Özil Responds & Arsenal Is Mad, Bad and Dangerous

Challenging for titles brings wider benefits than just results on the pitch. In the good times, it’s hard to put a bad slant on the news of the day. Likewise, player comments. Retorts to critics are glossed over or laughed off; former players find themselves on the receiving end of supportive tongue lashings.

But when the team is not delivering those challenges, woe betide the player who fights back. Particularly one who is marmite. As if any member of the Arsenal squad these days isn’t marmite. There’s nothing wrong in Mesut Özil rebuking to his critics.

Telling “legends” to “act like legends” misses the point. There’s no room in punditry today for anything other than a caricature of the truth. The big salaries aren’t paid for blandishments. And they are legends for a reason: silverware, and their contribution to it. In the end, more supporters will side with a fondly remembered champion than a superstar contract rebel.

Players like to tell us they ignore critics; Özil certainly doesn’t. And until the Arsenal squad containing Özil fights for the title instead of its’ European survival, the critics won’t be silenced.

This morning’s Sunday Times piece hints at that. Gilles Grimandi doesn’t come out of it well in the repeated tale of how he twice watched N’Golo Kante at Caen, giving him 6/10 both times. Wenger fares little better with his distaste for Kante’s entourage; they don’t play in the centre of midfield, he does. If he’s thought of as a “good man”, trying to bring him to the Emirates is obligatory.

Propaganda Ministers

Not that Arsenal are that much of a draw any more. The Thomas Lemar affair fits that bill. A player who was apparently keen to join the club earlier in the summer baulked on deadline day because it was too much of a big decision? Or was it because he fancies a move to Liverpool next year. Not that they will have room for him in their squad with all these signings.

PR isn’t the club’s strong point. Good news invariably ends up ignored or twisted to the negative before it reaches fans. The layout of the club’s website doesn’t help with stories buried or hard to find. Burying bad news is an art but that surely happens when there’s lots going on. Arguably our bad news is happening on the pitch precisely because too much hiding is going on.

The club could do worse than talk to Özil’s PR people. He’s pretty much had a free ride over his contract situation and caused nowhere near as much angst as Alexis. Yet the German is in the same boat; next January, he is free to talk to other clubs and can secure himself a mega-money deal to any who are interested.

Not that many were in the summer, it must be said. Or not publicly at least. Only the Turkish clubs were mentioned and they are the ‘go to’ guys when agents need to drum up some interest in a client.

Özil may feel the situation is payback but he is certainly more savvy than the Chilean. Alexis wears his heart on his sleeve and prefers canine company away from the pitch. Özil enjoys life his way but his social media presence feels more stage-managed, presenting a ‘wholesome’ image for sponsors.

I Won’t Be The One Who’s Gonna Suffer

There’s nothing wrong with that either; he’s got to put food on the plate, etc. Spin wars still have to be won and so far the German is, you feel, winning his. But for how much longer?

Shkodran Mustafi was half out of the Emirates door this summer. A move to Inter fell through but there are signs that someone on the ‘inside’ briefed against the central defender. Preparing the ground for the sale, it was let be known that “Arsenal are disillusioned by Shkodran Mustafi’s application.” Someone somewhere is talking out of school.

Add into that the farcical dealings with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which saw his salary offers rise from £57k per week to £180k, before he accepted a halfway point offer at Liverpool, and there’s obviously a communication issue at the club. Apparently, it was only after a recent meeting with Wenger that they listened to play talk about his future.

Therein lies our problem, on and off the pitch. Nobody’s talking and when they do, it falls on deaf ears. Anyone who hasn’t renewed their deal which expires next summer, is leaving unless there is a major u-turn by either party. We can’t replace those ‘stars’, as well as the squad players even if we did turn a profit this summer.

This summer should have seen deals for those contracts expiring in 2019 tied up; that hasn’t happened and with the parlous state of our squad, is unlikely to.

The Lemar deal has ramifications far beyond Alexis. Wenger used to snaffle up players like that before breakfast. Repeated failures to win titles is haunting us with others – Liverpool in particular – seen as a better bet for silverware, even though they haven’t delivered a title since 1990.

You are gonna be the one, a-you

That’s down to the manager. Or rather, belief in a manager. Klopp is, by all accounts, a player’s coach, in marked contrast to Wenger’s idealism. The former has the energy which compensates for not winning trophies; Wenger’s aura is dimming.

The uncertainty over his own future continues to haunt us, not from signing the new contract but in holding out for a year and seemingly deciding on a whim. The message to the players is not someone weighing up whether he can still do the job but one of ‘I didn’t think you could win a trophy but you did so I’ll stick around’. Hardly awe-inspiring and motivational.

