Puppet Master Behind Mesut Ozil Strategy

by .

courtesy @allthatchas

I thought I’d wait to see what the BIG DOG DAVE ORNSTEIN penned on The Athletic this morning before dropping a post on the aftermath of Xhaka-gate yesterday.

Predictably, the piece points towards a familiar story… a lack of leadership at Arsenal.

I’m not calling time on anyone yet, but my deep fear is fancy players aside, the direction of Arsenal is somewhat off-track again, or, more to the point, has never been on track. Rumblings I hear from the club around leadership have been far from positive, and the fact that there was a motion to offer Unai Emery a new deal last summer tells you that the expertise levels in some parts of the boardroom are well off.

The big talking point today was the list of managers that were under consideration in 2018. The shortlist was pretty much where we expected it to be. I was surprised Enrique / Jardim weren’t on the list. I was surprised Lopetigui was on there. Outside that, the shortlist had all the obvious candidates.

Arteta was the frontrunner, the point that is missing for me is that Unai Emery most certainly wasn’t on the original shortlist. From what I understand, he was a last-minute sub when Ivan lost his nerve on Mikael Arteta. I don’t think it’s hard to piece that together from the timeline of events, and I think even the staunchest Emery fan would be hard pushed to convince anyone that Unai was a better candidate than most of the names on the list. I know that his English was raised as a concern by people at interview stage, namely, that he couldn’t speak a word of it. I know from doing my own personal numbers and research he was a bad candidate, so I can’t imagine our number crunchers gave him a thumbs-up, most likely because no analysis was done due to the time crunch. Even a cursory look at Google would tell you he couldn’t organise a defence, he had trouble with egos and the football was overly negative.

So unless every single person on that list rejected the club, it really must have just been Arteta at the death before we switched attention to someone that had been freshly fired.

Arteta’s lack of a backroom team was apparently a problem. Again, it’s another contradiction for me. The club has gone out of its way to talk about the new modern infrastructure, then the first thing we do is let Unai Emery bring in 5 of his own coaching staff, completely unvetted after being fired by PSG? How is that due diligence? We literally bought in a strength and conditioning coach when we already had one that had won a World Cup with Germany and transformed our pitiful operation back in the day. We had an assistant. We had a keeping coach. We had video analysts. We could have just copied what PSG did for Thomas Tuchel, namely, gone out and purchased whoever the best assistant in world football was at the time. If the only problem you have with a candidate is they don’t have 2 additional coaching staff, that’s kind of ideal. It reduces the candidate’s power, gives leadership more control of the direction of the club, and gives everyone the assurance that quality control measures were in place.

Major point here: The club fired Wenger in April. They had time to work out all of these kinks. They had the opportunity to rebuild Arsenal around a vision. Fuck whether that was Arteta or not. The idea was correct. Bring in a young coach with big ideas. Set the bar low with the fans, tell them we’re building an exciting future around kids, and we’re going to build from the ground up, and we’re going to make The Emirates the most exciting place to watch football in the world. Exactly the approach Chelsea took this season.

How could last season have been any worse than what it was? We’d have had a style in place now, a City light. The players would have known what they’re doing. We’d be in year two now and we’d all know exactly where we were heading as a club.

Again, I have to return us to the original point. Some of our leadership team wanted to give Emery a new deal last summer, despite the mountain of evidence he was tanking the squad. This season, seeing that we’re in deep decline again, with fires literally everywhere, we’re being assured the manager will be given time.

Based on what? A lack of a replacement could be a fair point. Not surprisingly, there’s no contingency plan outside Freddie Ljungberg, which is a huge problem and a major red flag. How can no thought have gone into contingency after watching the insipid Europa League final? How can they not have a list of 5 candidates after travelling down to the training and seeing what’s going on? We should have someone waiting by the phone, studying our squad, making plans.

You know what happens when you don’t have a plan? Jose Mourinho. The lack of direction we have is similar to that of United. Because you don’t know where you’re going, you outsource your decisions to super agents. Make no mistake, Mourinho would feel good in the moment, but he’s an arsonist. He’d bury us in 2 seasons. OGS is taking a lot of stick at the moment, no one is out here pointing the finger at Jose for the wreckage he left him to fix.

Interestingly I was told that Edu has been the black hand behind the Mesut Ozil issue that’s going on. Questionable strategy against a player that has public sentiment on his side, not to mention the fact he’s consistently communicated to the media that he’s going nowhere. Again, is this what you’d call leadership? Creating a huge media fuss for what is essentially a losing battle that has in part, contributed to the break-neck speed in which public sentiment has turned against the manager. I would also bet that this inconsistent behaviour has led to some of the dressing room split that lots of papers are reporting on this morning.

