Mesut Ozil has left the Arsenal building and yet he’s still being blamed for what’s gone wrong at the club but there are many falsehoods doing the rounds.
“Mesut Ozil’s bumper Arsenal contract has ‘hampered their ability to grow’” shouted the headline on Sky Sports.
They continued, “Football expert Raphael Honigstein on Mesut Ozil’s impact on Arsenal in the transfer market: “If you spend so much one on one player and he’s no longer in the squad, that affects your ability to attract others. So part of those issues go back to the decision to give him a new contract.”
Let’s take this one step at a time, shall we.
Mesut Ozil getting paid a lot and not being played affects your ability to attract others?
What does this even mean?
Does he mean because they see him sidelined? Or because it means Arsenal have less money?
Ozil’s contract didn’t seem to hamper Arsenal when sorting David Luiz or Willian’s wages and Ozil’s exclusion didn’t seem to bother Thomas Partey, who shafted Atletico Madrid to join Arsenal, nor Gabriel, who turned down a move to United.
Honigstein offers a little more thought later in the piece but it’s not all that helpful in what just appears to be pro-Arsenal propaganda.
“I mean, no one forced [Arsenal] and that’s the point he’s [Ozil] always making,” he continued. “No one forced them to give him this huge deal. They felt it was absolutely necessary. One of the last things Arsene Wenger did was make sure that he signed that new deal.
“And that hampered Arsenal’s ability to grow in the transfer market ever since. But of course, some of these issues preceded that; some of the weakness that we saw from Arsenal preceded that, how much was Mesut responsible for that rather than just being part or sort of swept up in it? It’s impossible to answer.”
Well, no, it’s not impossible to answer.
First up, if ‘some of the issues preceded that,’ then they are nothing to do with Mesut Ozil or his wages and are irrelevant to the point.
Second, it’s been reliably reported that Arsene Wenger, as much as he wanted Ozil to sign a new deal, RESENTED the club offering him such large wages which would certainly fit more with the man we all knew for 20+ years than a man eagerly throwing hundreds of thousands of pounds at a player.
Thirdly, since Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil in 2013 they have a net spend in the transfer market of £314.39m. They’ve spent £25m on Kieran Tierney, £72m on Nicolas Pepe, £27m on William Saliba, £19m on Bernd Leno, £17.6m on Sokratis, £26.4m on Lucas Torreira, £52.7m on Alexandre Lacazette, £56m on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, £34m on Granit Xhaka, £35m on Shkodran Mustafi, £35m on Alexis Sanchez, and, of course, loads more on a ton of other players.
Since Ozil signed his bumper new deal, Arsenal’s net spend is more than half that, £158.8m, including Nicolas Pepe’s eye-watering fee and £15m just to borrow Dani Ceballos for the first season.
What ‘hampered Arsenal’s ability to grow in the transfer market’ is stupid decisions to spend far too much on mediocre players.
We can all agree that Nicolas Pepe is not worth £72m. We could have picked up three really good players for that amount of money.
How is that anything to do with Mesut Ozil? Or Pepe for that matter, while we’re here.
Stan Kroenke and Edu are in for a bit of a shock when Ozil finally departs. Arsene Wenger was happy to take all the flak from irate fans and, when he left, the club deftly directed that the German’s way.
With him gone, there will be a villain’s role to be filled.
Who will the club direct the media, and therefore fans, towards next so we take our eyes off them?
Mesut Ozil is expected to be unveiled as a Fenerbahce player on Monday, 25 January. He has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, taking a massive paycut in the process.