Ever since he wrote that Mesut Ozil was ‘nicking a living’, the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton has taken a hell of a lot of abuse from Arsenal fans.
His comments came after Mesut Ozil’s ‘performance’ in Munich in 2014 which saw him come off at halftime. Of course, as it later transpired, the German had pulled a muscle as early as the second minute in that game but had tried to carry on leading to his ineffectual performance.
Since his arrival at the club for a record fee of £42.5m, Ozil has come under intense scrutiny; the type of microscope that rarely seems to be trained on players with hefty price tags who rock up at other clubs – at least not as soon as they step onto the pitch. Others seem to get time to prove themselves. Not so at Arsenal. Think Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny if you need further examples, and they didn’t even come with massive transfer fees.
For many outside Arsenal, it is only this season that we have seen Mesut Ozil truly show what he is capable off, but for fans of the club, Ozil is doing what he’s always been doing – it’s just that his teammates have finally caught up with him and are converting his chances.
As we approach the end of the calendar year with Ozil delivering assists with frightening regularity, many have been forced to eat humble pie, but they’ve done so with a massive dollop of ‘why wasn’t he doing it all along?’ to help lubricate it down their bitter throats. Only a few weeks ago we had David Moyes telling us that the jury was still out on the German. It’s a narrative that won’t ever go away.
This week, Neil Ashton took to Twitter once again, but this time it was to poke fun at himself for those comments 21 months ago. In fairness, it’s something he does relatively regularly if you watch him host Sunday Supplement on Sky.
His original comments, while totally ridiculous, certainly did not warrant the sustained abuse that he has suffered – no matter what you think of the absurdity of his comments, no person deserves to receive the sort of abuse Ashton did for comments about a football player, something the Mail itself could do well to consider when it publishes its hack pieces.
Anyway, we abused him for saying it originally, it’s only right that we highlight when he takes it back:
Those moments when you wish you had taken a deep breath before typing. Thank you for all the retweets this year. https://t.co/mb7D09idpk
— Neil Ashton (@neilashton_) December 29, 2015
How about not being so ridiculous in the first place next time? Just a suggestion.
— Rohan (@Rohirrim_AFC94) December 29, 2015