Why Arsenal fans have no-one else to blame except themselves for this mess!

The way the Arsenal fans treated this great man was disgusting…

Arsene Wenger left Arsenal in the summer of 2018, which was only 3 short years ago. Since then, Arsenal have been in absolute free fall.

In Arsene’s final season, we finished 6th in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League. Things we would probably kill for now.

The final seasons of Arsene’s reign were uncomfortable to watch and at the time, I was always an Arsene supporter. He had single-handedly dragged our great club to the peak of the Premier League, when the only side that was winning was Manchester United. Clubs like Newcastle, Leeds United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham were all fighting to compete in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, but it was Arsenal who would offer the biggest threat and would even topple the red side of Manchester a few times.

Arsene also had great ambition and vision, which lead to the move to The Emirates Stadium. This was to ensure we could compete with the biggest teams when it came to spending money in the transfer market – and that’s certainly true as Arsenal have spent around £400 million alone on transfer fees since Arsene Wenger left the club. So we’re in a healthy position financially.

But while we have the funds to compete, we are is a right mess. 3 games into the new season, we sit bottom of the league, with our friends Tottenham Hotspur sitting at the top. Bad times indeed.

But how did we get to this? I guarantee that if Arsene Wenger was still at the club, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

Arsene commanded great respect in the dressing room but also in the board room. None of this mess with the board, Edu and the men at the top who have since left would have happened. We signed dead wood like David Luiz and Cedric because Edu is mates with their agent! We’ve had the money but signed absolute duds just so we could line the pockets of Edu’s pals. It’s a disgrace.

On the pitch, it’s not much better. I like Mikel Arteta, I really do, but why on earth did we bring him to the club? This is a man with ZERO management experience.

You can laugh and joke all you like about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and other ex-professionals that have tried their hand at management – but at least they have SOME management experience! It’s absolutely insane to think that someone who has never managed in their life would come into the club and improve the situation. But that’s a reflection on the people running the club.

And I think the biggest issue right now is we have no identity. When you watch any other team in the Premier League, after 5 minuets of watching them you understand how they’re trying to play – there’s a game plan and method to their patterns of play. With Arsenal, I don’t know what I’m watching, seriously. What are we trying to do? We’re not direct, we’re not playing through the wings, we’re not playing through the lines – what instructions is Mikel Arteta giving the players? Because they look completely clueless when they’re on the pitch!

At least with Arsene Wenger, we had a plan. It was attack, attack, attack, and although it left us exposed, at least we scored goals! Now we have ZERO goal threat and just concede goals.

I’ve always said with Arsene Wenger we would score goals and concede goals. With Unai Emery, we scored less goals but conceded less goals. Now, with Arteta, we don’t score any goals and just concede loads of them. So in 3 seasons we’ve dramatically gone downhill.

We are currently 20th in the Premier League after 3 games, and there’s a long way to go and we probably won’t be there at the end of the season. But unless things change, and quickly, then we’re not going to get much higher in the league!

 

It’s finally time to forget about Mesut Özil – he is not the “victim” in all this

“Please please feel sorry for me…”

On Friday I wrote that the real reason Mesut Özil wasn’t in the Arsenal squads for the Europa League and Premier League was because he didn’t try hard enough, and wasn’t producing what Mikel Arteta wanted.

I wrote that because there was so much hype and rubbish about Özil’s comments about Uighur Muslims in China, and the refusal to take a pay cut.

Despite the fact that (a) he played the following 10 games after making that statement and (b) two other players refused to take pay cuts as well, but are starting games week in week out for Arteta.

But despite all the facts, a certain section of the Arsenal fanbase are insistent that Özil is the victim in all of this, and that he is being wronged by Arsenal and their manager.

Some of the Arsenal fans are so gullible when it comes to Mesut Özil it’s untrue. The club and manager have made no comment, except that his exclusion is down to “footballing issues”.

Over the last few weeks, Özil has tried to influence his 22 million odd Twitter and Instagram followers with his own narrative, making out he is the victim in all of this – trying to justify his collection of £350k per week for essentially being at home.

