On a day when Arsenal headlines keep rushing in, Mesut Özil’s statement when asked about his contract situation stands out to me. According to Guardian, he said:
I feel very, very happy at Arsenal and have let the club know I would be willing to extend. The fans want me to stay, and now it’s only down to the club,
The club knows I am here mainly because of Arsene Wenger, who brought me here and whose trust I have. The club also knows that I want clarity about what the manager is doing".
Herein lies what worries me the most. Is Özil holding the club to ransom on Arsene Wenger’s account or is he just assisting off the pitch as he does on it?
Prior to this piece of information, I have focused on the theory that the Arsenal wage structure was designed to ensure most of the players fall in the same bracket to keep the team spirit going.
In light of the large sums paid to premier league sides due to tv rights, Arsenal topped the list in earnings and spent a fraction of their income on transfers.
That not withstanding, Arsenal are in a stable financial situation at the moment and contract talks with players who are very keen on staying shouldn’t drag this long ideally.
So what could be responsible for the delay? When pressed on by the media on the dragging contract talks, as per Metro the Boss had this to say:
“"It always starts with money, it finishes with money and in between the players want to stay or want to go," Wenger said. “When the players want to stay it’s easier to find an agreement. We can certainly find an agreement. You cannot put the club in jeopardy as well for the players".
However, having heard Mesut Özil’s statement, one can only wonder what the true nature of things are as far as contract talks are concerned. An ambitious side like ours cannot afford to be distracted over petty issues like this if you ask me.
Furthermore, with the title race so tight, one would expect the board to be fully committed to doing all they can to ensure no “off the pitch" squabbles affect our chances of winning a first Premier league title in over a decade.
I guess the fans are just way more ambitious than they are. Trying to understand the logic behind rewarding your assets less than they deserve when compared to their counterparts in other teams leaves me baffled.
Perhaps someday, we will get to know precisely what goes on behind the scenes.
Most Arsenal fans with myself included suffer from a condition called “Metathesiophobia" which explains why we cannot conceive the idea of life without Wenger.
Something has to change for changes to happen. If losing Wenger is what is required for progress to be achieved, then I guess the “baby and bath water" scenario should be prepared for as regards Özil.
However, if it is the Board, then the time to stand ideally by and hope has passed and a rallying call should be heard enough to make Stan Kroenke’s boots tremble.
Till the next thought. ….COYG!!!
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