Mesut Özil Last Dance Seemingly Cancelled

by .

Well, it didn’t take long for the shine to rub from the Thomas Partey transfer.

Arsenal managed to get themselves into the weirdest fight of 2020 as Mesut Özil and our exec leadership traded blows over the redundancy of the man behind the Gunnersaurus.

Now, let me cover off a few things.

Firstly, my deepest sympathies to Jerry Quy who lost his job after many years of loyal service. I cannot imagine how tough this moment must be for him. Losing your job is bad enough without being part of a PR war of attrition with the most famous footballer in North London.

The way Arsenal dealt with the mascot situation was absolutely horrendous. Binning off a very visible part of the club and burying the story on transfer deadline day felt very, very amateur. Leadership is often about managing contradictions, but firing the mascot whilst lavishing £50m on a £250k a week player felt like corporate doublespeak in the extreme.

Machiavelli in The Prince suggests that cruel acts be done all at once to maintain power over the people. Arsenal’s slow drip, drip, drip of bad news suggests leadership skipped this chapter. We sacked the scouts. Then the 55. Then, weirdly, word dropped that the mascot had been binned. What an utterly pointless exercise in cost-cutting that lacked any humanity for the employee or self-awareness for how this would play out with the footballing community. Savings should be done with people in mind, this sort of exercise looked like the back-office spreadsheet merchants had been let loose without a sentient minder. Horrible stuff.

Next up, Mesut Ozil, PR guru of the internet swept in and offered to pick up the salary.

Firstly, it’s lovely that he’s willing to step in for someone. You can’t knock that. But the move is painfully transparent. The sole purpose of his campaign was to embarrass the club. I’d liken the move to calling your boss a ‘faaacking melt’ in an aggressive Essex accent, in the moment, you feel like a hero, but the next morning, when you realise you’ve just screwed your life so bad you’ll be adding skimmed cows milk to your Nescafe instant coffee… you feel silly.

This is another of Mesut’s classic contradictions. Salaries weren’t important a few weeks ago when he was trying to assess the business implications of the pandemic. He didn’t accept his 12.5% pay cut on his £18.2m a year salary when nearly everyone else did. That totalled £2,184,000. He didn’t step forward for the 55 laid off in the first round, a rumoured bill of £2.5m. That’s his decision, but it makes it clear the target of his generosity was not Jerry, it was to humiliate Arsenal at the cost of a day’s wages.

The club deserved the humiliation in this case, Arsenal’s own goal was greeted with the disdain it deserved, but bigger picture, what was the point for Mesut the footballer?

A lot of fans were hoping there’d be one more chance, his fans were pleading for ‘The Last Dance’, but after this? It’s a struggle to see how he can come back from it. What is super odd is that his people thought it was a good idea. He’s just told the world he does his own thing. He’s not a team player. He now operates as a lone wolf. Why would you want that to be the messaging for your personal brand in the final year of your deal?

The staff knew where it was going with Mesut, the predictable pattern of injuries, the lack of interest in new requirements like club Zoom calls and homework. It doubled down on what we all suspected, this is a player that doesn’t really care anymore. That’s sad. He’s an outrageous talent on his day. It is such a shame that he still wants a fight no one really cares about.

Still, it’ll be over by next June. Until then, it’ll be fascinating to see what Arteta does about it, or more likely, does not do about it.

Onto other news. I like the low-key job Per and Edu have been doing with the youth team this summer.

  • Lewis 18
  • Akinola 19
  • Dinzeyi 20
  • Möller 18
  • Ideho 17
  • Salah 17
  • Rekik 18

Data led scouting. A low-risk/high-reward strategy. A group of players that will all fit the profile of what Arteta wants in his players. On paper, it seems very promising. All you need is one of them to come good and you pay for the entire process.

There was a bit of shock on the Premier League website as the squads for this season were updated. Pablo Mari and Cedric were missing. Well apparently, that list isn’t final until October 15th or so. The question is, who makes the squad and who doesn’t? Will we keep Mesut on the books after yesterday’s episode? Which defenders stay and which go? I’m looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

That’s all I have time for today. Listen to my podcast. Enjoy the slow couple of weeks we have coming up. See you in the comments. x

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748 Responses to “Mesut Özil Last Dance Seemingly Cancelled”

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  1. Ashwin Gunner

    “Cesc didn’t screw us.How anyone would think this is beyond me.”

    Thats a joke. He left for Barca when Arsenal had given him everything he was then. He ran to play for his boyhood club which he never would have, if not for Arsene Wenger. He left Wenger high and dry.

  2. Peckobill

    Barca should’ve been fined heavily for that disgusting stunt and the players involved , how that wasn’t deemed to be tapping up was a joke ,
    I loved the player just thought it was naughty threading not play again , it devalued his price tag

  3. Ashwin Gunner


    To be fair, Cesc wanted to come back after Barca spit on his face and showed him the door. But we already had Ozil playing with us in similar position. He would not have been a starter. So Wenger refused to trigger the buy back option and refused.

