Mesut Ozil has given an exclusive interview to David Ornstein at The Athletic in which he addresses, well, pretty much most things.
I’m proud to be an Arsenal player, a fan and I’m happy here
It’s been widely reported that the club are trying to get Mesut Ozil to leave. GPS data, they say, is behind why he’s being ostracised.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear they want him out.
But he’s not going.
“You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I’m not going to,” Ozil told Ornstein. “I’m here until at least 2021.”
Take note of that phrase, ‘at least’.
“I said that Arsene Wenger was a big factor in me joining Arsenal — and he was — but ultimately I signed for the club,” Ozil continued. “Even when Arsene announced he was leaving, I wanted to stay because I love playing for Arsenal and that’s why I’ve been here for six years.
“When I moved from Real Madrid, it was a really tough time for Arsenal. But I always believed in what we could do and together we delivered. More recently things have been difficult and a lot has changed. But I’m proud to be an Arsenal player, a fan and I’m happy here. Whenever people see me in the street I always say, ‘This is my home’. I’m going nowhere.”
Should Unai Emery fail to get Champions League football this season, while sidelining our most creative player – one who has still managed to create more chances for his teammates than any other under Emery despite hardly playing – then you would fancy Ozil’s chances of outlasting the Spaniard.
“All I know is what has already been said,” Ozil adds about why he’s not playing. “It’s disappointing, of course. But as a professional footballer, I have to respect the decision of the coach. Not being involved, watching from home, makes me feel helpless.
“I want to be part of the side, I want to support my team-mates to succeed. I’m not training all the time just for the sake of it, I’m ready to play. This should not be about me or the coach, only the club. I have to give everything, be fit and focused, and I’m training hard to be ready.
“Pre-season went very well and although things were disrupted by the [moped] attack, since then I’ve been fully available and when the coach has selected me I’ve been ready, played and always tried to give my best.
“I’ve trained at the same level my whole career but because I’ve not had minutes recently, I’m doing extra work with the fitness coach and in the gym to get even fitter than normal. I know what is needed and believe in myself.”
Either way, it doesn’t seem like this whole thing is going to ease up anytime soon.