Remember this: Arsenal pulled forward transfer budget from this upcoming summer to make last year happen. It wasn’t a gift from Josh. It wasn’t anything clever. It was a major gamble. The missing part of the commendable effort was considering the manager. He’s not very good, we could all see that last season, but Raul has been so invested in the decision, maybe he can’t see beyond his nose here?

Let’s see where it goes, but it’s worth noting we’re in October, two of our captains are in disgrace, the football is terrible, there’s a dressing room split, the fans have turned against a manager so petrified at the moment he has ‘good ebening’ Tourettes syndrome and it’s affecting him in interviews.

Not a good look. We need strong leadership and we need it now. Showing faith in something that’s clearly broken is not that.

What’s the plan, Arsenal?

345 Responses to “Puppet Master Behind Mesut Ozil Strategy”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Bamford10

    Fully agree with Ceballos. Fans should be united behind the team. But Xhaka can no longer be captain and he should not be in the PL starting XI any more.

  2. PhD2020

    Bamford10October 29, 2019 02:01:34
    Good point. Do you still claim to have a season ticket, Champagne?

    Do you still claim,that we are more organised and disciplined under Unai?

    Despite the following graphical evidence to disprove your assertions:-



    & taking into account your in-game pronouncements on the Arsenal vs C.Palace game on Sun 27th Oct 2019:

    And I quote:
    Bamford10October 27, 2019 17:46:27
    “Excellent. 2-0. We are playing with intensity, energy and urgency, and this on both sides of the ball.Fuck off to all who have said that Emery has brought nothing to the club or that he has moved us backwards. Fucking nonsense.Dominating possession too. Sharp passing. Good stuff.”

    In one sentence-Which University did you graduate from again,that is, if you graduated from said (Harvard) University?

  3. salparadisenyc

    “Duly noted there Sal but have you considered our first 45 mins against Bournemouth ”

    Haha thanks for that CC, this space gives as much as it can take. I salut you sir.

  4. PhD2020

    Look,let’s get things into perspective…

    Mr Guy(Bum10) 🙂 has and had all along hedged his bets on the American guys knowing what they are doing.

    He hedged his bets on IG forever and a day removing OGL and appointing the next successor that would hopefully do a projectile urination spree galore over OGL for years to come.Well,so far,that turned out well-didn’t it??!! Lol

    That guy-IG turned and hot tailed it to Milan, within a blink of an eye,once he saw the opportunity to salvage what remnants of a shit show he could salvage for himself,after hiding under Arsene’s skirt for so long and camouflaging himself in feline vagina juice since inception…

    Till,this day-Mr Guy :-), thinks Lazidis left us in a good place,done his job adequately, despite being hog-tied, gag- mouthed and spilling supposedly home-truths for nigh on a decade,whilst Arsene was spilling lies upon lies till his departure-go figure the two scenarios and characters in question-according to the gospel of Mr Guy :-)?

    Especially those awesome duesome twins running to script for eternity,until they turned on each other(IG&OGL) like girls in a northern night strippers club fighting over who has the shortest dress,who pulls the most customers and garners the most attention.
    You know,who looks more of a tart-me or you,kind of mentality…Could not make it up-the conspiracy theory behind Mr Guy’s 🙂 thinking.

    Now, with a new structure in place,thanks apparently in part to Lazidis(disappearing into thin air by the way), we are now more equipped and ready from two or three seasons ago to reach for the next level according to the Gospel of Mr Guy :-).

    Anything,other than Arsene is a vast improvement-according to the foaming, rabid anti -wengerite that is Mr Guy :–)

    Spent £100 million on defence-,no improvement on offence ,and a rapidly deteriorating defence during Unai’s tenure over 18 months..

    And what does the plebe in the village say?We are more organised,more disciplined..

    Because,it all circles back to the owners in charge being American…
    They must know,what they are doing..If Unai,is screwing up,it is because of Arsene’s legacy,the wreckage he left behind..The owner;s are trying-fuck leadership,fuck accountability..We’ve spent a tonne,hey-we have selection problems,injury problems,players returning to fitness,etc,etc..

    No questions asked of those up top..Oh no,we have modernised..Thanks to Lazidis’s legacy and the owners spending money and moving the club forward..

    But we have poverty of players one season.
    And then the next season(current),-selection problems and injuries..

    What a one inch prick and a shrivelled regressed one at that.

    Never,ever points the fingers to the top echelons,as to why we have selection problems,fitness issues..Who recruits the manager ffs?

    Where the hell do you think our overall leadership is going to come from?
    You think from fixing our midfield issues according to you-you deluded imbecile?