  4. Gonsterous


    One of the biggest mistakes of Wenger. Was too proud to bring back cesc. If cesc had come back, we would have been a power house with, ozil, santi and cecs running the mid. With coq, Ramsey and co as back up.
    Sadly, we got xhaka instead and the rest is history.

  5. Words on a Blog


    Your argument against Bamford suggesting we’re gonna get more than 5 points against ManU, ManC, Leeds, Totteringham and Leicester is fundamentally flawed because you fail to take into account Bamford’s power ranking analysis, which is a veritable work of genius, and is constructed using the latest and most advanced techniques of football and statistical analysis.

  6. Ashwin Gunner


    i dont blame Wenger. Anybody would had been hurt by what he did. I am glad he did;nt come back.

  7. Peckobill

    The buy back thing with cesc can be a bit of a red herring , it’s all very well saying he’d be happy to come back but then demand wages he knows the club won’t pay . A clever way to come out of it, a win / win situation for him , just saying

  8. Gonsterous


    You don’t win trophies with emotions. Yes, cesc left and it left a bitter taste. But when a quality player is available, you put aside your feelings (especially when you are in your 60s) and you do what’s best for the team.

    Cesc coming back would have boasted a lot of morale and got the fans excited. He was one of our brightest players and instead, he lifted the PL with Chelsea.
    (Personally, I was happy he didn’t join the shit show and got to lift a trophy worth his talent.)

  9. Champagne charlie

    Still beggars belief that anyone can don themselves a ‘fan’ of us and literally not expect at least 1 win out of any 5 game stretch in the premier league.

    Must be a groundbreaking new age approach unknown to me, but that’s just fucking comical the more I process it. Maybe I just need more time to absorb the power rankings like Woab suggests.

  10. Samesong

    Still beggars belief that anyone can don themselves a ‘fan’ of us and literally not expect at least 1 win out of any 5 game stretch in the premier league.


  11. Gonsterous

    Ozil has been humiliated? The guys a nightmare. He hasn’t helped the club at all. Any other player and they would have moved on to another club while arsenal sir foot a part of their wage. Not Mr. Ozil, oh no, he’s like a 19 year old, with an allowance and won’t get off his arse to work, cause he’s getting paid by his dad.

    The club should instead help other clubs not end up with this leech. Don’t let him play, so he can just retire at the end of the season.

  12. andy1886

    Ashwin, as Wenger’s book is due out in around five days time you can read at least his side of the story and see what happened with Cesc. My understanding, from previous Wenger comments, was that Wenger agreed to let him go to give him that chance to play at Barca again. Not mention of any ‘strike’. Same thing that happened with RvP, Wenger agreed to let him go on principle because Wenger was more interested in the doing ‘right’ as he saw it with the player than protecting the interests of the club that was playing his wages.

  13. andy1886

    LT – might be interesting to see if he’s gone completely mad yet (I see he had some ‘interesting’ suggestions for law changes in the game recently but that’s probably part of the PR he’s doing to sell the book).

    Anyway, anyone in Pierre’s location has no chance of finding a clean copy….

  14. Graham62

    Can someone give me a logical explanation as to why Wenger hasn’t stepped foot in the club for two and a half years?

    I’m all ears.

  15. Moray

    Didn’t I read the other day that Wenger finally admitted that perhaps he stayed too Long at Arsenal?

    I think he had a season in mind rather than the decade plus as I’m sure most of us would agree.

    His book will be interesting, though for non Arsenal supporters it’s going to be mostly old news and just an old man painting the age lines out of his own portrait.

  16. Moray

    Ozil’s last few years at the club have been horrible. He’s head and shoulders the best player but is no role model, shows zero positive leadership traits, and as his fitness and ability have waned has simply given up trying. Nor has he tried to change his game to remain relevant to today’s game. Compare him to Rooney who’s dropped down the leagues just to keep playing.

    On top of that he’s permanently undermining the management and the club through comments from his agent and stupid things like the salary issue.

    Absolutely we should delist the bug-eyed cunt. Don’t play him, let him get fat playing on his Xbox and he’ll struggle even to get a team in a Turkey next season.

  17. Chris

    I have pre ordered Wenger’s book and I am looking forward to reading it.

    As well as his perspective on the glory years,, the stadium move and his reflections on the game as a whole I am interested in what he has to say about Japan and the J league. (I have a passing interest in the league)

    Naturally what he says about the final few years at Arsenal will be very interesting! I also wonder if he will publish his ‘almost signed 11’ !

  18. Marc Faber

    Agreed that Ozil has dug himself into a deep hole, but the club have not helped. Its pretty clear that whatever happened before lockdown: missed conf calls, not taking the pay cut is probably the root cause.

    However to let the situation to escalate to this is infantile and smacks of bad management.

