Löw Blow For Özil As Joachim Puts The Boot In Plus Cup Draws

For Mesut Özil, it was a summer to forget. Except with the UEFA Nations League commencing next week, the whole affair resurfaced.

Uli Hoeness possesses an indefatigable dislike of Özil and is more than willing to play hard and fast with the truth, kicked it all off. He returned to the theme of his compatriot’s World Cup performance this week, claiming Özil is just a brand. A well-marketed one but all style and no substance.

In time-honoured football chairman fashion, he said “Ozil should have been forced to make a statement. But leaving that without explanation was probably the biggest mistake ever,” referring to the German national team. There was no racism involved, according to the eight Bayern Munich players who sat quietly by as someone took the flak for their failings in Russia.

Ilkay Gundogan wasn’t as reticent. He supported Özil’s claims, which carries a damn sight more weight than the Bayern ‘nice guys’, who frankly don’t seem that nice at all. Turning a blind eye to comments or treating them as banter is part of the problem; it empowers the culprits to act without fear of retribution. It’s not banter, it’s racism pure and simple. Forgive my cynicism of Jurgen Löw’s claims nothing like that happened in “his” national team.

Hoeness’ hatred of Özil is deep-seated. One can only assume he has the hump because the midfielder didn’t send him any notes or make any phone calls while he was a prisoner in cell block H at Landesburg. How a man convicted of defrauding the tax authorities of €28.5m is considered a ‘fit and proper person’ to run a football club is beyond me.

The DFB seems to be more of an ‘old boys club’ than English football and that’s saying something. It’s not impressive, either.

Send In The Clowns

Löw’s willingness to conflate issues is part of a concerted attempt to diminish the claims Özil made and deflect blame for his own failings. The racism issue played no part in the woeful team performances from Germany.

The German national team manager ensured everyone knew the midfielder hadn’t spoken to him about retiring and ignored his messages ever since. It was surprising that Löw found the time to speak to the media. His list of apologies to players he’s dropped or never picked must seem never-ending at times.

So, do I think this is the reason for Özil’s under-performance since signing a new deal back in January? No, is the simple answer. I don’t think its helped with his general happiness but his form dipped well before the World Cup, well before the end of last season and hasn’t improved since.

Do I know why? No. I’m won’t speculate on it either. OK, I’m lying on that one. I have and will speculate on the reasons for his dip in form in the future. And right now, as well.

Has a £350k per week deal motivated him? It seems not. Has it made him lazier? I believe the stats in yards run disprove that. So, we have a potentially demotivated but not a lazy player. By any chance is his motivation lacking because of the state of the club? It’s a Hong Kong Phooey moment, where I shout, “Could be…”

I think his malaise is symptomatic of the decline suffered at Arsenal under the final two years of Wenger’s reign. I don’t think he wanted to move away from London but more to the point, the opportunity never arose. He didn’t feel the love.

Cups of Joy Floweth Over

Later today the Carabao Cup draw is made. It’s been moved to the UK in the hope the cock-ups which besieged it last season will be avoided. Some hope.

Tomorrow sees the Europa League draw with the possibility of meeting Winterslag once again. They merged into KRC Genk who are in pot 2 should they finish the job against Brondby tonight. There are some very familiar names in this year’s tournament so what’s the betting we end up in a group with one of Lazio/Milan/Marseille from pot 2? Leipzig from pot 3? Group of Death here we come.

’til Tomorrow.

32 thoughts on “Löw Blow For Özil As Joachim Puts The Boot In Plus Cup Draws

  1. Top quality stuff Yogi.

    It’s actually getting comical how the Bayern lads including Kroos and Low are all shouting that their is no racism in the DfB except, as Gundoghen said, its in print. More of an ‘old boys club’ than in England, didn’t think it was possible until now.

    His form, has been inconsistent so lets see what happens this season.

  2. Nagelsmann has confirmed Hoffenheim want Nelson:

    “We’ve taken an interest in Reiss Nelson, I can disclose that. But nothing is set in stone as there are still things to clear up.

    “If it all works out, we’ll have a player with great pace who can do a lot with the ball.”

