Search

Layth Yousif’s Arsenal opinion: We need to talk about Mesut

PUBLISHED: 12:26 14 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 14 October 2017

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire.

PA Archive/PA Images

Read Islington Gazette Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif’s latest must-read opinion column.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire. Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire.

Arsene Wenger is holding court on a wide range of issues at London Colney.

As he deals with one question in particular you swear there is a twinkle in his eye, and a suppression of a wry smile.

Whether you agree with him or not on any topic is immaterial, he answers questions with an equanimity and intelligence that puts other managers to shame, most notably one who lost his job this week.

Yes, you can argue he is disingenuous at times, not to mention answering questions to problems that could be argued are of his own making. But he’ll always give you an answer.

And the one he gave on Mesut Ozil this week was highly revealing for what was left unsaid.

Ozil has been a conundrum since he signed for the club for £42 million in 2013.

Who can recall his impressive early displays – the evening he ran the show against Napoli in the Champions League for example – and the notion that this creative midfielder could be an important component in a side that could once again challenge for the league title.

Fast forward four years.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire. Arsenal's Mesut Ozil.PA Wire.

Four long years in terms of underachievement and underperformance. In the Premier League and in the Champions League.

For many, including this observer, his ‘display’ in the 4-0 humiliation against Liverpool at Anfield was the final straw for those who had always stuck up for him.

He was poor that day. As poor as any Arsenal midfielder has been over the last three decades – and we’ve seen a few howlers. But most of them contained passion if not technique or creativity.

No-one is suggesting a return to the days of Geroge Graham’s David Hillier, Ian Selley, Steve Morrow and John Jensen. Heaven forbid – although they all helped deliver silverware.

But what you got from those limited players was heart. Passion. Commitment. A pride in the shirt. A pride in playing for The Arsenal.

Ozil’s display against Liverpool was pathetic. Truly pathetic.

The French have a saying: ‘Drench the shirt’. Meaning whatever you do come off that pitch soaked in sweat having given your all.

When’s the last time you could say hand on heart Ozil did that?

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said 'A club isn't just about winning it's about values'. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said 'A club isn't just about winning it's about values'. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA

Ozil only played in the 2-0 win over West Brom as a late substitute. He didn’t travel to BATE Borisov in the Europa League 72 hours later. Before that the team played far better without him in their hugely-encouraging 0-0 draw at the home of the champions Chelsea.

And don’t say he deserves special treatment because he’s a creative talent. Because how hard do Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi work? For their team. For their team-mates. For their club. For the fans.

Ozil has been given so many chances that even Wenger’s had enough. And for those of us who deal with agents, to see Ozil’s representatives making encouraging noises about signing another contract at Arsenal, prompts nothing more than a wry smile.

Of course they’re making those noises. Who else in Europe has been willing to pay £300,000 a week for him?

No-one that’s who.

Meaning for Wenger the cards are now in his favour.

Ozil is in danger of being left without a top level football club come the end of the season.

How this gilded World Cup winner responds to that will shed insight into his character.

Many who’ve watched him over the last couple of years, however, believe they already know the answer.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Arsenal took on Manchester City in the 2018 Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Read Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS from the showpiece match.

Pep Guardiola won his 22nd trophy as a manager as his Manchester City side comprehensively beat Arsenal 3-0 in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

10:20

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger replied immediately when asked the question.

Yesterday, 23:10

Sunday’s League Cup final is eagerly-awaited by a large number of Arsenal fans. Read on as a number of loyal supporters explained to Layth Yousif what the trophy means to them.

Yesterday, 21:42

With the eagerly-awaited Carabao Cup final on Sunday read the latest in our series detailing previous Arsenal League Cup finals by talking to the people who were there. Read on as we recall the shock upset the Gunners suffered against Luton Towin in the 1988 Wembley showpiece as Gus Caesar unfortunately wrote himself into the history books for all the wrong reasons in a crazy game.

Yesterday, 14:00

Wood Green’s Focus Football hosted a special tournament for youngsters at Fortismere School last Friday.

Yesterday, 10:14

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was in spiky form at his club’s training ground this week ahead of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.

Yesterday, 09:30

Beth Mead fired Arsenal into third in the FA Women’s Super League 1 as the Gunners beat Everton at Meadow Park on Friday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now