No place for Ozil at Arsenal
Author: Kshitiz Choudhary
It has been a dreadful past few months for Mesut Ozil at Arsenal. When Arsenal parted ways with Unai Emery in December 2019, many felt his Arsenal career could be rejuvenated under new leadership.
The early signs cemented that thought as Ozil played 10 games on the trot under new boss Mikel Arteta. Then came the unusual break due to COVID-19. Everything has gone downhill since.
Arsenal’s board had asked all players to take salary cuts in order to cope with the monetary losses due to COVID-19. Ozil did not accept the salary cut, and has not kicked a ball for Arsenal since. He remained an unused sub throughout the close of last season. This season, he has not even made the bench.
It was confirmed last week that Arsenal have kept him out of the Europa League squad for the group stages. Nevertheless, Arteta continued to suggest that all is not lost for Ozil and the German could still find a way back into the team.
But as Arsenal confirmed their 25-man squad for the Premier League yesterday, Ozil was again left out. This effectively means that Ozil will not be representing Arsenal on the pitch up until February 2021 at the very least.
After this devastating news surfaced, Ozil took to social media to express his pain and emotions.
“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years”, Ozil writes. “I’m really disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being. Upon signing my contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.”
“As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I have always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far”, Ozil added. “Before the coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta. But then things changed again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.”
“What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club. No matter what I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset. I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”
If not anything, Ozil has definitely been loyal to Arsenal and the supporters. Even when he was frozen out by Emery last season, he continued to motivate the team and the fans with his social media posts. It is sad to see the deterioration in the relationship between him and the club. Although his post suggests that he will continue to work hard to get back into the team, surely his chances aren’t looking very good.
Header Photo: Kieran Clarke, Flickr