Today marks four years to the day that Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil, and looking back at comments from the club at the time, you can’t help but think they were spinning a load of bulls**t (shocking, I know).
Ozil was a long-term target for Arsene Wenger and he finally landed his man when he was no longer wanted by Real Madrid. Just 24 years of age, he was entering his prime and should have been the signing to kickstart a revolution at Arsenal after the end of the austerity years
Instead, despite Ozil’s misunderstood brilliance, the club appear to be heading backwards, throwing Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis’s comments from when they signed Ozil, under a new light that shows just how much nonsense they’ve been feeding fans for a long time.
“Mr Kroenke, our controlling owner, has always fully supported Arsène and the Club in making significant investments to strengthen our squad and to bring in talented players who fit our style and ambitions,” Gazdis said after signing Ozil in a summer that saw Arsenal spend £325m net and not make a profit for a change.
But it wasn’t just the fans that the club lied to.
They also fed Ozil a load of nonsense too, as he said upon signing, “From our negotiations it is clear the Club has huge ambition and I look forward to being part of an exciting future.”
Mesut Ozil’s signing was the catalyst that allowed us to sign Alexis Sanchez.
I firmly believe that the Chilean would not have signed for Arsenal had they not already landed Ozil the year before. Ozil must be given credit for coming to Arsenal when he did, at a time when there were no other world class players at the club.
It should have been the first move in a series of steps that took Arsenal back to the top.
Instead, mismanagement, awful tactics and poor team selection have seen Arsenal slip out of the top four for the first time in 20 years and while they have won three FA Cups in four years, even Arsene Wenger will tell you that the true measure of a side’s ability lies in the league, not the cups.
With just one year remaining on his contract, it is still unclear if Arsenal can convince Ozil to take yet another chance on them.
With Alexis set for an exit and Arsenal continuing to struggle on the pitch, will we be remembering the fifth anniversary of Ozil signing for us with fondness or heavy hearts?
The smart money, at present, would be on the latter.