  3. C,

    He could do with a loan move to someone who’ll play him every week and also competitive league like the bundes. Have to say wish we’d really worked to keep Gnabry, he’d fit our system with his hard work and pace and give us the winger we need. Bad business by arsene letting him go thought so at time

  4. Well respected German journalist Honigstein has had his say on Low:

    “Low was guilty of undermining the sense of a new beginning, as well, by implicitly criticising Mesut Ozil for his failure to communicate his resignation directly (“I was only told by his agent”) and, worse still, becoming the latest national team representative to knock-down the same straw-man.

    “Mesut went too far in claiming racism,” he said, “there were never any hints of racism or racist comments inside the team.” Ozil, to be sure, had never claimed as much; he had specifically pointed the finger at racist politicians, “certain newspapers” and Grindel instead.

    “His willful failure to engage with the Arsenal midfielder’s specific allegations cannot be excused by mere ignorance.

    “It’s a cowardly cop-out, designed to discredit Ozil and to stifle a debate that comes at an inconvenient time: Germany’s bid for Euro 2024, to be voted on in two weeks’ time, is headlined “United by Football” after all.”

    Shame that the DfB, the head of Germany’s biggest club and many politicians have had a go and have had racist views and then bid for Germany to get Euro 2024 with a headline like that.

  5. Yogi

    Great post. I think the reality is that Ozil’s form started to drop 2 1/2 years ago and that was long before there was any issues with the German national team. A lot of us have speculated that part of the reason Ozil struggles for Arsenal is the players around him are dragging him down but in his last 15 high leverage games with a very talented German squad including World Cup 2014 and 2018 and in Euro 2016 he has 2 goals and 2 assists. That suggest that his ability to influence the game has been over rated quite a while.

  6. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Agree and Nagelsmann is just the type of manager who will play Nelson and understand that he will make mistakes but put in his positions to succeed. If he develops similar to Gnabry, come next season we could see a player ready to make a difference as an option on the flanks for certain. Agree about Gnabry too and said so at the time. He was talented and showed his talent but had a bad injury and once fully fit again he had a superb Olympics(top scorer I think) and was ready and then we sold him which made absolutely no sense then and no sense now.

    Interesting thing about Gnabry is that there were as many stories written about his World Cup snub in Germany as Sane’s and now he is at Bayern. Sad thing is, the past couple of transfer windows we have all talked about needing a GK and a winger and we finally had 2 players who were fulfilling their vast potential in Szczesny and Gnabry but Arsene and his stupid pride/stubborness/not letting players out of his doghouse, sold them both when I think they would have been superb for us last season and especially now under Emery.

  7. Bill,

    Really mate, 2 1/2 years ago when he was set to shatter the assist record before Giroud went literally 15 straight matches without a goal and missed some absolute sitters in that time? Or are you talking the during our FA Cup runs when he was superb for us? I get it, he has been inconsistent but I think the club as a whole (even with Sanchez) was inconsistent and part of that was Arsene and the decay and toxic atmosphere of the club. You point out stats for Germany but he was really good for them in the World Cup the year they won it, in the Euro’s where he literally dragged Germany to victory against Italy in the quarters and lets be honest here about Germany’s last World Cup, not ONE player was good and that is including Low and Ozil still created chances that were simply not finished and again, name the one player that busted a gut to get back to at least try to defend against Mexico…

    I often times wonder if your absolute dislike of #10’s and certain players lets you focus solely on the bad and ignore the good or makes you ask questions. I mean its funny that me and you debate and you stand and defend players like Ramsey and Ox while I stand and defend players like Ozil and Theo….whose players actually produce and have had more than 1 or 2 good seasons?