But let’s look at his Arsenal career and relationship with managers since he joined shall we?

Under Arsene Wenger, he was given special allowances to take days off and regularly missed Arsenal matches. That’s right, a professional football who regularly took days off during the season. And Arsene has reiterated this in various interviews promoting his new book, stating that some players need an arm around their shoulder and need to be treated differently to the others. Yeah, that seems fair.

Under Unai Emery, he wouldn’t get in line and was regularly on the bench. Under Freddie, he was in and out as well, and now under Arteta he’s out in the cold. How many chances does this man need?

Now let’s look at the current situation.

He’s being paid £350k per week and focuses on his other commitments, like playing / selling Fortnite, launching his own fashion label and has investments in certain cafes in London. Why would he want to leave Arsenal?

He doesn’t have to play football, gets paid handsomely and has business interests to take care of. For Özil, it’s a win-win situation.

And on top of that, he can paint his own narrative that means he’s the victim in a great big Arsenal conspiracy where the club are akin to a ruthless regime where people’s heads get chopped off or players are sent to prison.

He goes on and on about wanting to play football. Well why not move on and play somewhere else then? Oh that’s right, that’s because the new club will find out how much of a fraud you really are.

But you’re wrong, it’s ARSENAL he wants to play for! Oh right, again I’m sorry – is that why since signing his brand new contract he’s consistently strolled around the pitch? Arsenal fans have short memories – let’s not pretend Özil performed like a peak Dennis Bergkamp following his new deal!

It’s all smoke and mirrors, a battle of the PR companies. Mesut Özil is on an extremely sweet deal and instead of moving on he’s content to sit there and pick up his massive salary.

And my point is this – there’s nothing wrong with that. The club offered him a new deal, and he agreed to it and signed it. That’s the whole point of a contract. Özil honouring his contract isn’t the issue, he can do what he likes.

The issue I have is him stirring the pot with these stupid social media posts and polls, trying to make out he’s the victim. If he persists in collecting his massive wage, fair enough, but for goodness sake just be quiet about it and stop disrupting the club, the manager and the players who are giving everything when they wear the shirt.

 

The REAL reason why Mesut Özil has been axed from Arsenal

“What’s going on here?!”

For longer than I care to remember, the Mesut Özil saga has been going on and on, which hasn’t made Arsenal or the player look particularly great by any stretch.

It all came to head in the last week or so, first when Özil was excluded from the Europa League squad. The reaction to that was so-so, and a section of Arsenal fans weren’t happy with that news.

But then it all kicked off on Tuesday when he was was surprisingly left out of the Premier League club on Tuesday. The fan reaction was intense to say the least!

There seems to be a lot of anger, confusion and debate as to why Mesut Özil has been frozen out of the club, and here I explain why this has happened.

First of all, I want to get out of the way the ludicrous claim made on Twitter (and something that seems to have gained some traction) that Özil has been left out because of his comments regarding human rights, Muslims and China. As pointed out by many online, he played for 3 months after making these comments and played started all 10 games under Arteta immediately after making these statements, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The BBC Sport website have a good piece on why the political stance of Özil is not the reason why he has been left out, and how it’s a smokescreen for the real reasons.

Football is a very emotive topic but let’s just sit back and take a look at the facts.

During Arsene Wenger’s reign, he had problems with Özil and regularly had to leave him out of the squad. Remember when he was missing on match days? Özil was given time off by Arsene during the season if he didn’t fancy playing!

Then under Unai Emery, he had the same issues. But instead of granting Özil time off whenever he wanted, he demanded the player give 110% and give everything for the team. What resulted was a power struggle between player and manager, and after Emery left him out the fans turned against him which ended up with the Spaniard losing his job.

He played most games under Freddie’s short tenure, but even then he didn’t start every game.

Then we come to Mikel Arteta. There are many reasonable explanations and justifications why Mesut Özil has been dropped so I’ll try to go through them all.