It’s not just inside the Arsenal family where the goings on at the club are baffling. As much as this might be an apocryphal tale, Northcroft’s words resonate:

“Arsenal? Wouldn’t go there in a million years,” said an important agent on Friday. “That place is nuts.”

You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps.

Finally today, 2005 is the new playlist on Dad’s Jukebox; the end of an era.

’til Tomorrow.

74 thoughts on “Özil Responds & Arsenal Is Mad, Bad and Dangerous

  1. “The Lemar deal has ramifications far beyond Alexis. Wenger used to snaffle up players like that before breakfast. ” – See David Dein (1983-2007)

  2. Nice one Yogi & morning Gooners.

    Obviously Arsenal isn’t the place to be right now. We seem to struggle to attract players who previously would have walked to the Emirates to play for us & half of the current squad appear to want to be somewhere (anywhere) else. Lacazette must be doubting why he signed already.

    As for Ozil …wow ….has he ever heard about doing his talking on the pitch ? He’s just ramped up the pressure even more on himself & the team & the Charity Shield quip is hilarious !

  3. YW

    You, your blog and your pals are truly funny guys. I’m sure the day Arsenal win the PL and the Champion’s league, you’ll still find way to belittle the performances. But right now as the real fans you all are, you’ll answer that these performances will never happen.

  4. It’s not just this blog though is it Alex – with two notable exceptions (Positively Arsenal & Untold Arsenal) every single blog is deeply critical of the club and its management.
    It is worth pointing out that this blog and the other blogs out there all supported AW until comparatively recently.
    If you really think we are any nearer to winning the PL than we were 5 years ago you’re deeply deluded.
    Bit hard to win the CL when we can’t even qualify for it eh?

  5. He’s right bout d trofies.he does do his job jus dat our strikers don’t convert his through ball to welbeck who noded tamely at butland an examfle

  6. marcos,

    I think I get the idea. Contrast you comment with AW’s thoughts on the subject (an actual quote):

    “I could not understand the frustration of the fans,” he admitted.

    “Giroud has the ­confidence. I have said that many times. He has the mental stature to play in this position.

    “We had Giroud, but we also had Theo Walcott who I believe is a world-class striker, we had Alexis Sanchez who is a world-class striker, and we had Danny Welbeck who is a world-class striker.

    “You have to spend a huge amount of money to improve on that four.”

  7. Andy, you could actually read and understand that?
    Fuck me – the poor old English language – that qualifies as abuse.

  8. andy1886,

    Four World class strikers, so why are two of them regulars on the bench? Until Welbeck starts scoring on a regular basis I wouldn’t call him World class.

  9. Its getting boring now reading post after post which not only acentuates the negatives ingnores the positives, writes in the first person as if they know about every conversation,comment or derogatory remark as absoloutly true (vis a vis the total insight into why Lemar did not come), some crystal ball you got there man!!! It would be very nice if we could move on and start supporting the team and club again,
    Small children sometimes misbehave in an attempt to garner their parents attention, they are not bothered if they get attention for being good or bad as long as they get it and someone else does’nt, It occaisionally looks like blog writers and posters are just an extention of the badly behaved small child illiciting a reaction (any reaction) just for reactions sake.

  10. Nobody forces you to read this stuff Plhilbet.
    There does exist other material if you just want to be a happy clappy fan.
    If you really don’t like it perhaps, instead of policing the opinions of others and talking down to them, perhaps you could just fuck off?

  11. Philbet,

    It’s an open church so by all means go ahead and tell us about the positives if you want. On the other hand to try and shut down and ban any view that you don’t agree with (which doesn’t happen on this blog but has been endemic on a couple of other more pro-Arsene blogs – note pro-Arsene, not pro-Arsenal) is more like what you might find in North Korea or China.

    Even small children can understand that.

  12. Andy 1886 the world and the internet would be a better place without individuals like you (although I do like your avatar so dispite you being exactly the type of small minded psudo fan without a minimum of credence, I think its Ok if you stick around.
    The facts are stay and support or go (and in your case be happy)

  13. Oh and I forgot, stamp your foot and fall on the floor crying if we dont win the Champions league every year, that clearly is the only standerd you think acceptable (Haw Haw).

  14. Still waiting to hear what the positives are.
    Its kinda like when the old question of who replaces Arsene comes up. 20 people give 100 options of who they think would be better. Then the person who asked the question disappears and pops up 3 days later saying that no one can give a answer to the question therefore Arsene is the only option.