  8. C

    Ozil was brilliant in the first 1/2 of the 15/16 season when he was on pace to have a historic season in terms of assists but he was invisible the second half of that season and Leicester won the league. You can blame Giroud but Arsene dropped Giroud the next season and ozil’s ability to influence our games has not improved in the last 2 1/2 years. In fact the invisible games have increased in frequency and now the sick days are becoming an issue

    With regards to his influence for Germany the 2014 World Cup was first time his play on the pitch started to divide opinions and the critical stats during the last 3 major tournaments certainly argues that there is a good reason for divided opinions

  9. YW from yesterday

    I agree that sending both fullbacks bombing forward at the same time is hard to understand. We just don’t have the players to cover that space. I understand that you want to play your favored system button have to adapt to the talent you have. we can’t drop a lot of points if we hope to climb back into 4th and I suspect we will continue to concede a lot of goals if our fullbacks play the way they have been so far

  10. Bill,

    He wasn’t invisible the 2nd half of that season, your saying he was because his assists dried up BUT thats because his CF couldn’t hit the ocean standing on the shoreline so ofcourse his assists would dry up, but his influence didn’t stop, his CF let him and the team down. The next season things went inconsistent but he was influential in all of our silverwarw since his arrival.

    For Germany, question, if he was so shit then why was he constantly being voted German Player of the Year? You focus so much on stats but again, without Ozil, Germany don’t get to the semi-finals of the Euro’s and he literally dragged Germany against Italy and if memory serves scored their only goal before they went on to beat them in penalties. Despite his numbers not showing it, he influence didn’t wane for Germany until the WHOLE German team failed at the World Cup. Simply reading what those morons said after the world cup will lead you to believe that but how about actually having a read of some articles. I mean FFS they say Mueller is still influential for Germany and he hasn’t scored or assisted in the last 2 major tournaments….

  11. Bill,

    How do you know we don’t have the players, we have yet to see Torriera play a full 90 next to Xhaka or even Guendouzi. How about Emery is just not implementing his system so making a judgement of, we don’t have the players is a bit of a rash judgement.

  12. C let’s compare us with those we are suppose to be competing with? Now if Özil was really as wonderful as you say he is, would actually grace the first 11 of any of our top 6 competitors? How does his stats stand up against the influential midfielder’s in that top 6? Who would you rather have, Özil, Silva, De Bruyne, Erikson, Pogba, Hazard, Salah?

  13. Winterslag. Sounds like a strong stout, a winter warmer.

    A friend of mine was at the Winterslag away fixture in the early 80s (can’t have been many Arsenal fans there) He has some great stories from the trip involving Arsenal’s ex-equipment manager, the Bear, ladies of the night and guns.

    Football in the 80s was quite different to now!

  14. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Salah and Hazard aren’t in the discussion because they are completely different players who are much more wingers and goal scorers than every other person in that list. Pogba and Ozil are in the same position: extremely talented and inconsistent. Silva and De Bruyne are world class period but they also get the fortune of working with top class players around them. Lets look at the attackers that Ozil has gotten to play with at Arsenal compared to the rest on your list. Actually, I think only De Bruyne is ahead of Ozil in assists and chances created since Ozil arrived at Arsenal. Also, a quick link aince you mentioned stats between Ozil and Silva


    Ozil has had up until last season: Sanchez, Giroud, Welbeck, Ramsey, Theo, Ox Perez and Iwobi…how many of them get into the other top 6? Sanchez but he has looked shit since he left Ozil at Arsenal.

    The rest on your list: Aguero, Sane, Jesus, Dzeko, Firmino, Mane, Kane, Son, Lukuka, Willian, Pedro, Sterling, hell even Rashford and Martial.

    You see, people often critisize Ozil and sure he is inconsistent but how many of our attackers would actually get into any of the top 6. I mean lets be honest here, I’m not saying I don’t nor think he can do more becaise he most certainly can but as a playmaker, you can only create the chances for people.

  15. I wonder whether Ozil confides in Mertasacker as a fellow-German, captain, etc., or whether Mertasacker has reached out to Ozil in his travails. I wonder whether the club has approached Mert in all this to do so. It’s like asking the old man in the desert: he might not be able to help, but what if he could?
    It’s a bad situation but there’s no doubt that if Ozil could “find himself” (hate that expression) the benefits to Arsenal could be immense.