    The fact is that we are going to broadly face two types of games: 1) against elite teams when we have to defend, absorb pressure and then counter at speed and then, 2) against lesser teams who are all (PL at least) super-organised and will do the opposite, i.e. they will now defend and absorb our pressure before countering us at speed.

    If you watch the Sheffield game this is more or less what happened. The first goal is an open question: did we get lucky or was the run by Elneny planned to happen at the exact right time, and which broke their line thus leading to the goal? My concern is that we got lucky as making a run like that is a rare skill… Plus in these types of games we still come damn close to screwing up: Luiz incident + the last 10mins when they were pushing for the goal. And this was at home… away is going to be way harder and I do not think Arteta has cracked this at all.

    For the games against elite teams we do seem to be getting better and results bear that out, even if it sticks in the throat that we no longer can dominate in those sort of games…

    Anyway, without securing the services of someone like Aouar we needed to ensure we had Ozil as he is the only ‘natural’ creative who with movement (with or without the ball) or passing can break lines of stubborn, packed defences for when we play against perceived weaker teams.

    My nightmare scenario is that come Jan, Ozil buys out his remaining contract and moves to Shite Hart Lane and goes back to a coach who ‘appreciates’ him. He and Mourinho still have a relationship I fear.

    A motivated Ozil within a decent team would be a concern methinks. Sp@rs have the same problem as we do: how to break down stubborn defences.

    It will be interesting to see what happens as we will then get a peek into what the wider footballing world think of Ozil as an asset and what he is worth.

  19. curse

    HA HA HA!!

    the fly thought he was gonna strut his stuff against minnows and remind everyone he’s a wizard with the ball.


    give him the 13m and be done with it.

  20. Marc

    3 things I really couldn’t give a toss about right now – Ozil, Wenger and International football.

    The biggest problem is I can’t decide which one I care about the least.

  21. curse

    speaking of which, kola Is gonna be getting games he shouldn’t be.

    if anything keeps us from top 4, it’ll be that.

  22. AFC Forever


    “Still beggars belief that anyone can don themselves a ‘fan’ of us and literally not expect at least 1 win out of any 5 game stretch in the premier league.”

    He’s not a fan. No respect for other fans or the club. Been trolling the site for years. Hard to believe anyone still engages with him after the way he abuses everyone. If he’s not calling people ‘clueless’ or trying to trigger everyone with his weird football views, he is correcting everyones grammar.

  23. andy1886

    MarcF, Ozil isn’t going to be going to any big or even middle sized club like Spurs ever again. Seriously, if Spurs signed him I’d laugh my head off. They’ve already brought back one semi-retired footballer in Bale and don’t have the capacity to take a second non-productive lazy has-been.

    Ozil hasn’t produced anything of note for years.

  24. AFC Forever


    International football is so boring. With Covid it’s bizarre we want players travelling all over Europe for utterly pointless games with no crowds.Footballs bad enough without supporters, International football is worse. with England now every time Kane gets the ball the commentator will scream his name, and have multiple orgasms if he bangs in another of his penalty’s. I have better things to do, my budgie needs a haircut.

  25. Kenyangunner

    African players are prone to knee injuries mainly because of their aggressive approach.
    Demba Ba, Wanyama, the late Tiote ….

  26. Champagne charlie


    True, I like contradicting views etc because it breeds discourse and humorous banter back and forth, but there comes a point where you’re left thinking ‘are you sure?’ about some things.

    Kind of take for granted the assumption that everyone is a fan and wants the best for the club irrespective of present or past opinions that’ve been shared about football topics in general – but eminently clear some are more worried about their own standing on a faceless blog, and worse, will die on a hill to defend their ego.

    I mean, if you’re championing 6 other clubs ahead of us constantly, then return end of season gleeful in predicting it coming to be then you’re not very switched on to what this whole thing’s about as far as I’m concerned. That’s not to say an Arsenal fan should be blowing smoke up our own arses, but we should be favouring and backing ourselves over the competition. Not that complex ffs, but obviously I missed the memo there.

  27. Champagne charlie

    “Hi I’m Fuckwit, and I’m a friend of Words on a Blog, who is a great guy…..Shit, used the wrong moniker to do this post!”

    I see what you did there…

    You let your friend use your phone and he didn’t sign out of your account, and into his account. Classic.

  28. Emiratesstroller

    Marc Faber

    Spurs have just recruited Bale so why on earth would they take a “risk” on Ozil as well?

    Ozil is not going to buy out his contract he can leave on Bosman on 1st July 2021. I am fairly sure that he is not going to move to another EPL Club, because no-one in this country is going to give him a contract and the sort of wages he will demand.

    If he looks for another club it will be in Turkey or USA

    There are too many assumptions that Ozil is being punished for his misdemeanours.

    Why not just keep it simple and assume that he no longer meets the football requirements of
    Arteta and leave it at that.

