You signed Bale, we let Ozil go

OPINION: Whatever your feelings on Mesut Ozil's time in an Arsenal shirt, the manner in which he is leaving comes with a sour taste

Thursday, 7th January 2021 — By Richard Osley


TO a tune by the Inspiral Carpets, the Arsenal fans used to sing: How does it feel to be Tottenham? How does it feels to be small. You sold Bale and we sold Mehhhhzut Ozil, Mezut Ozil.

It’s ironic then of course that in a season which has seen Spurs, sort of, re-sign Gareth Bale, Arsenal look set to finally move Ozil on.

Such twists do not take anything away from the excitement that came with his arrival. After years of tiptoeing around the transfer market, Arsene Wenger signing Ozil seemed like he had acquired a ready-made galactico – something he had never really done before.

He made galacticos, not bought them.

The Arsenal fans now kicking the door behind Ozil as he leaves forget that joy. They also forget he did some pretty amazing things on the pitch, but because the team didn’t win as many trophies, it must have been all his fault.

They will tell you that he couldn’t do it on “a wet Tuesday night at Stoke”.

It’s true. To be frank, the football that Wenger was always trying to create and you said you liked ­– with Ozil as one of his magicians – isn’t supposed to be played on a wet Tuesday night at Stoke.

What we are saying when we mention wet Tuesday nights at Stokes, is actually a demand to know why a classy, cultured playmaker can’t clatter into people more?

Why can’t you roughhouse one of these bullies, eh?, because if you can’t you must be rubbish. Sling your hook with your precision passes and no-look through balls.

If we are honest, why would anybody who has any interest in playing football want to play it on a wet evening in Stoke. You wouldn’t – you wouldn’t even want to nip out for some chips on a wet evening in Stoke.

Whatever your assessment of his efforts in an Arsenal shirt, the manner in which he is leaving comes with a sour taste.

We were told he was left out for “footballing reasons”, while watching Joe Willock pant after the ball and Arsenal lose match after match until stumbling across Emile Smith Rowe.

It doesn’t add up and the fans deserved a better explanation. Without one, he was just the greedy guy who’d rather count his money than play a game.

In actual fact, he spent some of his time off the pitch organising the delivery of thousands of meals to families in north London living in poverty and homeless shelters.

If that’s how he spends his football riches, we should probably stop going on about them.

Either way, he deserved a better farewell.

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