Arsene Wenger questions whether Mesut Ozil’s fall from Arsenal team is due to his lucrative long-term contract.
If Arsenal fans want a solution of one thing then it would be a solution to Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery saga. It’s an open secret that Unai isn’t a big fan of the German given the German’s inability to track back. The situation has led to Ozil starting only once in Premier League over the last 4 weeks. Injuries did prevent him out of the squad. But the recent omission from Europa League and Premier League once again questions the relationships between the two. Arsene Wenger former Arsenal manager delivers his stance on Mesut Ozil saga.
Arsene Wenger feels that Mesut Ozil is in something of a ‘comfort zone’ at present for Arsenal. Ozil signed a £350,000-a-week deal lasting until 2021 last year. Wenger said players can slip into a ‘comfort zone’ with such financial security. Wenger was Arsenal manager when Ozil put pen to paper but hinted that was a club decision as he personally feels players entering their final months stay motivated. Ozil has repeatedly been left out of the Arsenal squad by Unai Emery, with various reasons cited. And it appears the 30-year-old will leave the Emirates in the summer if a buyer can be found.
Arsène Wenger believes the decision to offer Mesut Özil a long-term contract last year may have left the German in a “comfort zone”. Wenger, speaking after being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Laureus World Sports Awards, said, “I feel that the length of the contract has nothing to do normally with the selection of the team. But sometimes there are special cases. Most of the time now we think when we sign a player for five years we have a good player for five years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they practise, they play their best. Because they might be in their comfort zone.”
But it was Wenger who was in charge when the German World Cup winner signed that long-term deal last season, so if Ozil is in a comfort zone, then it’s his former manager who must take a lot of the blame. Wenger further said, “He has a contract but the problem is that, if you want to buy a player like him, you have to spend £100m. And to maintain the value of the player, beyond the Özil case, it is more about the way football is structured. To buy players of top, top quality you need £100m. So the decision you have to make is whether you re-sign the player, who costs us nothing, or do we have the money to buy a new player?”
Wenger created that problem and left it for his successor to inherit. So while his closeness to the situation at Arsenal means his assessment is likely to be accurate, he shouldn’t be criticising Ozil because he is partly responsible for his problems.