    The matters to consider are:
    1. His contract ends on 1st July 2021 and he has no resale value.He is leaving club.
    2. Arsenal have in midfield other players who are putting in a better shift than Ozil has done
    for some time ie they work harder both on and off the ball.
    3. Partey has been recruited and Saka needs to be accommodated as well as Xhaka and
    4. The club can only accommodate 17 overseas players aged 21 +.

  29. Jamie

    My friend N’Jamo often uses my account without changing the name over. I suspect that’s what broke Gris’ elite recognition system.

  30. SP

    Ozil to Spurs is possible only if Mourinho survives at the club. Ozil is lazy and wants to remain in London for couple of years before settling down with Erdogan in Turkey. Ozil will be happy to join Spurs even on 80k per week.

  31. MidwestGun

    If Ozil was a good player anymore for what the modern game requires he would be playing it’s that simple … he isn’t and he isn’t. Of course Arteta isn’t gonna say that publicly in a press conference. ..why he isn’t playing him… Sorry Pierre.

    Mourinho wouldn’t get Ozil or play.. him that’s hilarious that anyone would be concerned about that. Mourinho had problems with Pogba who actually does defend. Mourinho has Son he doesn’t need Ozil.
    Also, I question whether people have been watching football for the past 5 years if they think Ozil is the answer to anything. Good Teams don’t have players in the midfield that are passengers in defense.(insert Xhaka joke here) If anything they are trending towards workman like midfielders.(Liverpool) behinds an outrageously good and versatile front 3.
    So that’s why Ozil’s managers have tried him on the wing in the recent past … like Lowe in the World Cup and Wenger. You remember the 4-1 -4-1 Wenger tried so we could accommodate Ozil? and even as a false 9.. a few times. Problem is he has no stamina. for that and we don’t need either of those things. People were getting on Willian’s case for not tracking back all the way to the goal line to defend the other day against Pool and they think Ozil will? His attacking abilities don’t outweigh his defensive liabilities anymore (they used to)that’s all, really. Call that non negotiables if you want.

    The game has passed him by and he isn’t going to put in the work to transform himself into an all action player for 70 mins let alone 90. . We have Saka we should develop him.

    Also I hate International Breaks.. hahaha you bastards made me discuss Ozil again.

  32. Marc

    Why on earth are people debating the idea of Ozil going to the Spuds? It’s never going to happen and if it did it’d be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in football.

  33. Marc Faber

    Hopefully these posts are not pissing anyone off; I understand some folks have had enough of the Ozil discussion, but as I am WFH and somewhat bored, here is a little more meat for the barbeque…

    Mourinho plays a 4-2-3-1 and in his last game he had Kane as the focal point of the attack (the 1) and Son, Lamela and Bergwijn as the 3. My guess would be that Mourinho would play with Ozil as his ‘wandering No.10’ with a remit to move to wherever space/position made sense in real-time alongside Son and probably Bergwijn who seems more defensively minded than Lamela.

    Behind them they have 2 holding players who would do the water-carrier work for the team.

    That would be worth a go against very packed, organised teams like Burnley, WBA, etc… basically most of the PL bar the top 4 or so…

    As for why would he do it? Well as the old Klingon proverb goes: ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold.’

    LOL – sorry if this winds anyone up, just some bloke down pub, mouthing off to kill the time,

    And yes, I do hope he leaves for China (HAHAHA) or US ….

  34. G

    “was happy he didn’t join the shit show and got to lift a trophy worth his talent.”
    So you were happy Chelsea won the league that year.. Wow

  35. MidwestGun

    Marc F.-
    I’m not mad dude… The wandering 10 positions isn’t really a thing anymore, being phased out because it creates huge holes in your defense when you turn the ball over. Which happens a lot because teams are pressing much much more now.

    If Ozil was willing to come off the bench and maybe play for 10 or 15 mins at end of game when we needed to get a goal to break a draw scoreline then maybe. But can’t see him happy doing that.

  36. Marc Faber

    @MidWestGun: I am not saying Ozil is the answer against a packed, organised defence. Only that he is an option.

    Especially when you consider what happened to City against Leicester. It is getting harder and harder to break down packed and organised defences. To unlock a packed organised defence, you need to set up firstly to prevent the counter. Recall the position that Elneny took up against Sheffield: right back cover more or less.

    But once you are set to prevent the counter, you need a front line that is very fluid and rotating constantly…. and to do that you need someone or many someones who can move in and out of the lines quickly and at the right time… so the wandering 10 is not dead, IMHO… instead it is in teh process of being redefined again. This is how it works… the No 10 will be back and it will be wandering, but it will be a combination of many No.10s or someting and all moving all rotating… whoops, That sounded a bit like old school Wengerball.

  37. MidwestGun

    Marc F-
    Well nothing is dead forever in football, more like cyclical.. teams adjust for what becomes the new way to be successful. I would just say for now.. we need to get a better attacking midfield that is willing to put in the work within our defensive structure.

