that they can sportswash.
But Ozil was not excluded from the Arsenal squad due to his comments over China. And there is two clear reasons which highlight how fake this claim is.
13 December 2019: Ozil releases a social media post calling Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution” and criticising both China and the silence of Muslims in response.
14 December 2019: Arsenal distance themselves from Ozil’s views stating “Following social media messages from Mesut Ozil on Friday, Arsenal Football Club must make it clear that these are Mesut’s personal views.”
15 December 2019: Ozil starts against Manchester City under Freddie Ljungberg.
29 December 2019: Mikel Arteta starts Ozil against Chelsea in his first game as manager.
1 December 2020 – 7 March 2020: Ozil starts every Premier League game under Mike Arteta making it 12 starts in 14 games since the comments about China.
9 March 2020: Premier League football suspended.
17 June 2020: Mesut Ozil left out of squad for first game back against Manchester City for “tactical reasons”.
20 June 2020 – 25 June 2020: Mesut Ozil unused substitute for games against Brighton and Southampton.
01 July 2020 – 26 July 2020: Ozil fails to be selected in a match day squad for the remainder of 2019/20; a run of 7 games.
20 October 2020 – Arsenal decide to not register Mesut Ozil; effectively ending his Arsenal career.
Once you see the timeline, you quickly realise that Arsenal and Arteta’s decision to deliver Ozil has nothing to do with China. Otherwise why would he have played so many games following his comments?
China’s Commercial Contribution to Arsenal
“Arsenal could not afford to lose the income that comes in from China” is usually the next sentence that Ozil fans type after saying their man has been excluded over his comments.
Again, this is simply not true.
The truth is Arsenal actually generate very little money from Chinese partners.
A look at the clubs latest accounts (yes, the club still have to produce publicly available accounts) shows we generated £110m in commercial revenue.
This was broken down as:
Visit Rwanda: £10m
So 75% of our commercial income in 2019 came from German, Emirati and Rwandan companies. None of them Chinese.
From 2020, Adidas took over from Puma. A German kit manufacturer replacing a German kit manufacturer. Arsenal doubled their income to £60m.
The Adidas deal would have seen income from the 3 major commercial partners increase to 80% of Arsenal’s total income.
Arsenal do not have a major Chinese commercial partner. The income that comes from Chinese companies would not even cover 2 months of Ozil’s wages.
So for Arsenal to exclude him to “protect Chinese revenues” makes zero sensez
“But what about the TV deal” is usually the next point made.
Arsenal do not get money directly from China for broadcasting rights. That income is negotiated by the Premier League on behalf of all clubs, and then distributed equally by the authorities to all clubs.
Would the Premier League have demanded Arsenal to exclude Ozil to protect their lucrative Chinese broadcasting rights? No.
It would be unthinkable for the league to be dictating to clubs who they can and can not see the. And if they did it would have been leaked by now.
So we have seen the timeline which shows that Ozil was selected for months after his comments; and we have debunked the myth that Arsenal dropped him to protect non-existent Chinese review.
So what is the truth?
For the truth as to why Mesut Ozil was dropped we need to look at his history.
When he left Real Madrid for Arsenal in 2013, the feeling was he did not have the hunger to fight for his place.
Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid manager at the time, was quoted as saying “Maybe he saw he was going to have competition, and he asked for a way out”
Whilst Zinedine Zidane made a similar accusation:
“Ozil decided to leave. He is a good player who has given us so much, so we wish him well.
There are players who have responded with strength and will to fight for a place, but not everyone reacted the same.”
Having been made the scape goat for Germany’s early exit from the 2018 World Cup, Ozil quickly announced his retirement from international football.
He blamed “racism and disrespect” but it is also another example of when things get tough for Mesut Ozil, when he has to fight for his club on country, he downs tools.
The same has happened at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, Unai Emery and Mike Arteta.
On many occasions Ozil would pull out sick on the evening of a big game. And in turn all 3 managers dropped him for tough games.
Each time Ozil was dropped, the manager said it was for “tactical reasons”. The real reason would be that Ozil does not raise his level in tough games. He shrinks away.
Ancelotti, Zidane, Lowe, Wenger, Emery and Arteta. They have led their clubs to World Cup’s, Champions Leagues, League titles and countless other trophies. They know what they are doing.
What is becoming clear is that Ozil is the type of person who lacks drive, lacks hunger, and runs away from a fight.
At Madrid Ozil took the easy option and left.
At Germany Ozil took the easy option and retired.
At Arsenal he failed to adapt his game as to the managers demands, failing to fight for his place.
And at Arsenal he has preferred to sit in his £10m mansion for 6 months, not playing football; rather than take a move last summer.
Ozil is not up for a fight. He wants an easy life. And every time life has got a little tough; he has ran away.
Mesut Ozil is a yellow. A namby pamby. A coward. Yeh is not the type of person you would want in the trenches.
He will now go to Fenerbache where he will get the hero status he craves, but does not want to work hard for. He will coast in an easy league that is leaves below his talent.
He is like the University footballer who would rather play for the fifths rather than the firsts so that he can get an easy life.
Ozil’s time is running out at Arsenal. He helped bring trophies back to the club following an 8 year drought – winning 3 FA Cups.
But legendary players are those that drag you through the tough games, the tough times. Not run away.
The only surprise is that when Sead Kolasinac jumped out of their car to stop knife wielding car jackets, Ozil did not drive off. Did not run.