Sometimes fans come up with the craziest of ideas and theories. Some go noticed by many like the banners and the attitudes of fans on social media going global. And when I mean ideas, this is something not based on transfers like we should buy player x because of his reputation or because he had a good goal scoring season at his current club. Think about the Dani Ceballos chant or in fact most recently the banners that have appeared aside from planes during matches. Sometimes when you write one of these ideas or theories down it makes sense, but just a reminder you must take things with a pinch of salt.
While watching and listening to A Bergkamp Wonderland podcast on YouTube (other arsenal podcasts are available) the question of Mesut Özil and what is happening regarding to his current situation came up. One of the many regular panelists came up with an interesting theory as to why the current number ten is conspicuously not in the matchday squads and his “interesting reasons for not playing”. He’s retired!!
Although not formally like other players of the past but has decided to run down his contract as much as possible so he is able to leave quietly come next summer. During this discussion, there was an eager interest as there has been previously other players that have retired or seem to retire mid-season. Players that they mentioned included safe hands Dave (David Seaman, went on to play for Man City and injure himself into retirement) and the BFG: Per Mertesacker (having to fill in for Koscielny in the 2017 FA Cup final against Chelsea because of his red card in the last Premier League game of the season).
These are interesting comparisons to a player who is still supposedly still available to play. But then you could probably look at the past couple of years he has had and probably see why this theory could potentially make some sense.
FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014
Mesut’s’ stats were key to help the Germans win the World Cup for the fourth time. According to ESPN, he created the most scoring chances in the team at twenty compared to the next best of Schweinsteiger who had thirteen. Özil had built himself a platform of expectation from fans of both Germany and Arsenal. There are opinions by some fans that once you win the World Cup you can never get that high and become more unmotivated when you are playing at club level. Maybe the highs of FA Cup victories are not enough for Mesut to bring back some of that form.
January 2018, transfer window
Near enough four years later and Mesut’s contract was running down fast. There were talks about what was going to happen is he staying or is he leaving? There were continuous questions from both the media and fans speculating what was going to happen. But he wasn’t in the contact ending soon boat, he had in many fans view one of the best attacking players to play in an Arsenal shirt for a long time in Alexis Sanchez. The going backwards and forwards question of which would you keep grew large and wide. In my opinion we let the wrong one leave and ended up with a player who never lived up to expectations (Henrik Mkhitaryan moved from Manchester and has now since left the club). Meanwhile Özil pounced on the contract as soon as he saw what he was being paid; he had waited out to be rewarded. You may even say since he signed the contract he has been on the decline.
FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018
The Germans are eliminated and humiliated with two defeats and one win in the group stages. The German fans who once adored him and the big giants’ heads of the German Football Association as well as other “important figures” in German Football decided it was time to blame the “outcasts” and the not “real German players” among them was Özil. His response according to the guardian was “I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose”. This has since caused a rift in German football with many players as well as Mesut decided enough was enough. Even with this being said and with everything that goes on out there now; there should be no room for racism in football.
Photo with President of Turkey
Before the World Cup in 2018, Mesut was photographed with the President of Turkey. This led to some questioning his declaration to play for the German side. In the Telegraph, at the time Mesut was quoted on twitter as he was “both loyal to his Turkish and German origins”. Unfortunately, sometimes sport and especially football becomes a powerful key for politicians to use to be able to push political agenda. The president known as Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considered by many as a dictator. Mesut again is stated as “it wasn’t politics or elections; it was about respecting the highest office of my family’s country”. This was another reason for German football to turn their back of Mesut.
Almost a year has gone by since the incident of Kolasinac and Özil being on the way to a restaurant and being attacked by members of the public. It caused them both to miss the first away and home matches against Newcastle and Burnley. But looking back at the footage you must admit our Bosnian showed a lot of bravery running after the hijackers. It then came out that Mesut was also in the car with his and Kolasinac’s wives. Of which it was also rumoured that Mesut’s wife was pregnant at the time.
There are probably more ideas or theories as to why he isn’t playing at all in the red and white. The issue is that Mesut, much like a Welshmen in Madrid is running down a contract. If he wished to move on or if there are in-fact suitors for the former German international is yet to be seen, sometimes there are options and you end up moving not so far away to another Premier League club. But perhaps retirement is on the cards for someone who was described at one point of his career as a ‘wonderkid’ to be now nothing less than someone who might be considered for more of his lack of time on the pitch right now then his time on it with Alexis and Santi Cazorla.
Whether or not we have seen the last of Mesut is yet to be seen. With the transfer window officially open today this might just be something that could go all the way until the window is slammed shut. Perhaps even a statement might have to be made before the Mesut Özil and Arsenal saga finally closes, we might just have to wait and see what is to come.
A football lover from an early age, who began to support Arsenal in my early years. I never got to go to Highbury to see any games or even the tour, something I wished I was able to do. I play disability football as well and appreciate the support that the Arsenal Foundation has given the local community, which I have raised money for previously.