  38. Victorious

    How coming you’re posting at the same time with your ‘Dariano’ Marc Feber?

    He should only post on your behalf when you’re not about ffs,ask Bamford to put you through if you must! Gets confusing.

  39. Bertie Mee

    Marc Faber
    You must have time on your hands mate
    No way would a pragmatist like Mourinho take an expensive punt on Ozil ( who would still try to screw a huge salary out of his next club .) Remember he refused to take a pay cut .Bale may be a spent force or he may come back still very dangerous and if he does then very sadly the Totts will be able to hurt a lot of teams. No way would Mourinho trust Ozil and no way would Ozil circa 2020/21 add anything to that Tottenham side . The assist machine is gone and though his lack of effort has been very clear if he suddenly morphs into the Ozil of 2013 we are seriously entitled to hold him in contempt – the lack of away performances in big games , the missed games ( usually away) , the lack of solidarity with the team over the pay cut. . This is a man who is slowly ostracising his public. He is a pariah in Germany and his poor Mesut schtick doesn’t wash with anyone. It’s a story of waste, cynicism and a man who has lost his professional pride . Surely he can’t stay at the club now ?

  40. Cmansf

    “However to let the situation to escalate to this is infantile and smacks of bad management.”

    I dont think you can blame current management with the Ozil situation. Peak Ferguson would of sold him the first window he didnt toe the line. It’s is reasonable for a good manager to make sure he does impact the squad whilst it’s impossible to move him on.

    Managing athletes is obviously different but from practical experience having a toxic employee or someone not willing to follow the rest of the group is incredibly undermining. Its not a coincidence that Ozil has been dropped or partially dropped by every manager including Wenger towards the end.

  41. Victorious

    The international break is just so unbearable,Christ! our next game is still fcking so far away

    Now Tierney has been asked to self isolate and will probably miss the City game,wll this for a totally pointless friendly

    Arhhhhhh,i want to seriously punch someone!

  42. Luteo Guenreira

    Of course the number 10 position isn’t dead, there’s just more being asked of the position with the increased pace of the game and better pressing ability from more teams aside from the richest clubs, especially in leagues like the EPL.

    Evolutions in the 10 position or not, Ozil is done as a footballer at the top level, which is what Arsenal are trying to get back too. There’s no need to carry unnecessary baggage with us on the way there. Like Mid said even back then you had to change formations and force the issue just to accommodate him. He’s too much of a liability even if he has a unique skillset, the end result is predictable and I don’t see it worth the trouble.

  43. Luteo Guenreira

    Vic go punch yourself. Maybe just aim for the left half of the face, you know the Liverpool supporting half of you.

  44. MidwestGun

    Yep .. That’s pretty much the way I see it. Not sure how you can see it any other way… with how inept he has been the last 3 years or so. Not even taking into account all the off pitch things which certainly factor in as well.

  45. Jamie

    “Seriously, I think Mesut could ask for a move to tottenshit… just to piss us off.”

    It wouldn’t piss me off. The opposite, I’d laugh.

  46. London gunner

    International break is a joke.

    They should just have an International week which would be a mini tournament format where all the games are played back to back and completed and done with.

  47. andy1886

    If anyone has been watching Spurs recently (know thy enemy) they will probably have noticed that Kane has been playing successfully as more of a playmaker recently, a #10 if you will. He’s been getting great reviews for his performances in that respect and has six assists to his name in just four PL games so far which is more than Ozil has in his last two full seasons (total of 4, two per season from 42 games in that period).

    In short Jose doesn’t need Ozil even if he were so inclined.

  48. MidwestGun

    I especially question right now whether teams should be doing lots of flying around the world linking up different segments of people they don’t normally hang with as well during a pandemic.

    Half the league could come back positive. Then what?

  49. MidwestGun

    Arteta did explain.. He doesn’t think Saliba is ready for full time first team football so he won’t get enough matches and at his age he needs matches to develop. So he is looking to do a loan. I gather they are trying to get a loan with a decent team where he will play most matches. . So far I think those all fell through. Whether Arteta is right about that I don’t know. Haven’t seen Saliba play enough to give my opinion on it.

  50. curse


    good call, Leno at least has elite reflexes. might as well throw in the towel if we have to rely on runarsson.

  51. Chris

    James Wood

    Yes I think I recall Wenger saying he would like to finish his career in Japan or at least return at some point. I always thought he would end up coaching the Japanese national team.

  52. Chris

    I have to agree that in the current climate, holding international friendly fixtures is daft. I can understand fulfilling the play off games but is Belgium vsIvory Coast for example really important right now?

    Then again I hold international football in big contempt at the best of times so my view may be biased!

  53. AFC Forever

    Ozil will not be going anywhere that has a vested interest in China.

    We know the club leaked information to the media about Ozil & his so called refusal to take a pay cut. We don’t know the full story but it will come out in time.

