Ozil & Alexis: Traitors or Simply Mercenaries Moving On? Why I won’t shed a tear when they leave. Arsenal deserves better.

Adios. Auf Wiedersehen.

Should we be surprised (or upset) if Ozil and Sanchez don’t renew their contracts?

I don’t think so. And here’s why…

Traditionally, players signed for Arsenal because it was a step up for them. Or because they held a lifelong dream to play for the Gunners. Neither is the case for our two want-away stars.

Ozil was made redundant when Bale joined Real Madrid. Arsenal were merely in the desperate fortunate position to have the kind of money that Madrid demanded for their goggle-eyed playmaker so late in the season. And Wenger’s 2013 Arsenal still had some sparkle – the toxicity and stagnancy that has tainted the club of late hadn’t really taken hold…

Sure – for those who regard Wenger as a sacred cow, I’m sure there was some work still to be done in dragging the deal over the finish line, and apparently playing under Wenger held some appeal to Mesut. And credit to Dick Law for actually managing to get something done under pressure. But – let’s face it, we were just lucky enough to catch the bride’s böuquet as Real Madrid flung it over her head.

L for Loser or L for Legend?

(Side note: I was rather hoping that we would re-sign Cesc Fabregas. A player with Arsenal in his veins. Tried and tested. And who had gotten the Barca poison out of his system. It wasn’t a popular opinion then, and it probably isn’t now, since he has been winning the trophies for Chelsea that he didn’t win with us.

But that’s another story altogether.

Whether Ozil has been a success for Arsenal is still fiercely debated. I’m firmly in the camp that he is a luxury we neither need, nor can afford: like having champagne in your camel-pack and a mountain to climb…)

Likewise – Suarez biting his way to the top meant the displacement of one Señor Sanchez, Alexis. And Arsenal, forever on the lookout for a bargain – and with money to burn – seized the moment to complete their second opportunistic star-signing in as many years.

So much has changed in football since then. With the Premier League flashing her expensive (under)wares to all and sundry, it was inevitable that management’s greatest gigolos would come calling… Messrs. Guardiola and Mourinho (and Klopp, and Conte) found her honeypot too appealing and wended their merry ways to her fecund pastures.

Guardiola Sanchez

Come to Daddy

Which is great news for Sanchez and Ozil… With zero likelihood of either player climbing back up the ladder to football’s two top clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, they are now presented with the next-best-thing: to join up with their dream daddies at the two rich Manchesters: City and United. And get massive paychecks for the twilight years of their careers.

How convenient.

I have nothing against them not re-signing. To be honest, in their position I probably wouldn’t.

There is much to like at Arsenal: the class (cushiness), the location, the illusion (delusion) of being a big, important club. But there is a lot NOT to like either: the lack of ambition displayed by absentee owner Stan Kroenke, the confoundedness of Arsene Wenger – a dog who seems to have had more than his day, the disgruntled and hostile fanbase, the uncertainty surrounding the futures of Arsenal’s top players… I could go on, but I won’t.

For Ozil and Alexis, whose HEARTS were never really in it – let’s face it: there are no pictures circling the web which show either as cute 5-year-olds in Arsenal shirts, or with posters of Bergkamp above their childhood beds – this was just a JOB. Arsenal offered a luxurious parachute to bale them out of what must have been devastating situation: being rejected by their REAL dream-clubs…

Sure – they won a couple of trophies with us, got the star treatment at Europe’s top tables, got decent enough salaries (decent at the time, anyway), and got on the team-sheet week-in or week-out (whether they deserved it or not). Their time at Arsenal has been easy. Nicking a living? Maybe that’s taking it a bit far…

Ozil Mourinho

Come to Mommy

Alexis and Mesut have honoured their contracts. And neither has exhibited unsavory van-Persie-like behaviour. (No “Dear Guys” letters manoeuvering for an exit.) They are merely looking, as you or I would, to grab as much cash as they can in what may be their final contracts. With an added Bosman bonus.

The truth hurts – but it would be best if, as Gooners, we just accepted it and moved on:

Ozil and Sanchez don’t love Arsenal. They never did. And we got the best we could out of them while they were with us, but now it’s time for them to move on.

We may not be better off without them – but I would prefer to see players at the Club who are proud of the badge on their chest, who know what it means to play for England’s greatest club. Players who deserve to wear the same shirt that Rocky wore, Wrighty, Henry, Bergkamp, Adams, Brady, Bastin…

Real Gunners

Real Gunners

… and all the other magnificent footballers who have showed passion for the cannon in the past 131 years.

So – Mesut and Alexis:

Thanks for the memories. It’s been real.

See ya. (Ya Mesut Ya).



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12 Responses to Ozil & Alexis: Traitors or Simply Mercenaries Moving On? Why I won’t shed a tear when they leave. Arsenal deserves better.

  1. chris September 28, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    FFS Sanchez has given everything. He carried the team and the Manager for 2 years. He was promised a much needed influx of better players – which didn’t happen. Senior players know Wenger’s idealistic dream has been impossible – they have had to go to Wenger to ask for changes in tactics (!) Sanchez wants out and he is clearly not the only one. E.G. Oxlade could have earned lots more by staying. He wanted out too.

