Lots of back and forth on the great Mesut Ozil debate. At the core of it for me is the exceptionalism that folks think he’s entitled to. The best way to frame these sorts of arguments is to imagine how you’d react to them in your own life.
Firstly, imagine on your team there was an underperforming superstar that earned double what the second-best player on your team earned. Probably a bit of a kicker, but you get past that because you are a mature adult minding your own business. Now imagine that everyone agreed to a pay decrease to save the company that has made your entire team incredibly wealthy.
Is there any scenario where you and the 22 that took the pay decrease could reconcile that sort of behaviour? Probably not. The German’s pay cut, if he were to take it, amounts to 6x what Bukayo Saka earns at the moment. The 19-year-old has made 12 goal contributions this season, Mesut has made 4.
I’ve seen people talking up his charitable contributions that amount to roughly 10% of his salary. A tremendous effort, I’d never critique that sort of generosity. However, people fail to understand that charitable donations and taking a voluntary pay cut are not mutually exclusive. Take this mentality into your own life. Is there any business in the world at the moment that has charitable contributions in the mixer when they’re dishing out mandatory pay decreases? No. It’s exceptionalism wrapped in children’s hospital beds.
The future of the club is hanging in the balance. 12.5% shouldn’t be an ordeal. Roma players agreed to 40% cuts for 4 months. Juventus players gave up £81m. Aleti, Sevilla, and Barca players gave up 70%. How can any player in the Premier League muster an argument about reducing their pay? How can any player, with a straight face, ask to see what the business implications are of the entire game freezing overnight?
The good news coming from ESPN is that he’s apparently doing a deep dive into how the money is going to be spent and that his team has verbally agreed to the deal. We’ll see how that pans out. Hopefully, he does the right thing. If he doesn’t, it’ll be fascinating to see if there’s a reaction from the coach. You can’t build a strong culture if there is exceptionalism when it comes to sacrifice like this.
Mikel Arteta did a fun AMA on the Twitter.com. His favourite midfielders were Santi, Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey. That bodes well for taste levels when he dives into the transfer market this summer.
He also confirmed suspicions of this site about David Luiz. The Brazilian is taking his coaching badges. It looks like his impeccable attitude to the new coach is tightly linked to the hope that he lands a job with the club when he retires. A smart move, he probably sees Mikel as a role model for his career path. David Luiz has it all to be a good coach, he’s smart, articulate, has won everything, and he has gravitas. Would be great to keep him around when he hangs up the boots.
What he refused to talk about was Thomas Partey’s dad who has gone on the radio to explicitly tell the world his son is in talks with Arsenal about a move to North London.
‘I called my son after hearing the rumours and he told me that the rumours are true,’
‘He told me they are holding talks between him and Arsenal. ‘It all depends on the offer Atletico are demanding. If he goes to Arsenal fine, they have a lot supporters in Ghana.’
This move would make sense for Arsenal. He’d be absolutely perfect for the league. He’s the player we’ve been crying out since Paddy left. My concern with these sorts of leaks is they seem a bit too obvious. His dad isn’t a fan of Arsenal, he’s a fan of his son making a shit tonne of cash. This feels like a negotiation tactic with Atleti who badly underpay him.
That said, I’d LOVE to be wrong. £43m for a signing that’d completely change our midfield would be an absolute steal. I just don’t know where we’re finding the money? We’d have to be making some serious sales to make that happen. Auba? Lacazette? Which mega clubs are coming with big dollars this summer?
I think most transfer rumours at the moment are going to be players trying to land bigger deals. No one can be banking on a big money move at this time. But we’ll see…
Finally, some DELICIOUS theorising going on… if the season is voided and CL places are decided on UEFA coefficients, Arsenal are making Champions League baby.
Couldn’t think of a fairer approach.
See you in the comments you wonderful people. x