    The problem for fans is we only get one side of the argument and you can’t trust most of what the media click baiters say. It’s pretty obvious Arsenal want Ozil gone His salary is mentioned in every piece because the media know it triggers fans. Nobody likes to think someone is being overpaid expecially if they aren’t contributing.

    What we do know is Ozil has pissed Arsenal off, big time and he’s now been cut from the Europa League squad.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking they want him gone just because of his wages. They want him gone because of China.

    This may be old ground but just a reminder:-

    Ozil, a proud Muslim spoke out publicly at the end of last year against China’s alleged persecution of the Uighur population in Xinjiang. He knew this would be a bad move after what happened in the NBA, where criticism of China’s treatment of the Hong Kong people led to the Chinese state pulling sponsorships and threatening retribution.

    Since then he has been frozen out at Arsenal.

    As Ornnstein said:-

    “Arsenal have courted Chinese business and supporters, especially since first launching their Chinese-language website in 2007. In 2012 and 2017, they visited the country during pre-season. Between 2012 and this year, their director of international business development in China & Asia, Tony Gu, helped Arsenal to launch commercial relationships with Chinese companies such as BNN Technology and Huawei, as well as working on community soccer school projects. China has been at the heart of Arsenal’s efforts to expand in global markets.”

    Ornstein added:

    “Arsenal did not know of Ozil’s plans (to speak out against China), and were caught unaware. In an attempt at damage limitation, the club responded by releasing a statement on Chinese social media platform Weibo, insisting that “the content published is Ozil’s personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics. It did not work. The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV removed Arsenal’s match with Manchester City from their scheduled programming.

    Arsenal’s decision to distance themselves from Ozil would suggest an eagerness to avoid the same fate the NBA suffered when it fell foul of China and its enormous financial resources. At least one Premier League club, reliant on Chinese investment, recently sent a memo to players urging them not to tweet about Hong Kong”.

    Ozil has been removed from Chinese search engines, his fan club shut down and he has become a hot potato. Forget form, ability or wages – he is toxic and a huge financial risk to any professional club who takes him on due to the reliant on Chinese investment.

    This may explain why Ozil is digging his heels in because he knows his career is probably over.

  54. AFC Forever

    “I especially question right now whether teams should be doing lots of flying around the world linking up different segments of people they don’t normally hang with during a pandemic.”


    I said it earlier it is ridiculous.

    Football is already suffering without fans in the stadium and none more so than International football. The clowns who run the game even thought inventing the “Nations League” was a smart move to replace friendlies when all it has done is heap even more games and pressure onto players. The people who run football aren’t fans, that’s the problem.

  55. Ernest Reed

    “The people who run football aren’t fans, that’s the problem.”

    They are fans actually AFC, its that they are businessmen first and foremost and that will always get in the way. Players are indentured servants, handsomely paid, but servants nonetheless.

    Really like what you have written, AFC Forever.

  56. Valentin


    You are conflating two separate points: Nation League and COVID.

    I am sorry but the Nation League has been a great success.
    By pairing nations with nation of the same caliber, every game become a real test rather a procession against cannon fodder. The threat of relegation and its impact on qualifier means that those are taken seriously rather than pure hindrance.

    Due to COVID, it is clear that Euro should have been cancelled all together. Especially when you think for the first time, the Euro is going to be an expanded multi staging countries tournament. There could then have been a moratorium on all international games for 18 months.
    Unfortunately UEFA could survive without their flagship international tournament, but African, South America would not. So even with that you would still have had International games.

  57. Marc


    Not sure you can say players are indentured servants – they can always refuse to pick which country they play for or make it clear they’re not interested.

  58. Guns of Hackney

    Ummm…the naivety of you lot is staggering. The people running anything do not need to be fans of the thing they are running. Please understand that. Morons.

    Here’s a little story for you. In SOHO there was/is (not sure if it’s still there) a tattoo studio called Frith Street Tattoos. Great place, got tattooed there a few times by an old artist friend of mine. Four or five seats, four of five artists rent the seats, pay rent to the owner of the shop. Makes hundreds of thousands of not a million/s easy every year profit. Guy that owns the studio…not a single tattoo. Not one. But he runs it. Makes loads. Understands supply and demand.

    To run a business, one does not actually have to like or even understand the game they are in. They do have to understand business. The two are not mutually exclusive. Learn. Understand. Dick heads.

    This is not Kronkes fault.

  59. AFC Forever


    Fair enough. However, I was using the Nations League to add to my dislike of unnecessary International breaks. Certainly during a pandemic is is absurd we are sending players all over Europe.

    Ultimately, there are two tournaments already for European clubs. The Euro’s and the World Cup. We did not need another.

    I don’t watch the Nations League. Not interested. It’ just glorified friendlies turned into a money making exercise. In my opinion it dilutes from the Euro’s and the World Cup. We have enough football as it is, probably too much. Everyone goes on about there being too much football and some clowns decide on creating the Nations League. What next, the Continent league or perhaps the incontinent league.