  5. Tee

    A poster on arseblog

    suppose the players will be voting on team selection and transfer signings next. What exactly is Emery’s job these days aside from confusing matters?!

  6. Tee

    This redtruth guy is a complete idiot.

    One of the shortcomings of internet is coming to a blog to read idiotic comments like that.

    Anyways, I will keep doing what I have been doing which is scroll pass comments from some posters here.

  7. Tee

    From arseblog comment section

    It just goes to show what a shit coach he is that within 10 league games every last once of goodwill from the summer has evaporated. Never has so much talent delivered so little so fast.
    More than half of his job is man management and I get the impression that’s the one skill he is even worse at than progressive football coaching.
    Our club lurches from crisis to meltdown week on week directly due to this guy’s total indecision on and off the pitch. Who’s my captain, who’s in my midfield, what formation, what strategy, what player am I going to throw to the wolves today? Whichever way you slice it it’s a truly appalling appointment by Gazidis and co. He is not respecting this club and is simply destroying his players’ careers. Get out.

  8. Redtruth

    Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi
    Granit Xhaka, Mohammad Elneny and Sead Kolasinac.

    All these players have one thing in common, all have an attitude problem….troublemakers….

  9. Pierre

    “Bamford now the new Pierre of Le Grove… oh how times change.”

    I think I’ll take a step back and watch it all go tit’s up for Emery, deservedly so I have to say.

    He needs to go on a course of man management and if Edu has anything to do with Ozil not being in the squad , then his judgement should also be brought into question .

    Looks like Edu is learning a lesson very quickly on how not to treat a player who still has a vast support amongst the fan base.

    The fans have spoken in the last few games at the Emirates and I would imagine Edu was up in the stand cringing at first Xhaka getting booed off and then the Ozil chant coming from all corners of the ground .

    Music to my ears …

  10. Graham62

    We need to do our special 2 for 1 offer.

    Emery and Ozil to go at the same time.

    Now wouldn’t that be a bonus.

    Would definitely save on the paracetamol.

  11. Bojangles

    Foreigners and blacks, Muslims and even an elephant cleaner for a father. Maybe remove all these unwanted players from England, then see how the pl stacks up against other European leagues.

    Give idiots a voice and get idiotic comments in return.

  12. Graham62


    The Three Stooges.

    Get rid of them all and things will blossom.

    Actually, no it won’t. We’ve still got Stan and Josh and the BoD and the butcher, the baker, plus the candlestick maker.

  13. Graham62

    The fact that a few fans are chanting Ozil’s name shows how bad things have become.

    Desperate times at the Emirates .

  14. Graham62

    How many years is it now since we all had a genuine connection with the club?

    You know, that feeling of pride and respect, where other clubs fans would be openly saying. “Wow! Look at Arsenal. What a great club. What great players and what wonderful football. They really know what they’re doing”.


  15. terraloon


    Tell me how you rate Mane, Salam and Shaquiri at Liverpool. Or what about N’Golo Kante and Rudiger at Chelsea or Maherz, Gundogan and Mandy at ManCity.

    To even trying to suggest the Arsenal players you clearly don’t rate, and to be fair quite a lot of others don’t, is down to their religious beliefs isn’t just naive it’s offensive in extreme.

    The problems at Arsenal runs deep but have nothing to do with race, religion or anything of the like it’s down to poor recruitment, poor attitude, lack of professionalism all leading to a poor environment where far too many of the decisions being made are in footballing terms are made in a no blame culture which in the cut throat competitive world of professional football is almost impossible to have
    As evidenced by comments made by Evra and indeed we all witnessed against Palace, Watford and indeed Sheffield Utd other clubs players seen to have something different instilled in them. Those clubs players have a hunger, a desire almost a fear of losing not just their PL status but also their jobs.

    It can’t be coincidence that the last four or so captains either had major sulks or just couldn’t wait to get out of the club and it seems just like Evra in his era and the current crop of top players don’t fear playing Arsenal be it either at home or away for they seem to know if you get into a battle with Arsenal then it’s more likely than not then Arsenal won’t come out on top.

  16. Nelson

    No wonder Xhaka slapped Emery’s hand when he walked passed him.

    He must be cursing Emery: “Didn’t you, fucking moron, know that I would become a lightning rod when you subs me out. WTF!”

  17. Graham62


    RT knows he made a disgraceful comment.

    Is he big enough to offer an apology to us all on here?

    I doubt it.

  18. Graham62


    Very good point.

    So are you saying this was all premeditated?

    Did Emery plan this?

    Omg, shock horror!

    Surely not.