Firstly let’s consider the history between Arteta and Özil. They played together for 3 seasons and did very well during that time, winning the FA Cup twice. If anyone knows how good Özil is first hand, it will be the Arsenal manager because he played week in week out alongside him! Arteta would have seen him in training, on the pitch and in the dressing room on an almost daily basis.

And that is what Arsenal fans have a problem with understanding – the talent of Mesut Özil. Hs ability is something no-one has ever disputed. He has the talent, the issue is his effort, application and dedication. And this is the point most Arsenal fans seem to be completely missing.

Mikel Arteta is a manager that has very specific requirements and needs from his players. And one of them is 100% complete dedication and commitment to the cause. He has a specific way of playing the game and that is something he will not deviate from – and nor should he. You’ve heard about these ‘non-negotiables’ time and time again from him, and these are real. You either sign up with Arteta’s vision or you don’t. And with Aubameyang and most of the squad, they believe in his plans for making Arsenal a real force again.

What Arteta is doing, and what he has to do, is show strong leadership and that is what every Arsenal fan should be wanting and quite frankly, hoping for. He has come in with his own ideas and is willing to stick to them. That’s what any good manager needs to do.

Özil has clearly not adhered or agreed to these important principles and the only thing Arteta can do as a strong leader that the team will ultimately respect is to live and die by his beliefs.

Mikel Arteta cannot allow to be seen to give Özil any leeway whatsoever because he will seem weak to the rest of the squad and that is something he cannot allow to do. That’s what started the demise for Unai Emery and if we want to improve as a team and a club, that is unthinkable.

So here we are, it’s that simple.

The reason why Özil has been dropped is because he isn’t putting in the graft and hard work required by a Mikel Arteta side.

Can you imagine what would happen if Arteta let Özil get away with murder and gave him allowances time and time again, like Arsene Wenger did? He would quickly lose respect in the dressing room and the team would end up in a downward spiral.

The rest is just smoke and mirrors that the media love to lap up. First it was the fact that Özil refused a pay cut, then it was the messages regarding Uighur Muslims in China and then we had Özil offering to pay Gunnersaurus’s wages – it’s just a big circus which is just boring now.

The reason why this is overblown compared to if it was another players is because of Özil’s popularity. He has 22.3 million followers on Instagram, and 25.1 million followers on Twitter. This guy is an a global superstar, and along with it literally has millions upon millions of loyal supporters. So when the perception is that he’s been slighted or wronged, then millions of fans are going to be vocal about it.

It’s similar to Paul Pobga at Manchester United. Football merit has gone out of the window during his time there, and all that matters with him is not dedicating himself to the team and club, but selling merchandise, football boots and posting selfies on Instagram.

That is the world we live in today you just have to accept that some footballers aren’t footballers any more, but celebrities. We all know Özil’s activities outside of football, and rightly or wrongly those are more important to him.

I’ll end on this note. Mikel Arteta is coming into a football club which is in dire straits, has dropped from being a Top 4 club to a mid table club under Unai Emery – the fans are angry and the team is not performing. Do you think in your right mind someone like Arteta, who has regularly shown to be a strong leader and a man who knows his own mind, would drop Mesut Özil if he was absolutely bossing it in training, showing he’s the best player and dominating training sessions? If he was giving absolutely everything in training and being an example to others? Behave yourself.

If Özil was truly an asset to the team and could make us better, he would be one of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s team sheet, guaranteed.

 

Should Mesut Özil be brought back into the Arsenal team? Cast your vote here!

Over the last few seasons, we’ve all been debating the Özil conundrum.

We all know he’s the highest paid player at the club, on a whopping £350,000 a week since signing the new deal in January 2018. This new deal ends in the summer of 2021, meaning that he is free to leave in a years time for nothing.

The massive pay rise was offered to him at a time when Arsenal’s historic mishandling of contracts once again came to a head, with both of our star players; Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, were at a crossroads.

We either had to sell them before their current deals ran out (otherwise they could leave on a free) or offer them big big pay rises. At the time, and I still stand by this today, I said that we should have offered Alexis Sanchez mega money and kept him, and sold Özil while he still had some resale value. In the end, Arsene went the other way and look where we are now.

