Mesut Ozil bites back: Arsenal outcast’s agent says Mikel Arteta is LYING, shows no respect or loyalty – and tears into the manager’s own playing career and the ‘classless’ club’s mass redundancies
- Mesut Ozil’s agent has accused Mikel Arteta of lying and lacking loyalty
- The Arsenal boss said he left Ozil out of his squad for football reasons
- But the midfielder’s agent Erkut Sogut says he hasn’t been treated fairly
- He also took aim at Arteta’s career at Arsenal and the club’s redundancies
Mesut Ozil’s agent has slammed Mikel Arteta for lacking loyalty and respect and claims the Arsenal boss has lied about why the midfielder was left out of the club’s Premier League squad.
Ozil, who has not played since March, was also omitted from the club’s Europa League squad meaning he will not be able to make an appearance until at least January.
Arteta claimed the decision was solely for football reasons but, in an interview with ESPN, Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut says the manager has treated the midfielder unfairly and has not been honest about his decision to freeze him out.
Mesut Ozil’s agent Erkut Sogut (right) has accused Mikel Arteta of lying about Mesut Ozil’s omission from the club’s Premier League and Europa League squads
The midfielder is unable to make an appearance for the first team until at least January
Arteta claimed the decision was solely for football reasons but Sogut says he has been unfair
He said: ‘Arsenal fans deserve an honest explanation, not [Arteta] saying ‘I failed Ozil.’ You didn’t fail Ozil: you failed to be fair, honest and transparent and treat someone with respect who has a contract and was loyal all the time.
‘Every single person outside knows he hasn’t treated him fairly. He didn’t give him a chance to show himself this season. If he is still under contract, the player should have the option to stay and fight for his place. Mesut hasn’t been given that. Why would you put a player on the bench twice for 90 minutes [against Brighton and Crystal Palace in June] if he wasn’t fit or committed?
‘Everyone says he’s training well. Per Mertesacker said this publicly. I spoke with at least five teammates who say he is training great. They say Mesut is one of their best players, and they cannot understand why he is left out. So it can’t be the training — if it is not the pitch, what are the footballing reasons? If you talk, you should tell the truth that the Arsenal fans deserve otherwise don’t talk at all.’
Ozil’s agent said he has spoken to players who say he is one of the best players in training
Sogut said Arsenal fans deserve an explanation for the 32-year-old omission from the team
Arteta insisted the midfielder had been given opportunities after his decision to leave him out of the squads. He said: ‘When I believe that he could contribute to the team being better – which is why I was hired to this football club to become the manager to win football matches, competition and create and build a project for the short, medium and long term – he has had the opportunities like everybody else.’
But Sogut contrasted Arteta’s treatment of Ozil with the way he was looked after by Arsene Wenger during his time at the Emirates, highlighting how the Spaniard didn’t start a single Premier League game in his final season.
‘He [Arteta] started zero games in the Premier League in his last season,’ said Sogut.
‘He wasn’t there in the last six months at all, busy doing his coaching badges and meeting coaches for his future. Mesut plays for one English team and that’s it because he feels he can only play for that team. He is a Gunner in the end.
The agent also took aim at Arteta’s playing career at Arsenal highlighting how he did not start a single game in his final season but was shown more loyalty
‘Mesut is not a player who is yesterday a Toffee and today a Gunner. Arteta didn’t play at all in the final two years, but they still registered him because he was given a contract. Arsene Wenger put him on the field for the final two minutes of his last game just to give him a nice moment, even though he wasn’t fit for months. Look at how [Arteta] was treated in his final two years, and how Mesut is getting treated in his final year.’
Ozil released a statement after his omission from the Premier League squad which heavily criticised the club for their lack of loyalty, but stopped short of pointing the finger at his manager.
As Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Wednesday, the former German international believes Arsenal’s commercial interests in China influenced the decision to omit him from both squads.
Last December, the midfielder condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province in a post on Instagram. Despite being quickly disowned by Arsenal, the post still had damaging commercial consequences for the club.
Ozil blasted Arsenal for lacking ‘loyalty’ after he was left out of their 25-man league squad
Ozil’s comments were condemned by the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese FA and he was deleted from a computer game in China for his actions while Arsenal’s following game with Manchester City was dropped by state TV.
The club have a significant commercial presence in China and own a restaurant chain and have an official lottery partner and vehicle provider.
Ozil also came under fire for refusing to take a 12.5% pay cut in April, despite being the club’s highest earner on £350,000. The midfielder is said to have refused because of a lack of clarity on how the money would be spent.
But Sogut defended Ozil, saying: ‘You have to understand the bigger picture. The [Uighur situation] created problems for the whole Premier League, not just Arsenal. He expected to get more support from the club. It is not talking about politics, it is about human rights, putting people in detention centres. Imagine a football player comes out and says ‘this is inhumane.’ Is that politics or empathy?’
Arsenal were criticised by fans and former players for making 55 staff members including scouts and their mascot Gunnersaurus redundant due to the financial pressures of coronavirus. Ozil offered to cover the wages of Jerry Quy, the man in the Gunnersaurus mascot, for as long as he remains at the club.
Ozil offered to pay the wages of mascot Gunnersaurus after he was sacked by the club
Sogut laid into the club for lacking class and sighted the club’s expenditure on transfers just after they had made the decision to lay off staff.
‘You wouldn’t expect a club with class to make 55 people redundant just after winning the FA Cup or sacking a mascot after 27 years of service, just before making a £45million signing,’ he said.
‘And it doesn’t help if people from outside the club speak on their behalf. It unfortunately gives a very bad picture of the club which we are not used to having at a team like Arsenal.’
Former Arsenal players have also come out in support of Ozil. Jack Wilshere defended his former team-mate on Twitter this week, insisting he remains the ‘best player’ at the club while Cesc Fabregas named him as one of the five best players in the club’s recent past.
The midfielder praised former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) on his 71st birthday
The online birthday message mentions Wenger’s qualities of being respectful, fair and honest
Ozil praised his former manager Arsene Wenger for ‘always being respectful, fair and honest’ 24 hours after he had criticised the club for their lack of loyalty.
Wishing the 71-year-old a Happy Birthday on Twitter, Ozil wrote: ‘Happy Birthday, Boss! Thanks for all your trust and support you’ve given me from my 1st until your last day @ArsenalFC.
‘Without a doubt one of the greatest managers in the Premier League history – always respectful, fair & honest. Wishing you all the best! #M1Ö’
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