While the British media has a field day over Arsene Wenger’s most recent comments regarding Mesut Ozil’s wage demands, we look at whether he meant them in the way they’re being taken.
The boss was asked about the German’s future at the club and how the contract negotiations are going, to which Wenger appeared to imply that Arsenal couldn’t afford to extend his deal.
At least, this is what most media outlets are going with.
What Wenger actually said
“I don’t think he needs convincing,” Wenger said.
“He wants to stay here. If you have a good bank, call me!
“We keep that discreet. At due time we will come out with that.
“Am I confident he will sign? It’s not my main worry now. We want to keep our best players, of course. The more I say that, the more he is in a stronger position.
“It’s not just money. Arsenal can win titles, of course. But that’s what we have to show.
“We are in a league where Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, everybody, fights and you cannot guarantee that to anybody.”
Without a video of the comments themselves, it’s hard to gauge. However, the comments sound exactly like Wenger being Wenger and having a joke with the media. In fact, the Metro appear very keen to emphasise the fact that he was joking during his ‘bank’ comments. Not only do they say he ‘joked’ in the headline, but twice more throughout the short article.
Although I’ve no doubt that we’re going to offer Ozil more money, I don’t think that we’ll have that much trouble securing him to a new deal if he really wants to stay. Of course Wenger’s going to appear coy about Ozil’s future because a) hello, he’s Arsene Wenger, and b) there is potentially a lot of money involved here. As he points out, the more he talks about how badly we need to keep hold of the playmaker, the more money Ozil’s people can demand.
We need to play our cards close to our chest, which is exactly what the boss is doing.
But that doesn’t make a very good story, does it?