Alexis Sanchez recently said that after one training session with Manchester United, he came home and asked his agent whether he could rip up his contract and return to Arsenal. Whatever you want to say about Alexis Sanchez, he was for me the best player we’ve had at the club in the last 10 years. He was that good. And along with his phenomenal ability, he always gave 110% every single time he wore an Arsenal shirt.

Özil on the other hand was the exact opposite. He was a maverick, a luxury player who did well one week and disappeared the next. And ever since his new deal and pay rise to £350,000 a week, he has done nothing for the club.

Arsene Wenger projected that buying a player of Özil’s quality would have cost the club a lot more, justifying the increased wages. But I think it’s pretty obvious that the new deal has been a complete disaster.

But yesterday gave a glimmer of hope. Özil featured in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Aston Villa, and a lot of Arsenal fans went mental at the fact that Özil actually played a match for the club. But what does his future hold?

Should Özil be a first team player, contributing as much as we know he can? Should he be a squad player who can help the team in a few games, but primarily from the bench? Or should he be sold ASAP so we can free up funds for new signings?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section and cast your vote below!

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The Differing Fortunes of David Luiz and Matteo Guendouzi – Two Players Who Have Been On The Brink

Same hair, different fortunes…

Since Premier League football has returned from the pandemic, Arsenal have had their fair share of drama on and off the field – mainly involving players with a penchant for large, frizzy hairstyles.

First of all there was the drama with David Luiz. He hadn’t agreed a contract extension with Arsenal and while that was still up in the air by mid June, we saw Arsenal return to action against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.

David Luiz started the game on the bench, presumably because he or the club couldn’t agree terms. The whole situation was made more confusing when David Luiz, well, was David Luiz and came on for the injured Pablo Mari after 22 minutes. David Luiz then proceeded to show the world how he was possibly the world’s worst defender by being at fault for Manchester City’s first goal, and then deciding that wasn’t quite enough to ruin Arsenal’s changes so he thought that conceding a penalty and then getting sent off would really put the nail in the coffin.

After the game, Jamie Carragher famously said that would be Luiz’s last game for Arsenal, and at the time I was in complete agreement with him. How many mistakes does he need to make? And it’s obvious that he never seems to learn.

He then came out and gave a bizarre and cryptic interview to Sky Sports, where he publicly apologised and took complete blame for the defeat.

At that point, I thought there was no way back for the Brazilian defender. He once again destroyed an Arsenal match with two huge errors, he showed that his decision making was still horrendous and the weird interview was the icing on the cake. However, I’m not sure if David Luiz is some kind of psychological genius or something because despite seemingly doing everything to completely ruin any changes of staying at Arsenal, he agreed an extension only a week later.

In the next game, we faced Brighton and Hove Albion, another game we ended up losing 2-1 after conceding a last minute goal to Neal Muapay. At the end of the match, Guendouzi proceeded to goad the Brighton players about how much they earned (or didn’t by the sounds of it) which prompted talks with Mikel Arteta and the higher ups to explain himself.

In a strange twist of fate, David Luiz of all people (can you see the irony here?) pleaded with Guendouzi to show more self control and to just concentrate on his football. But the young Frenchman has refused to apologise, and has been left out of the team since.

Although he is a talent, and anyone can see that, he clearly has attitude problems and even previous coaches have come out and said that he needs to change. And while initially I thought we might struggle without him in the side, the fact is Dani Ceballos has really stepped up to the plate and taken his chance – and without Guendouzi in the side we have won 4 games on the bounce, and were unlucky not to beat Leicester this week.

With the young midfielder, we lost 2 games out of 2, but without him we’ve won 4 and drawn 1, losing zero. So for me, we wouldn’t miss him if he were to leave.

For me, he has a high resale value so we should look at selling him this summer before he shows more of his poor attitude and his asking price drops. He’s young, talented and still has lots of potential, but if Mikel Arteta has certain things he is not negotiable on, then I’m more than happy to support the manager and back whatever he decides to do with Guendouzi.

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