  60. AFC Forever

    “They are fans actually AFC, its that they are businessmen first and foremost and that will always get in the way”

    Yes, you are probably right.

    “Really like what you have written, AFC Forever.”

    Ok, thanks, appreciate that. I usually bore people.

  61. AFC Forever

    “To run a business, one does not actually have to like or even understand the game they are in. They do have to understand business. The two are not mutually exclusive. Learn. Understand. Dick heads. It is not Kronkes fault.”

    Guns, you jumped in with both feet but your trunks are too tight. They appear to have squeezed your balls somewhat mate.

    The convo was about the people running International Football” not Arsenal.

  62. Guns of Hackney

    I cannot imagine anyone these days actually being proud of supporting or playing for their country.

    Beckham 1,579 caps. Including every 1 min appearance. Nah. Pass.

    It’s a joke. No one fucking cares.

  63. Guns of Hackney

    AFC forever.

    The reason I am so goddam fucking swish and cool and hated is because I jump two footed into everything. Except challenges. That’s crass and dangerous. And I know how to tackle like a velvety glove.

    I don’t care. I am right.

  64. Jamie

    If you’re on Frith Street on you aren’t on your way to grab a late night hot sandwich from Bar Italia as you exit Ronnie Scott’s, you’re missing out on the best of Frith Street.

    Tattoo optional.

  65. AFC Forever

    “The reason I am so goddam fucking swish and cool and hated is because I jump two footed into everything. Except challenges. That’s crass and dangerous. And I know how to tackle like a velvety glove”

    Lol. I still think you need to go a size up though…..!!

  66. MidwestGun

    I don’t care. I am right.
    Eh… Guns is talkin shit anyhow.. He is married and anyone who has been married knows your not right 99% of the time.

  67. Guns of Hackney


    That sounds like a euphemism. Hot sandwich is soho is cock, mate. And GOH isn’t into Le Sausage.

    But, I do know both places really well and used to party in both. Jazz however was best, IMO in Pizza Express, SOHo and a little place on the corner…ummm I forget the name, Winehouse used to drop in occasionally. Aghhh…it’s on the corner of Frith or maybe Greek. Tiny little place. Bar on right as you enter and the stage was literally on your lap. Oh, too many drugs and blowjobs have made me forget.

    Meh. Old news.

  68. Jamie

    Guns –

    Jazz After Dark? If yes, another amazing venue (on Greek I think).

    Good times in Soho back in the day too. Don’t knock the meat-free hot sandwich until you’ve tried it. I still go to Ronnie Scott’s a few times a year because I’ve loved it for 20+ years. I remember when you could smoke it there.

  69. AFC Forever

    “Eh… Guns is talkin shit anyhow.. He is married and anyone who has been married knows your not right 99% of the time”

    So true. My wife tries the trick question routine.

    The other day she said: “Hey dick head, what do a clitoris, an anniversary, and a toilet have in common?”

    I told I literally had no idea.

    She said: “Well you manage to miss every one of them”

  70. AFC Forever

    “Oh, too many drugs and blowjobs have made me forget”

    Try mouthwash mate, soon get rid of the taste.

  71. Guns of Hackney


    I think that’s it! Tiny little place.

    The pizza express thing was great though. Lots of big names played there. Proper jazz club. Little tables, red lights, smoke and pizza on the tables.


    Good one. Bitches need to learn. Anyway, my wife can’t do to me what some ladies have done to me in the past…no big deal.

    My wife isn’t in my top 50 of all time ladies. But she’s the no.1 wife and mother.

    Remember Rick James? The kind you DONT take home to mother.

  72. Guns of Hackney


    Ha ha. You’ve seen the Charlie Murphy Hollywood Stories too. Hilarious.

    “I didn’t grind my feet into his couch…yeah I grinder my feet into his couch”.

    “I’m Rick James, he’s Charlie Murphy…what’s he gonna do”?

    Cocaine is a helluva drug and I miss it so badly. Oh my god!

  73. Jamie

    Guns –

    I spent so many nights around there it’s unreal. If memory serves, you’ve long since moved out of central London? I’d miss getting yelled at in Bar Italia as I try to order a £20 sandwich.

  74. RayGooner

    My only question is:

    You are just allowed to have 17 foreign players (from the age of 21 and older) in your squad.
    We currently have 18!

    1. Leno
    2. Rúnarsson
    3. Gabriel
    4. Mustafi
    5. Sokratis
    6. Luiz
    7. Marí
    8. Kolasinac
    9. Soares
    10. Xhaka
    11. Elneny
    12. Ceballos
    13. Özil
    14. Willian
    15. Partey
    16. Pépé
    17. Aubameyang
    18. Lacazette

    That means one of them will not be registered for the Premier League!

