Mesut Ozil, Arsenal’s longest serving player and arguably one of the most talented players to play at the Emirates stadium. His career is all but over after he was omitted from both the Premier League and Europa League squad.
But what led to this situation happening to a player who was once the teams best player?
Talented Ozil but Lazy
One of the biggest criticisms Ozil received was being labelled Lazy. His body language would him appear detached and disinterested, and his tendency to throw up his arms in frustration when he lost possession frequently caused fans and pundits to throw jibes at him.
When the opponents had the ball it was as though Arsenal were down to 10 men as Ozil walks around like a pedestrian. Ozil frequently went MIA in the big games when Arsenal struggled. He was the scapegoat for majority of Arsenal’s poor performances.
This case led to him being frozen out by Unai Emery, Emery would say absence was due to tactical reasons and would often question his commitment and attitude.
The £350,000-a-week contact
Ozil in 2018 was offered a bumper £350k a week contract making him Arsenal’s highest paid player ever. But was it justified? Some people say Arsenal were a bit desperate to make a statement because they had just lost Alexis Sanchez.
This contract which expires next year has a stipulation that that’s saves Arsenal £100,000 whenever Ozil doesn’t feature. His inability to justify his wages has led to heavy criticism and the board were desperate to sell him and even tried to terminate his contract but Ozil insisted he’ll stay and honour his contract.
Involvement in political issues
Off the pitch Ozil is a well known advocate of charity, human rights and social justice.
Arsenal distanced themselves away from Ozil’s political involvement. He criticised Arsenal for their failure to support him in his comments against China’s treatment of the minority Muslim Uighur population.
The club of course never want to be involved in politics especially given their reputation and business within China and also the fact that they would face sanctions from China.
In 2018 before his retirement from the Germany national team he met controversial Turkish President Recep Erdogan which earned him serious criticism and led to part of the reasons why he quit the Germany team.
Refusal to take a pay cut
This was the ultimate blow, Ozil refused a to take a 12.5% pay cut as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which made his situation worse. It is believed that Ozil and Arteta had a fall out, also fell out with the board this all happened behind the scenes before the Premier League restarted.
Arsenal have wanted Ozil out but he has stayed put and thus the current scenario. Ozil knew he won’t be played but he still showed defiance, if he did care about his football career he would have left.
In the end Ozil will sadly leave at the end of his contract or probably in January.