  19. Chika

    “Who are the bad apples in the side, you’ve guessed it, Wenger signings.”

    Emery is not a Wenger signing you lemon.

  20. Bamford10

    Starting XI for the last League Cup match:

    Emiliano Martinez
    Rob Holding
    Shkodran Mustafi
    Kieran Tierney
    Calum Chambers
    Mesut Özil
    Joseph Willock
    Lucas Torreira
    Gabriel Martinelli
    Reiss Nelson
    Emile Smith-Rowe

    Subbed in:
    Héctor Bellerín
    Dani Ceballos
    Bukayo Saka

    It will be interesting to see what Emery does this time.

  21. Graham62

    Just saw the funniest thing in my back garden.

    A cat and a fox having a standoff.

    “Which team do you support?”


    “Watford are rubbish”

    “I agree”

    “Oh,in that case, I don’t agree. They just need a new manager”

    A Fistfull of travellers cheques. Rik Mayall, 1984

    Ah yes, the memories.

  22. Bamford10

    I think he’ll go with something like:

    Emiliano Martinez
    Rob Holding
    Shkodran Mustafi
    Sead Kolasinac
    Hector Bellerin
    Joseph Willock
    Lucas Torreira
    Mesut Özil
    Gabriel Martinelli
    Bukayo Saka
    Alexandre Lacazette

    Yep, you read that right. I think he could include Ozil tomorrow night. For me, there would be a logic to it, and it might be a good thing to do PR-wise, to calm certain waters a little.

  23. Peckobill

    I think that’s pretty much who he’ll play , Tierney will switch to premier league games now you’d hope but a question mark on if torreira starts though as there’s no way xhaka starts against Leicester on the weekend so there’s a question on who takes his spot

  24. Bojangles

    My club is in a mess at the moment. Nothing positive happening on or off the field. The captain(lol) spitting the dummy like a spoilt child. Emery cannot make a decision on his own. There’s no leadership at all from what I can see from admin through to the players at the club. The only solution or at least the obvious one is to show Emery the door asap. I would be surprised that come midnight November 10 he is still head coach at Arsenal. Please do not replace him with Maureen or we will be revisiting this within 2 years of his appointment.

  25. Bamford10


    Good point re Torreira. If Xhaka issues an apology today, he could be in the starting line-up tomorrow. That too might help to heal wounds, calm waters. Then Torreira could start against Leicester. Torreira, Guendouzi, Ceballos as the new starting three in midfield for PL matches maybe.

  26. Peckobill

    Man your on one this morning, what the heck is their religion got to do with anything. Also how the hell are they trouble makers ? They may not be good enough players for where we want to be but they don’t seem to be causing any trouble or playing up . Mustafi has had his daft brain farts ball watching but he seems to have taken being dropped on the chin and trying his best in cup games , whether that’s good enough is another matter
    Kolasinac only really half functions being a wing back but what trouble has he exactly caused ?
    Elneny seemed invisible both on and off the pitch but again what trouble has he been upto ?
    Ozil , god only knows what’s happening there no one really seems to know other than those at charge at the club . My take on it is they want his high pay packet of the wage bill and freezing him out on the hope he bails out . Again other than voicing being frustrated about not making squads what’s this huge trouble , ruckus and mayhem he’s causing?
    Try and separate them not being not good enough and this nonsense about trouble makers and being Muslim . Your just making crap up now

  27. Receding Hairline

    Edu, a football man and fellow midfielder is behind the frustration of Mesut Ozil, Ozil knows he isn’t wanted but is playing the victim card and dividing the fans, winning a supposed PR battle rather than seek a move to a club were he can play.

    And we had grown ups chanting his name on Sunday.

  28. Peckobill

    Yeah if and it’s a big if that if he does ever start xhaka again common sense says it would be in an away game . He’d be nuts to bring him back in a home game. I don’t know if it will happen but my guess is he won’t even make a squad until the Norwich game away game .
    Honestly though I think xhaka is toast and will be gone in January because the situation emery has found himself in now if he plays xhaka ( especially at home ) he’d probably have to commit to playing him the full 90 because every man and his dog knows what will happen when his number comes up to be subbed

  29. Receding Hairline

    As for Emery being a sub standard coach and not good enough for Arsenal, that is personal opinion.

    Coaches do well in a job or do badly depending on a lot of factors, some within their control and others beyond. He has a 59.7% win percentage with Arsenal but i am told all the wins are on the players (or Freddie) while the lost games are him interfering.

    He may fail here and move on to another job and do well and some of you may shamelessly say what we need is an Emery. Kind of like how Rodgers is exactly what we need now but when some suggested it before they were mocked, Leicester win 9-0 and he is the messiah.