  16. CL draw:
    Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Club Brugge
    Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan
    Group C: Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade
    Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray
    Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens
    Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim
    Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen
    Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys

    Tough draw for Spuds

  17. Bill
    I watched the world cup and I saw all the games Germany played, there was no game in which Ozil was out of form or lacking in influence. It was putting the ball in that was the problem for Germany and the striker playing as if he was a winger, so how does that correspond to a lack of form?

    Germany was just unlucky. The finishing was awful and Toni Kroos wonder goal deceived most people to think Germany could still make an impact, when the free kick which lead to the German winner was a result of a brain fart by the defender.

    I think we need to realize that there are different forms of racism. I can remember Edgar Davids spoke of something similar happening to him while he played for Holland, Lukaku mentioned it too. What needs to be done is often to respect every individual, because I know for a fact that humans will always be prejudiced and since we are imperfect, our imperfections could result in racist tendencies.

    I think Arsenal are to blame for Ozil’s huge wages, which is the reason the English media and pundits pick on him often.

    Question: If the club hierachy knew Arsene was leaving why sanction such a contract ? Why did Kroenke allow Arsene to stay so long? Why complicate things for the new person?

  18. Blue Yonder:
    I wonder whether Ozil confides in Mertasacker as a fellow-German, captain, etc., or whether Mertasacker has reached out to Ozil in his travails. I wonder whether the club has approached Mert in all this to do so. It’s like asking the old man in the desert: he might not be able to help, but what if he could?
    It’s a bad situation but there’s no doubt that if Ozil could “find himself” (hate that expression) the benefits to Arsenal could be immense.

    Don’t you also hate ‘reached out’?……another bloody Americanism that you used.

  19. Had to pop in and say that its utterly disgraceful that Spuds get a home match in the CC and yet they are releasing statements saying they have no idea where they will play the match.

    O yea, ans we got Brentford.

  20. I have to say that your last paragraph is a masterpiece of common-sense and wise advice on how this alarming increased hounding of Ozil should be regarded. 😉

  21. lari03,

    I think it’s a bit much to say that Arsenal are to blame for Ozil’s wages – was he begging them to pay him less? I doubt it. If you demand the big bucks then you have to deliver or expect criticism.

    Talking of ‘Americanisms’ I was in meetings in Chicago last week and had to witness a 60-year old man repeatedly standing up in front of us and demanding that we ‘Give him The Skinny!’ Just f*cking embarrassing.

  22. C @ 5:39

    Your argument that Ozil’s inconsistency for Arsenal is all because of the lack of talent playing loses its credibility when you see his lack of productivity with Germany for the last 4 years. Even if you ignore World Cup 2018 he still only had 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 13 games in World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016. How can a players who is supposedly the creative engine of arguably the worlds most talented and successful teams during that time be on a pace to create only 5 assists in a 38 games?

  23. Europa League
    Group E

    Sporting Lisbon
    Qarabag of Azerbaijan
    FC Vorskla of Russia
    Hope you had a nice trip. My fear is Ozil cannot adapt, he is best coming on as a 2nd half substitute in place of a wide forward.

  24. Bill,
    Messi is an example of a creative player who cannot influence his national team positively. Rumors abound that Messi also dictates the kind of players he wanted to be called up, which was partly responsible for the mess they presented to the world.

    When Lampard and Gerrard were in the English team, the team underperformed. So creative players thrive in an environment where the team plays great football. Football is a team game and quite frankly one man can only do little to improve the quality of the attacking instincts of a team.

    If we are honest, you have to fault Wenger for persisting with the players he had. If Wenger was still the manager, we wouldn’t have bought Guendouzi or Torreira, instead we would have bought a wide forward like Malcolm and neglected the defensive midfield position.

    This was the situation year after year, and this undermined our ability to get the best from the players we had. Last season we bought 2 central strikers, why did we hold back so long? Hanging on to Giroud and Welbeck when it was clear they were both levels below Robin Van Persie ?

    I don’t want to bother with the Ozil criticism because he is not the type of player we need at this moment, so I will just let the coach get on with his job. We need a player like James Rodriguez or Luka Modric to fill the #10 position.

  25. . We need a player like James Rodriguez or Luka Modric to fill the #10 position.

    Very astute comment. Either of those would do us the world of good

Comments are closed.