Tag Archives: Mesut Özil

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

Arsenal snub Ozil whilst he makes return to action

Morning all (at least it is still morning when I started writing!)

Later than usual blog from me on a Sunday. I took the advantage of being on part-time furlough to spend some time with family in Suffolk.

Cracking weekend for this to be fair. Bought a sofa. Got a great deal on it as the sofa shop I bought it from had a sale on.

Yesterday was all about Mesut Ozil’s return in an Arsenal shirt as we lost 3-2 in a friendly at home to Aston Villa.

Never read too much into friends results. Clubs use games for different reasons and teams can be at different stages of development prior to the start of pre-season.

Some saw the return of Ozil as redemption. That he has returned to Mikel Arteta’s plans for the new season.

But then we have the photo from our friends over at The Arsenal History – a great source of reading material written by a couple of lads who really know their stuff. Readdresses many a myth about Arsenal’s history. I digress.

So that photo taken by Andy Kelly.

In the Armoury printing area, there are two notable omissions on the wall.

Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.

Hector Bellerin is on it twice, as is Bukayo Saka. Out-on-loan Kostadinos Mavropanos is also on the wall. And the likes of Sokratis, Lucas Torreira and Rob Holding. All of whom are likely to leave the club this week.

But no Matteo Guendouzi or Mesut Ozil.

So on one hand Arsenal are not advertising the 2 ostracised players names and numbers, and then on the other Mesut Ozil was involved in the friendly against Aston Villa.

Read into this what you will.

Late Friday night Arsenal confirmed Dani Ceballos’ return to the club on loan. A good deal.

This time round Arsenal are paying no loan fee, but the Spaniards full wages.

When you consider last season we were paying 50% of Henrik Mkhitaryan’s £180k wages whilst out on loan to Roma, Arsenal will be financially up across the 2 deals.

Ceballos is the 2nd piece in the Arteta 3 man midfield jigsaw. The first being Granit Xhaka.

Expect at least one more signing in the middle of the park to go the other side of Xhaka. Hopefully Thomas Partey who will provide a physical presence in the middle and defensive cover on the right hand side of the pitch.

That defensive cover could be important if we play Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right back in a back 4.

Partey performed well at right back for Atlético Madrid against Arsenal a few years back.

It would be an exciting attacking option for Arsenal to have AMN pushing forward and Nicolas Pepe cutting inside, with Partey dropping deeper and wider to cover them.

We might even get a 2nd new central midfielder (someone more creative such as Houssem Aouar) to give us 4 senior options for 3 places. Will give Arteta the choice to go more attacking, or more defensive depending on the opponent.

So remember, season ticket holders. If you wish to go to games this season, renew now and ballot registrations are open.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Keenos

Mesut Ozil talks a great game, but his actions speak louder than his words

He has always played the media game well has Mesut Ozil. I wonder how much he spends on his PR team?

Yesterday he released an interview through The Athletic where he painted himself the victim at Arsenal.

He blamed Arsenal for rushing the pay cut talks, and said that he refused to take one as “questions remained unanswered”.

Ozil declared himself fit and ready to play, and that he was committed to Arsenal.

He showed disappointment in Arsenal distancing themselves from his view on the treatment of Uighur Muslim’s in China.

And finally he said he had no regrets of his actions and decisions.

As expected, his fans lapped it up. Backed him. Blamed Arsenal. Some even said he should “sue Arsenal” for the way they have treated him.

All these people show that they are supporters or Mesut Ozil, not supporters or Arsenal.

When the time does come for Ozil to leave, they will likely leave him, and begin supporting whatever Turkish, Chinese or American side he joins.

He oddly has a huge backing from Nigeria.

Dare criticise him on Twitter and your mentions will be inundated with Nigerian based “Arsenal fans” supporting him.

So Ozil has spoken a great game once more. But actions speak louder than words.

Following the resumption of football, he ended up out of Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Some have said that this was a financial decision made by the board in an attempt to force him out of the club – to get his £18m wages off the wage bill next season.

But this view does not make sense.

Qualifying for the Europe League is worth around £35million. Can double that if we had have sneaked the Champions League.

Each individual place in the Premier League is worth about £2m more than the place below.

It is clear and obvious that the financial reward for finishing higher in the league is greater than what Ozil would cost over the next 12 months.

So the financial incentive of the club would have been to finish as high up the table as possible, and therefore Arteta to play his best team as possible.

Leaving Ozil out for financial reasons and then failing to make the Europa League makes zero sense.

Whilst every few weeks Ozil tweets or posted on Instagram that he is ready and raring to go, Arteta got to see him day in, day out in training.

His actions and performances at London Colney speak much more about his readiness than what the player says on social media.

The ultimate action was Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi not being at Wembley for the final, whilst the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Bernd Leno, Gabriel Martinelli and Callum Chambers we’re invited along.

What it indicates is Arteta didn’t want the atmosphere around that both players bring. The negativity.

A decision was made not to have either about and Arsenal won.

There has been plenty of talk about Ozil often calling in sick to training. About his inability to complete a full weeks training.

On top of that, he has reportedly pulled out of match day squads with a “sore back” at very late notice.

Against Manchester City in the first game back it was on the day of the game.

So whilst Ozil might sit on social media and tel his fans that he is ready to play, his actions clearly do not back up his words.

Ultimately, if Ozil has the hunger and desire to play football, he would be looking for a move away.

The fact that he has said he will remain at Arsenal next season regardless of whether he plays or not shows he has no real interest in playing football anymore.

Yes, he is under contract at Arsenal and does not have to force a move away. But if he had the hunger to play football he would.

His time at Arsenal is clearly over. It is now down to him whether he wants to play football or not.

My feeling is he will remain at Arsenal for the season and not playing. All that action does is support Arteta and the management team at Arsenal.

It simply highlights that Ozil no longer has the right mentality to be a top footballer.

Keenos