    • Batmandela September 28, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      FFS. Didn’t read the blog either, did you.

  2. john September 28, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    Leave them alone, they are to propell Arsenal to the top i.e will push Arsene to decide what next vision he has for Arsenal you may not know they will turn out to be the next Moses(He pushed isreal to where they are today)

    • Batmandela September 28, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Jeez. How do you argue with the Bible. Did you actually read the blog?

  3. Joe September 28, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Both your players have honoured their contracts and neither has attempted to push for a move publicly like former players. No one loses out here, we paid them for five and four years and they delivered. We won three FA cups and three Conmunity Shields.

    The real problem is the state of the club!

    Players in the last year of their contracts: Alexis, Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla

    Players in the penultimate year of their contracts: Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud, Walcott, Čech, Ospina, Monreal

    Players who have expressed a desire to leave: Bellerin, Mustafi

    Players aged 32 and over: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Cazorla, Čech

    Now, done will sign extensions but are they the ones who will elevate the club (walcottt)? We know we are losing a few of those anyway, and others, like Ramsey, have big decisions as let’s face it, arsenal are not winning the league or champions league. They could leave and join winning sides on a free.

    So potentially, our team, albeit worst case scenario, could look like this:

    Chambers kos holding Monreal
    Walcott coq Xhaka iwobi/Kolasinac
    Lacazette Giroud

    Subs: iwobi/ Kolasinac, nelson, Niles, Elneny, Akpom, Mackey, Debuchy??

    We will have to spend a fortune to fix this as where are the ready made replacements? Tough times ahead.

    • Batmandela September 28, 2017 at 9:43 am #

      Didn’t read the blog, did you. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Victor Thompson September 28, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Another fine blog from a very accomplished wordsmith.

    It is interesting that several contributors have reached the same conclusion ( I am one of them ) that Ozil and Sanchez cannot play on the same team and was it coincidental that when he took Sanchez off against W. Brom, Wenger replaced him with Ozil? As you say, you don`t need champagne in your pack when you are climbing mountains.

    The absence of Ozil in particular has opened the door to Ramsey again and he has been more influential playing in his position, because he is more forceful and adds a better defensive capability.

    Most people were amazed that Wenger let their contracts terminate instead of selling them. In Sanchez`s case the figure mentioned as the bid from City was £65m. There have been no bids for Ozil. Wenger was gambling that they might just up their game and get us into the Championship again. He was also mounting some kind of resistance to the practice of the Super rich clubs picking off the cream of the crop and condemning B list clubs to barren seasons. Unfortunately, Liverpool and Arsenal are B list clubs now.

    Liverpool are apparently taking the same stand with Coutinho but it seems that it will backfire on both clubs. At the end of the year all three players will trot off on a Bosman transfer, but Whatever gains they make, their personal involvement at whatever club they go to may not be what they expected. They will be small fish in big ponds whereas they were the big fish and the pride of their club up to now.

    It is enlightening to see the result of PSG last night where PSG beat Bayern 3-0 and that may be the best illustration yet of where the game is heading. When a club can pay £180m for one player and £160m for another and stick two fingers up at the fair play rules, there is only one way the game is going. Players like Sanchez and Ozil will not be the only ones wanting to leave their clubs for greener pastures.

    If the fans complain and call them traitors, they won`t care and won`t understand it either. They do their best to reach the attention of such clubs and that is when the fans love them, but once they have done what they wanted to, they move on. No amount of kissing the badge will disguise the fact that they love gold more!

    It is sad and all the other clubs` managers can do is try to bind their top players to longer contracts, but I fear that players of that grade will not agree to long contracts unless they are approaching 30 year old.

    Wenger needs to take a close look at what he has now and try to extend the contracts of our better and younger players before our doomsday approaches. We will find it impossible to replace a glut of first class players all at once. He will not be here after this present contract ends because this team will be very fortunate to win anything in the meantime and it is not because of it`s deterioration. It is because the top three teams are getting better every season whereas we are straining just to tread water.

    • Batmandela September 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words, Victor. And for the valuable insights.

  5. tariku malla September 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    the best what I agree///

  6. Randeep Baruah September 28, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

    I have been guilty of venting my anger on Cesc when he left us for Barça but somewhere I knew back then and before it even happened that it was always going to happen at some point. BUT, I still would take him back today if I had the chance. Ozil and Sanchez are gone for me already, they’ve become those subs in a match you’re winning that come on and you’re happy they’re still there but there’s no emotional connect there anymore. But if I see Jack come on as a sub, or even start, I’m super excited and I want to see him play the full game out and applaud and diss him just as much because he is mine! I’ve seen that kid grow up in an Arsenal shirt and that’s what I loved about Woj too. Similarly, Ramsey has a future at the club (I see him as Club Captain some day) and unlike so many other fans I genuinely believe he’s a fantastic player. Anyway, I do agree with you and a great article here, thanks for sharing!

    – @randeepbaruah

    • Batmandela September 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks for your comment and kind words. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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