I stand by Ozil
Ozil is a player who naturally has divided opinion amongst us.
I equate him with Alli and Hazard.
All three have exceptional basic technical talent. But Spurs’ best player in 17/18 was Kane by far (as usual). Hazard didn’t do that much last season either, and after their league win in 2015, was pretty average too. Yes, they had the issues with the manager then, but Hazard has been pretty hot and cold in his Chelsea tenure. Alli for one had a muted World Cup campaign, whilst Hazard in fairness played well.
However, nobody can say any of the three are rubbish players. They may just not do it as consistently as one may like, or wish.
Despite Ozil’s erratic form, and excellent base talent, his resignation from the German national team is something I support wholeheartedly. Even if I followed another club, I still would hold this view. It’s not about allegiance nor bias – it’s about morals, righteousness, and solidarity.
Sterling got bullied for his gun tattoo, and I believe there was some racial edge to this. He said it was to honour both his father, and the negatives of gun crime. However, Sterling has never been subject to the nature of scrutiny Ozil has received.
Germany were crap in Russia 2018, especially as holders. However, Ozil was NOT the only bad player. There were others who were worse. But due to narrative of him being lazy and not bothered half of the time, he got the biggest hit from it.
Now, let’s put this into an Arsenal persepective. When we lost badly at Swansea, or Newcastle, last year, was in Lacazette’s fault? Or Bellerin’s fault? How, and why? It’s inane to single out those players alone. Well, it’s the same with Germany losing to South Korea, or only just beating Sweden, or losing to Mexico. Numerous players had poor games, and it was essentially bullying in this context.
Ozil had, due to an acquired reputation, been an easy target. He was a quintiessential Biblical scapegoat.
The President of Turkey
Ozil naturally has Turkish roots, despite being born and raised in Germany.
Prior to the World Cup, he met the current President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan. Erdogan has been criticised in numerous quarters due to some of his illiberal policies. However, Ozil said it was out of respect for his ultimate Turkish heritage, which is understandable. It’s like Welbeck meeting the President of Ghana, considering his parents/family are from there.
Many far-right elements in Germany were using this to snhow that he’s not committed to the country, and that he somehow wanted to sabotage Germany’s World Cup defence.
Both points are nonsensical. But whilst the anti-democratic nature of Erdogan’s rule can be called out, citing it as a national betrayal is moot at the very least, and ludicrous at the very best.
Moreover, he has faced a lot of backlash from not “being German enough”, due to his evident Turkish heritage. It is something he is proud of, given the décor of his new home at least:
He also is write to cite double standards, and racism.
Our own former player, and fellow WC winner, Podolski is not ethnically German either. His name alone gives it away, as he is from Poland originally. Yet, he played over 100 times for Germany, and scored a lot too. Including this rocket vs. England no less:
Klose is the WC all-time scorer, ahead of Ronado (Brazil).
And he too is Polish originally. Yet, neither receive the same degree of criticism. It is because they look “more white” than he does? Who knows? Yet, in his statements, he was alluding to this.
One can see there is a double standard at play.
Ozil is right, in my view, to ditch Die Mannschaft.
He has always been proud to play for his country, yet he has been used as a tool for vile and objectionable abuse by some quarters.
He also has achieved a lot for them, including helping them get their first international title since 1996 Euros, and first WC since 1990.
Given the hard work he’s imparted, he doesn’t warrant this treatment.
I would say this even if it were a Spurs player, or any other club. It transcends rivalry, as it about basic ethics and decency.
In a way, if our major racist headlines are the Sterling firearm tattoo (which was only subliminally racist), then we’re fortunate. Or it shows we in the UK have better race relations than other parts of Europe. Of the non-white players we’ve had, I cannot recall them being hounded out like this. Let’s hope we can be a beacon to others in Europe, despite them being hurt, angry, and disinterested with us over Brexit….
Maybe part of the EU deal can be to show them that when England lost to Iceland, or finished bottom of the 2014 WC group, or lost to Ozil in 2010 WC, we never cited our non-white players as being “not English enough…”
MarbleHallsTV is an Arsenal social media account on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Been a Gooner since the 90s, inspired by Ian Wright, then Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Campbell, Rosicky, Koscielny, Ozil and Sanchez. A digital marketer/entrpreneur by profession, born in UK living in the Americas now.