  15. Philbet- prob an “untold disciple”?-you clearly suffer from a common disease that needs treatment.possibly relegation before you’re cured.in a nutshell you are suffering from constipation of ideas & verbal diarrhoea.jog on…..leave Arsenal to the realists.

  16. Philbet,

    There you go again giving your opinion on something (me this time) that you know nothing about. Being unable to tolerate the opinion of others is the very definition of ‘small minded’ in my view. I don’t expect us to win the CL, all I expect is that we do our best in any competition we enter and let the results fall as they may. I don’t think that you’d find many to support the claim that we’ve done our best to win in the last decade.

  17. theres lots of positives

    for a start we have no money again and we made a profit along with other teams trying not to get relegated.

  18. I didn’t realise that when the Night King breached the wall that the Arsene Zombies would be released as part of the Army of the Dead.

  19. Another top quality post Yogi

    Ozil has been able to avoid the negative press regarding his contract situation. The reality is that I think most people who watch the team recognize the fact that we can’t really sell him and we will not be getting any big money offers because no one else is all that interested. It would be a terrible mistake to give a huge money long term contract to a 29 year old player whose ability to have a consistent positive influence on the game has clearly faded in the last 18 months. Dithering and pretending to be interested in signing him to a new long term contract and then letting him go on the free next summer is probably one of the few smart things the club is doing.

  20. Bill
    thats why Ozils doing what hes doing – nobody wanted him – so hes trying to sell himself off the pitch

    ooohhh look at me and all my trophies, ive not demanded a transfer and i love the fans and the club – im the ultimate professional… come and get me – 400k a week ONO..

  21. Andy1886
    So true about the pro Wenger sites, isn’t it.
    I used to enjoy your commentary on Untold years ago, when posters like yourself were consistently being shouted down by the ” real” fans.

    Also, love the straw man argument posters like Philbet put forth:
    “Arsenal can’t win the league every year, or CL for that matter”

    It kind of makes you wonder if the person making this sort of statement
    ( Arsenal not being able to win the league every year ) had a terrible car accident at the end of the 2005-06 season, that resulted in them going into a coma, which they have just come out of thinking perhaps it is still only 2007.

  22. In Ozil’s defense, the Spanish and German equivalent of the community shield is kind of a big deal.

    Still, the ” legends ” are part of the media now and the smart money says you can’t win the war with the media.
    The bullseye on Ozil’s back just got a bit bigger.

  23. This forum is never a good place for you if you are a pro Wenger supporter. In arsene I truly trust. Who cares?

  24. Tom,

    I guess that some people have invested so much in one man that they feel they cannot afford to admit that they might have been mislead.


    Thanks for the context there. Over here the CS is just a friendly of course but I didn’t realise that in Germany it’s more of a big deal. I would never suggest that Ozil isn’t a very good player but playing him as a #10 in a team with zero defensive capability in midfield is just asking for trouble.

  25. gunner4life,

    Why not start your own Wenger blog for those who’s primary interest is in Arsene, not Arsenal? Then you can be as intolerant to non-believers as you like.

  26. JonJon
    There are other positives.
    After years of playing catch up Arsenal are again the trend setters.
    From this season forth all top players will go into their final year of contract without being tied down to a new deal, according to Wenger.

  27. Arsenal needs to change what they can – but a lot has to change outside of Wenger, the players and the Board. This is easy for me to say as I am not British – but very hard for some Brits to accept. 1. British officiating: I wish to put a bit of science in this discussion related to Arsenal’s situation. As a scientist I take every variable into account. Recently I watched Arsenal lose 1-0 to Stoke. I called a nerdy friend of mine who keep very close and scientific tabs on football. He said Arsenal was “unlucky” for the first time this season and can expect to be at least 3 more times for the season, given they usually get the “unlucky treatment” 4 times per season for the past 5 years. In science we speak about patterns and configuration of the patterns. If a team is unlucky repeatedly with the same set of variables, irrespective of whether the configurations change, there is a pattern – and this allows science. So we can conclude that Arsenal are not “lucky” with the FA officials.
    2: Money: Television now impact teams in ways it never did. Pundits now have immense power. There is immense dishonesty and “Diplocrasy”. Everyone attacks the ones who are defenseless. They cannot bite the hands that feed them. I remember Ozil running the farthest in a game in which he was described by 6 different pundits and commentators as lazy and having bad attitude. Only one apologized after they were proven wrong.
    3. Fans: Arsenal certainly have some of the most fickle; some are actually self-injurious. With Arsenal Fan TV there can be an infinitesimal space between being a fan and making money or gaining popularity or even getting girls. In my country we have fans. I am convinced that the term is not that clear in Britain. I cannot blame the fans as when I lived in Britain as a student we had the Invincibles – and victory addiction is easy. But I was saddened when I saw fans cheering for Chrystal Palace and disturbing games.
    Lets sum up: Arsenal failed by one point last season. Had they being refereed fairly and the fans did not implode and establish a war of Wenger in and out and disturb games (pretending that they are not important) all the analysis I saw showed the team would have come third.
    We approach a new season. Arsenal has already been give the “unlucky”treatment (they are usually well timed). Will the fans stick by the team and then boot Wenger out if they give him their support and he does not deliver; or will they become self-injurious again?

