Mesut Özil has been frozen out of the Arsenal team after failing to convince Unai Emery that he fits into his system which has caused further speculation over the Germans future.
Özil joined the Gunners in the summer of 2013 following a £42.5m move from Real Madrid and has never failed to divide opinion between fans, pundits and now management in English football. I don’t think I have ever met anyone that doubts Özil’s quality but I have stumbled across those that criticise his consistency and motivation.
Mesut Özil opened a can of worms yesterday after his public relations team sent out a tweet on his behalf quoting club icon Dennis Bergkamp.
'When you start supporting a football club, you don't support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.' 🙏🏼 || #DennisBergkamp pic.twitter.com/kKM8kDhm8T
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) February 15, 2019
The tweet immediately sparked a debate; Mesut Özil or Unai Emery? By reading the replies to this one tweet Arsenal fans rushed to post their hate for the manager whilst others replied with supportive messages for the number 10. The ‘Wenger in vs. Wenger Out’ debate divided the fan base for years and I believe if Arsenal do not publicly address the situation between their highest paid player and the club then we could be on the eve of a very similar split in the fan base unfortunately.
Mesut Özil has missed an astonishing 32% of all games in his time at Arsenal which equates to 100 matches missed out of a possible 314.
Unai Emery once again decided to leave his highest earner at home as Arsenal took an embarrassing 1-0 loss to BATE in the UEFA Europa League Thursday which left the door open to criticism. Prior to Arsenal beating Burnley 3-1 in December Unai Emery stated in a press conference that “We [Arsenal] need Mesut Özil.”
Unai Emery: “We need Mesut Özil.” pic.twitter.com/DYFR68gVvS
— TheAFCnewsroom (@TheAFCnewsroom) February 16, 2019
Since this statement Özil has started just three matches (Burnley, Brighton and Cardiff) out of a possible 12. The words and actions just don’t correlate. The feeling is that Arsenal want to offload the £350,000 a week midfielder and believe freezing Özil out of the first team as the best way of doing that.
Mesut Özil is not having the best season if you are comparing him to his typically high standards of previous years but Arsenal have lacked creativity a lot this season. In 2019 Arsenal’s main creator from open play is Sead Kolašinac who plays left-back (18), second to him is Alex Iwobi who has created (10) chances from open play. This is hardly good viewing and you can straight away see why Arsenal are crying out for a top class creator in the team.
What next for Özil?
Mesut Özil has a whopping 74 million followers across Facebook (34m), Instagram (19m) and Twitter (24m) so this PR ‘stunt’ certainly will have not gone unnoticed by the club. Our source from FourFourTweet told theafcnewsroom: “He (Özil) doesn’t run his own account, barely any of the pros do. Therefore stuff that’s put out sometimes doesn’t reflect what they’re thinking for example when Kyle Walker tweeted about Manchester City going seven points clear. There is an argument to say his social following will put pressure on the club. There have been a couple of social posts to evoke or provoke a reaction but if he doesn’t suit Emery’s style of play or they’ve fallen out then there is nothing social media can do in terms of getting him back in the side.”
Whatever the future holds for Mesut Özil and Unai Emery it is essential that the fans get behind both as long as they are still fighting for Arsenal and to not fall into the trap of making it a competition between both.