Arsenal: Mesut Ozil ‘Loyalty’ Accusations Entirely Unfounded

Arsenal, Mesut Ozil (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Mesut Ozil (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Mesut Ozil is not happy with Mikel Arteta.

Incensed, I think would be the appropriate word actually. After the news broke yesterday that he had been omitted from the final Arsenal Premier League squad for the 2020/21 campaign, he’s hit back with a message that holds no punches.

Here I was hoping to draw a line under the saga. How foolish.

Ozil’s innumerable fans worldwide were expected to congregate in their droves online and hurl abuse at the club they support for the manner of Ozil’s exile. Big deal. This happens every time something that doesn’t suit their narrative occurs. It’s irritating when the top comments on every Twitter post Arsenal upload are Ozil related, but in the end you brush it off and let their boiling rage simmer.

However, next up can only be described as all out warfare. Ozil has hit back. And hit hard. This is his message in all its glory:

"“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years. I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the PremierLeague season for the time being.“Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated. As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.“Before the Coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level.“But then things changed, again, and I was not longer allowed to play football for Arsenal. What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club.“No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this.  I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”"

In a nutshell, it’s a lack of loyalty that has really riled him.

Now, say what you want about Ozil, but he’s social media savvy. Throughout his time at the club since Arteta has been appointed, he’s kept himself in the limelight with a series of messages indicating how fit and raring to go he is. This even when he is blatantly nowhere near the starting lineup.

To suggest that the news of his omission from the Premier League squad is something of a surprise, I find grossly inaccurate. The writing has been on the wall for months. He knew it was coming. We knew it was coming. What he expects to achieve from this I do not know.

By all means address your hordes of fans with a message of goodwill, thanking them for their support and insisting you’ll come back stronger. What this is, however, is an invitation for revolt that will cease only the damage the link between the club’s fans and the club. A disconnect that Arteta and co have worked tirelessly on rebuilding after the toxicity that began spreading during the final years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.

It is not for a lack of loyalty that he hasn’t been chosen. Arteta is choosing the best team to garner the best results for the sake of the club. With Arsenal’s best interests at heart, quality comes first. It’s nothing to do with loyalty. Even players who’ve spent their whole careers at one club will eventually drift away from the team. It’s down to whether they can contribute. Ozil is past a point where he can anymore.

I’m not going to sit and poke holes in Ozil’s attitude. I don’t know what he’s like in and around the training ground. I haven’t the foggiest idea whether he’s invested in Arteta’s philosophy or not. I also have no doubt he holds Arsenal close to his heart. As he said, it’s his ‘home’. Well, actually, he said London is, not Arsenal. But anyway.

Mesut Ozil has seen his time at Arsenal finish
Arsenals German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring a goal (Photo credit should read NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images) /

Do I feel sympathy for Mesut Ozil? Absolutely. This is not the way an outstanding career should wind down.

He had turned down approaches from elsewhere to stay here, yet that decision was as much Arsenal’s fault as it was his. He’s made an absolute fortune since he signed that deal, but he’s not playing. How much does that bother him? Enough to write the above message. Of course he wants to play, he’s just not good enough anymore.

Be aggrieved. Sure. Write a message. Fine. But don’t accuse the club who pay your wages of a lack of loyalty when you know full well it has got nothing to do with that.

Arsenal are a business, like all other clubs. It’s sad. They’re a club that wants to be at the top of their game. In order to be achieving and winning, you need the best manager and players you can get your hands on.

Ozil is no longer in that bracket.

There are other off-field issues that have a say. Issues that are seperate from the sporting reasons. But in a footballing sense, there can be no accusation of a lack of loyalty.

At his peak, and even sometimes not, Ozil was world class. A cut above in the creative midfield department. It’s no coincidence he joined and within a year we’d lifted our first trophy for nine years. I speak on behalf of all Gooners when I thank him for his contribution. However, all good things come to an end.

Next. How Should Ozil Be Remembered?. dark

This is the end. Don’t drag the club down with you.