  28. Jonny,

    The format from the “back the team whatever” crowd seems to be that during the window the rhetoric was to wait and see, plenty of time left. Then disappear during the two weeks at the end of August when it looked like disaster were brewing. Finally, now the window is closed, its “no point moaning as nothing’s changing now”

    To be fair, they’ve only learned from the master in chief with his “judge me in May” bollocks before ducking off to an international tournament for a few weeks while the shit storm blows over

  29. Afternoon all,

    Its a right laugh on here today, isn’t it?

    Might as well give them some ammo:

    Wenger out
    Ozil too
    The Legends are right

    That should do it.

  30. There are some positives £40m for Ox has got to be good. Although I did think he was one of Liverpool’s best players last weekend. We’ve still got Sanchez Ish and we haven’t lost for a week, Christ that’s almost like a winning streak. I won’t get to the negatives I have work a week Monday…

  31. Honestly, I get a rather similar feeling trying to reasonably converse about ‘the need for change’ with the pro-gun faction of the US after the latest mass murder atrocity.
    “Now is not the right time to talk about it, show some respect”
    Change is bad.
    Respect is good.
    Arsenal lose two out of three games, profoundly bollocks up the transfer window to the point where our best players want to leave, even when being plainly bribed with exorbitant sacks of cash (and they will leave without recompense) and the club cannot even attract it’s stated transfer targets.
    But to the happy-clappy cuntclowns, of the kind we have been blessed with today, somehow WE are the problem.
    This is no way to solve gun crime.

  32. I used to be an “In Arsene we trust”person, but now the truth is there for all of us to see. We supporters are being played by a Selfish,Greedy ,and Ambitionless Board that Awards a manager with a 2 year contract plus a pay rise making him one of the highest paid managers in world football, after Not qualifying for the champions league. These people do not care what the real FANS OF AFC think,they don’t care about the amount of money it costs for us to watch AFC home and away,as long as their figures show profits…It hurts to say the truth but Arsene is an old man with dated ideas that needs to be talked into accepting that the end of the road has come for him.But we have not got anybody on the board that is willing to stand up for the fans .

  33. I tend to agree that this site is not what it once was. I don’t think it is the writing, Yogi has always terrific in his prose. The subject of his musings however has lost any sheen it once had.

    Worse now is the snide remarks and questioning of people’s fan status. Intrinsically we are all motivated by something personal.


    I agree that Arsene has created the football culture in the club, however I still believe that once he is gone will not see improvement until the owner is gone. Time will tell I guess.

  34. Dear oh dear has one of the “fun bus” sites closed down or something?
    This site seems to have become infected by some of our less intellectually gifted brethren.
    By all means support the team, but don’t insult people’s intelligence and feed the delusion that Arsene Wenger is the best manager to take us forward or that Arsenal are somehow in a position to win the league.

  35. Philbet,

    Look through any comments and no one on here is expecting Arsenal to challenge for the CL, but people have got disillusioned with the repeated failures to even mount a title challenge, the constant humiliating away defeats against our supposed “rivals”, the tactical/organisational failures, the transfer window failures, the attitude and motivation of the team, etc.
    On the positive side, we did make a profit in the transfer window…

  36. The idea that when one is at home or going about their day-to-day that they are doing something to actively support the team, just by being blindly, uncritically positive (in the face of all available evidence) is extraordinarily stupid.
    These upbeat voices were relevant 10 years ago – and I fancy all of us were one of them.
    10 years on, if you held course and now find yourself disagreeing with c90% of the fanbase because somehow you still believe things are good – and that the vast majority of your fellow followers are the problem – rather than, oh I don’t know – the actual results on the fucking pitch? Well, congratufuckinglations, you’re a special kind of idiot – the treasurer loves people like you.