    I know you may loan out a player to the lower leagues (The Championship for example) but which one of those 18 players want to be loaned out to the Championship? None of them!

    So one of them will be totally left out of the first team….

    I know Mustafi is currently injured so maybe they are looking to loan out or sell Mustafi in the January window.and will therefore not register him. That’s the only solution as i see it.

    Or perhaps they just buy out Özil’s contract and that’s the end if that!

  75. Guns of Hackney


    Long gone. 6 years. Never going back. I served my time. Maybe we met.

    Bar Italia was the comedown place at around 04.00 or even the following morning. It was a great time. Bar SoHo, Nellie Dean, French House, Groucho, Harry’s, Colony Rooms did them all. Hard.

    No looking back. It gives you a sore neck. “My father”.

  76. AFC Forever

    Mari is injured but even so it will probably be Ozil. Read my piece higher up the page on Ozil.

  77. jwl

    Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for their Premier League clash with Man City. The Gunners captain withdrew from the Gabon squad with a sprained ankle this week.

    Gabon boss Patrice Neveu confirmed Aubameyang’s injury.

    He told RFI: “Aubameyang suffers from a small sprained ankle, contracted on Sunday, during the Premier League match against Sheffield. The Arsenal doctor sent me a certificate indicating his unavailability. He is in care for a week.”

  78. Ernest Reed

    The Playa Haters Ball – The picture of Rosie O’Donnell – “Bitch wears underwear with dickholes in them.

    Too funny, The Chappelle Show!

  79. Marc

    The question isn’t who do we leave out of the 17 oversea’s players we can register it’s how did we end up with so many we could leave out and it wouldn’t matter.

  80. Luteo Guenreira


    Why don’t you click your heels three times and go back to Hackney? You broke ass sexual chocolate.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go put water in Dariano’s mama’s dish.

  81. Nelson

    England plays 3 at the back. But the system is more like 3 5 2 with Saka and Tripier as wing back and
    Calvert-Lewin and Danny Ings as attackers. There are still three midfielders.

  82. Guns of Brixton

    Did you see Serbia vs Norway?

    FFS Make some noise about Savic of Lazio.
    Guy is filthy in all the right ways.
    B2B in the purset technical senses way.
    Beautiful midfielder.
    Adept going forward as he is defensively.
    The audacity of the man to win the game with a goal like that

  83. China1

    First we had GOH talking about his cock now GOB is talking about a Guy filthy in all the right ways

    Everyone needs to take a cold shower

  84. bacaryisgod

    When it comes to statues, I think there’s just 5 statues right now (Henry, Adams, Chapman, Bergkamp, Friar) with Arsene being the next in line.

    Getting a statue should be a rare tribute and involve a combination of excellence, loyalty, longevity and arguably club success.

    After Arsene, the only no-brainer is Ian Wright.

    After Wright, here are the other main contenders

    -Pat Rice (loses points for excellence but gains for loyalty and longevity)
    -Liam Brady (joined at 15, was brilliant but left us at his peak)
    -David Seaman (best keeper in the club’s history and won titles under Graham and Wenger).
    -Robert Pires (only six seasons for the club. Brilliant but one step down from Bergkamp and Henry)
    -Charlie George (a club legend but not because of sustained excellence)
    -Patrick Vieira (a glittering career but he even admitted he failed to control the rumours around possible transfers out of the club)

    The saddest omission is George Graham who is obviously disqualified for his ‘bung’ disloyalty to the club. If he had avoided the temptation he would be next in line for a statue.

    If I was in charge of the club, I would follow Wenger with Wright, Brady, Vieira, Rice and Seaman. Brady and Rice both make it based on their overall contribution to the club rather than just their playing days.

    In truth, we should probably just stop it at Wright as the seventh statue. It just depends how selective the club chooses to be. Still, it’s tough to omit Vieira when he was the captain and driving force of our greatest ever team

  85. Gonsterous

    I thought statues were meant to be rare applauds. I don’t think we will be building them like we want to assemble a team.
    We could make a case for many players over our 134 years as a team.

  86. Bertie Mee

    We don’t need statues everywhere but if we had one more I would give it to Frank McLintock .He was a great captain of the first Double side . Arsenal has a history that goes way back beyond the 10/20 year timeframe for most fans and we had great players and otge4 figures in the thirties and fifties

  87. Ivan

    Guns – big fat no re Savic. There was lot of interest about him in his break out season with Lazio.

    Lazio wanted smh around 80mil. for him and he didnt get sold (if i remeber cireectly ManU was all over him.

    Season later he became inconsistent and all big clubs lost interest in him.

  88. Wenker-wanger

    Wenger deserves a statue? Not in my world.
    Had he quit in a respectable dignified manner around 2006 yes.. he did a great job with the remnants of a great team picked by George Graham.
    But that success and great flair football had then been more than tarnished by a decade of mismanagement and teams relying on a talisman to elevate his mediocre teams into fourth place.