Ozil has landed knockout blow on Arsenal chiefs – he now holds all the aces

In the court of public opinion all evidence points towards Mesut Ozil being guilty as charged.

The sulking German has brought the good reputation of Arsenal – and football in general – into disrepute after refusing to accept a wage cut during the Covid-19 crisis, on the back of some woeful performances before the lockdown in March.

But when considering the circumstances, we have to wonder if Ozil has been given a fair trial.

The crux of the argument revolves around the fact Ozil earns £350,000-a-week – and that he's the highest paid star at the Emirates.

But whose fault is this? Whose fault is it that Ozil was asked to take a 12.5 per cent wage cut for 12 months without being provided with the details of how the process would work? And whose fault is it that he hasn't made one single appearance since the season resumed in June?

The answer to all three questions is the Gunners, who no doubt thought Ozil could be sold to the highest bidder this summer and the problem would be solved.

But the Gunners had better think again, because Ozil is fighting back and has made it clear he is going nowhere, won't be forced out and intends to see out the remaining 12 months of his contract.

He said: "My position is clear. I'm here through to the last day of our agreement and I'll give everything I have for this club. Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger.

"I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again. I'll decide when I go, not other people. I didn't sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone.

"Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal. I love to work there, I love the people in the club – the real people, those I've been with for a long time. I never give up on anything. I want to help my team and I'll fight for it."

There we have it folks. In this public scrap between club and superstar, Ozil has just landed a knockout blow on his opponent that will leave owner Stan Kroenke seeing stars.

Good for him. Ozil has made it clear he is fit, committed to helping the team and wants the chance to earn his corn and do what the Gunners brought him to north London for in the first place.

He holds all the aces, because if Mikel Arteta continues to refuse to pick Ozil the privilege will cost his club £18m – and even in the mad world of top flight football this would be lunacy like we've never seen before.

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Ozil, 31, should be congratulated for being honest about the situation he now finds himself in – and it would be fascinating to hear what Arteta's version of events are.

The situation isn't just a headache for the Spanish boss, it is a migraine that promises to linger and he needs to find a cure for the benefit of all those concerned.

The new season could provide a fresh start for Ozil, but the feeling remains that he wants the Gunners more than they want him.

Humble pie is never easy to swallow for managers like Arteta, but he needs to down huge portions of the stuff and start getting some value from a talent his club has paid for and still owns.

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