  37. Haha, all of this has really made me laugh.

    It is not even barely credible that these nutcases really exist. It goes to show how gullible people are and how effectively Wenger has spun his way to 10 additional years as Arsenal manager.

  38. Herb of the earth
    Agree about officiating to a certain extent although less is being made out of the lucky breaks that do go our way by Wenger supporters for obvious reasons.

    Koscielny handball goal against the Burnley, Alexis handball goal against Hull,
    City’s disallowed goal in the FA cup semis, Alexis handball that lead to the goal against Chelsea in the FA cup final ,just to name the few.

    If City go up 2:0 Arsenal probably don’t come back into the game and there’s no Wenger record setting FA cup triumph and probably no two year e tension.

    Most fans recognize the problem with officiating but in the absence of remedy it’s up to the club to improve on what they themselves control.
    Team selection , motivation, tactics and substitutions have all been lacking and have nothing to do with the refs.

  39. lol
    Another Wenger’s blind, deaf, memoryless a** licker.
    Remember? Liverpool 4-0, Manu 8-2, Bayern 10-2, and you are going to win the CL.
    You have been staying between Arsene’s legs far too long. Try to get out.

  40. Sorry
    did not mention : to Ice cream
    Another Wenger’s blind, deaf, memoryless a** licker.
    Remember? Liverpool 4-0, Manu 8-2, Bayern 10-2, and you are going to win the CL.
    You have been staying between Arsene’s legs far too long. Try to get out

  41. You won’t get anywhere with common sense and evidence, Tom.
    Even if they ever stick around to converse (they don’t) this type of rabid cockwomble is genetically fact allergic.

  42. Jonny
    The debates with Wenger’s staunchest backers always follow one of two paths.
    They either say you are being an unreasonable and a small minded glory hunter who doesn’t appreciate the high minded values Arsenal under Wenger stands for in a futile fight against the evils of sugar daddy clubs. In which case they tell you to go and support the bigger spending oil clubs.

    Or when confronted with a fact that Arsenal are being overtaken by less spending clubs with perhaps better managers , hence our terrible record against the top six PL clubs in recent seasons , they promptly tell you to go and support the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool.

    Either way, if you’re not happy with the way the club functions on and off the pitch, go support another club.

  43. Quite so – hence my initial response for them to fuck off and find a different blog. 😉
    A far more reasonable solution than committing an act of heresy that is so beneath contempt it is known only to glory-hunting vermin.

  44. 1. Buy debuchy when aurier etc…was on the market.
    2. Make a teen his starting right back.
    3. buy Per regardless of his penchant for a high line.
    4. Buy vermaelen.
    5. Buy Santos.
    6. Buy Sead then play him at centre back.
    7. Play ox as a right wing back.
    8. Play ox as a left wing back.
    9. Play bellerin as a left wing back.
    10. Try to sell mustafi a year after buying him.
    11. Sell Gabriel.
    12. Try to sell chambers.
    13. Mismanage holding.
    14. Keep Gibbs for so long.
    15. Revert to coquelin as a last resort.
    16. Not upgrade coquelin.
    17. Rely on Santi.
    18. Not find a replacement for Santi.
    19. Buy xhaka.
    20. Mismanage Ramsey.

    I could go on but I thought I’d quickly compile a list of things kroenke didn’t do. 😉

  45. Excellent comment regarding the refs at 6:39. The refs are terribly inconsistent and there are bad calls and controversial calls in just about every game in the PL. Supporters of every team including Arsenal have an amazing ability to remember every bad call that went against us but very quickly forget about the ones that go in our teams favor. I suspect if you look at the blogs of every PL team, they will all think that their team gets far more of the bad calls going against them and every mid and lower table teams fans firmly believe the big teams get a lot more favorable calls.

    You hit the nail on the head when you said that we can’t do anything about the refs but we have to do everything we can to control the things that we are able to control such as team selection, motivation and tactics

  46. Lol, this blog is some what of an advertisement for misery love company.

    Colts, you could also compile a list of what he got right, so where does leave us?

  47. One thing we do need to get to grips with, we are not a big club anymore. Yesteryear means sod fucking all today.

  48. Columbus Arsenal (MA):
    Lol, this blog is some what of an advertisement for misery love company.

    Colts, you could also compile a list of what he got right, so where does leave us?

    Thought I’d shut down the kroenke argument is all. Hence why I started at the back, where teams usually are built from.

    Since your such a happy chappy perhaps you should compile that positive list yourself instead of assuming people are miserable. I’ll start you off.

    1. Koscielny
    2. Cech – debatable
    3. sir chesney, till he was sold.

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