Sunday’s during an interlude eh, the sweet sound of nothingness, which is just what you need when you’re an Arsenal fan right now.
except there isn’t quite nothingness, there’s the old chestnut of ‘footballer saying things on international duty’ and this time it’s the turn of Mesut Ozil, who has had his say on former players and ‘legends’ laying in to him.
He’s talked about people needing to get behind the team, he’s thanked the fans for his support, he’s talked about winning the FA Cup three times and also about his future. well, sort of. He doesn’t really say anything other than he doesn’t know where his future lies and how he’s looking forward to the new season.
Now, if you read my usual comments about Mesut you know that I actually love him as a footballer. His vision, passing range, the way he glides across the pitch, I find him a joy to watch at times. There are of course other times when…well…not so much, but I try to push those to the back of my mind because I know we have a very gifted footballer playing for us. I’ll also park the fact that we could see even more from him if Arsene built the team around him since he signed and bought players to compliment Ozil, as opposed to the signings the manager has made since the German’s arrival.
But to me I read this latest instagram post and all I could think of was not the man himself, but his PR team frantically bashing away at their Macbook’s on a Friday evening in prep for a Saturday prime time release. I’m half surprised we didn’t see “Under embargo until 00:01 Saturday 2nd September” accidentally added to this latest press release.
Because that’s what this is. This is a bit of PR fluff designed to have people saying “Yeah, Mesut’s right, we love him, he loves Arsenal, he’s great”. I think he is great, but I’m not a fool, and I know he and his ‘people’ are also playing us like a fiddle. We are being wound around his little finger with consummate ease and at a time where everyone is chewing fingernails over Alexis, Mesut is happily going to slide his way through this season and out of Arsenal next summer.
Let’s not forget he was he who was our club record signing. Let’s not forget it was he who was supposed to herald change. Let’s also not forget that whilst on tour in China in the summer it was he who said that when he and the club officials are back in England everyone would sit down and sort out a deal. That was, what, six weeks ago that everyone arrived back. Yet nothing? It’s almost as if he has no intention of signing a new deal, but is just saying all of the right things so there isn’t a fan revolt against him. It’s almost as if he has a half decent PR team who are earning their crust and not shooting the players image into a ball of flames with the fans like Robin van Persie’s ‘team’ did.
Make no bones about it, RvP was a prick, who’s statement was a horrendous attempt at currying favour with fans as he searches for an exit. But what he did, what Ox, Nasri, even Flamini the first time, is to play us because he wants out. Ozil doesn’t “love” Arsenal. If he did the deal would have been done as easy as a Tony Adams meeting with the board with a “where do I sign?” question on it. He may say he does, but he doesn’t, and anybody who doesn’t see through this latest PR guff is fooling themselves.
We have the pleasure of Mesut’s company for this season and then he rides off in to the sunset for one last mega pay deal.
And if that’s the case then fine, we’ve all got to accept it, but I certainly won’t be swooning over this latest attempt ate a rally cry. Perhaps I’m just getting too old and too cantankerous when it comes to football.
Having said that, I do hope he has a blinder of a season with us, one in which he can improve on last season and get back to being the assist master he was before last season, perhaps even with the added benefit of goalscoring like he did in 2016/17. That would be a fitting way for him to say “well, I’m off to find some mega cash abroad somewhere” and at this stage with the club being run as the mess it is I guess that’s the best we can hope for.
The separate issue which I won’t talk on today was how the whole “we don’t sell our players and more” and “we’re going to compete for the big names” after the Alexis and Ozil signings that we got the impression from the club on is clearly about as real as my solid platinum flying tractor that I glide to work on every morning. The club have proven it is a crumbling institution by not keeping hold of the marquee players but, as I say, that’s probably a whole other blog to go through the shambles that is the management and board of this great club.
Right, I’m off to eat some boiled eggs. Yummy.