    It’s all rather boring now and the endless chatter pointless because the decision lies with certain men who apparently have more patience than the average fan.

  30. Bamford10


    “the decision lies with certain men who apparently have more patience than the average fan”

    More vision as well, and more sense. It’s a good thing the club is in the hands of Sanllehi and Edu and not the average fan.

    “And we had grown ups chanting his name on Sunday.”

    Absolutely embarrassing.

  31. Bamford10


    Good points. Xhaka could be off in January, but we don’t have a lot of options in midfield, so I think there’s a chance Emery might have to use him more in the near-term than you allow. But I agree that it should be in away games and cup games.

    Do you attend matches at the Emirates?

  32. CMac

    Why would Edu have axe to grind with Ozil? For shredding Brazil in rag strips in 2014?

    Nobody in this team in pass the ball and I’m not talking to Ozil’s standards because there has been less that three in the history of the game. I mean pass half accurately to feet. Torierra showed an uncanny ability to pass thirty yards to the feet of attackers and he was quite a revelation even being a scoring threat from DM as all must be who who aspire to be a world class DM. The Jerk tanker him for being good and tried to tell him with such ability he must be an AM. The game clearly past Emery by many moons ago.
    This article expresses my sentiments exactly. Fire the entire coaching staff and back room. Spare the academy guys who are doing wonders. As an American I can’t find words to express my disappointment with the American owners who would let some football wannabees dictate such a garbage strategy to them. You don’t get payed in America for doing nothing. That’s very unAmerican. Half of the stupid Arsenal fans need to be first with the Administration because they don’t know the game from a rum bottle. I came to be a Arsenal fan, followed Ozil from Real Madrid. I had friends who were Arsenal fans. When I watched a couple of games I named players on the then starting team who couldn’t play the game at all. But the Arsenal faithful were tearing mad about there team. Within 2 year these six players were gone. The first Arsenal game I saw I said this team needs 4 DMs- two world class, two servicable. I later discovered other Arsenal fans had been calling for that. Perhaps the same 50% that recognize Ozils genius.
    I wrote a piece stating that the Arsenal squad was loaded with side midfielders but Wenger didn’t coach to wing play. They should be traded enmass to get the players Arsenal need. They were all let go. I’m not saying someone is listening to me – I’d be mental to think so but it keeps happening my observation are verified. I waited ages to see Mr. Arsenal return from injury – England international and Arsenal son. The first 3 games I saw the guy I wrote, his ball control is 0, his passing2, vision 1, tackling 0, positioning and game reading 5, snap shot (10-15yds) 5. He is not a CM. The only position this guy could possibly play is a 10 – a second/third back-up. He too was traded.
    Ive become like Ozil a big Arsenal fan and it hurts to see the nonsense going on here

    Wilcock is a 9 no matter how much you run him up and down the field like a horse you stupid Jerk. The kid don’t know what he’s supposed to be doing at that.

    Torierra is the only DM the team has. Elneny was more than serviceable.
    Guendozi is not winning enough tackles to make teams change the direction of attack. He is at best a good driving CM who should turn over the penetrating passes over to Ozil, Torierra, Wingbacks, Pepe, and the kids up front who combine (Sakka) better than Auba/Lava neither of whom can pass the ball well or know where to go to receive it. They are good finishers and should thrive on Ozils passing but they don’t know the game. I said this last year and would have love to see this verified for all three young forwards and I suspect Pepe too would thrive on Ozils passing and it would bere out my point that this is a considerable weakness in both these guys games. I like all these guys. They bring what they bring. A coach will recognize each players attribute and when he puts them on the field he knows exactly what he has out there and what strengths he is playing to.

    So sorry to see the Xhaka situation. I said three weeks after his arrival the guy wasn’t the DM Arsenal needed. I’ve never seen him fail to have a good game for his country at as an advanced CM. Why he’s not use by Arsenal d the way he is most successful for his country beats me. Stop trying to make a rabbit a bird. So he finally got frustrated with that mad project and embarrassed himself. Sad.
    Finally get this guy out of here before there is nothing left. Some bad decisions were made and too many ego hacking is going on among Amin. You guys – all of you – need to put Ozil in where and when he should play. Ease the youngsters in.
    Two years ago I said go get David Luiz as a DM. Play AMN there too with Torierra or Guendouzi, play Callum Chambers there, the guy is intelligent and wins a high percent of tackles. Players who win tacles in DM bring pressure to play in their own Defensive third. That’s why Torierra hurried the play of opponents and Guendozi doesn’t. Fate is begging the owners to save the season, clear house. Will they?