Wenger's Albatross Unshackled (For Now)
The albatross has been unshackled from Arsene Wenger's neck – for now.
News of record signing Mesut Ozil’s knee ligament injury is a godsend for the Gunners, as Arsene Wenger’s unrelenting blind faith in the German World Cup winner is poised to rip the team apart.
The Professor's decision to substitute Santi Cazorla, one of Arsenal’s best players in the second half of the match at Stamford Bridge, instead of the abysmal and ineffectual Ozil infuriated the Spaniard to no end.
Cazorla stormed off, cursing his manager, giving voice to the thoughts that Arsenal supporters watching the match had swirling about their heads:
Ozil is too fragile to be substituted with Joachim Low in the stands, Wenger feels he cost the Gunners too much money to be taken off, and admitting that damages the manager’s valuation and decision to sign the German…
Arsenal cannot afford to lose Santi Cazorla, and if this continues, he will want out; they cannot afford to have an unspoken undercurrent of resentment pulsing through the veins of the squad when Mesut Ozil is assured of a place on the team sheet irregardless of his performances or work-rate.
It’s hard to imagine that a Club needs to consider cutting their losses on a player just months off a World Cup triumph; but consideration on this sensitive topic, by Wenger and his staff, is exactly what is needed.
Ozil, unless derided in the media, lambasted by former players, or ridiculed by past managers can barely find the motivation to put in a shift.
His new normal is apathetic, disengaged, and pedestrian. He does not appear to have the hunger. There is no drive to be the world’s best, or even in the conversation, and the very likely possibility of a rapidly falling star is upon Dial Square.
Mesut Ozil’s biggest contribution to the Gunners this season might just be in the transfer market.
If Ozil can help convince Sami Khedira that Arsenal should be his preferred January destination it would serve the Club to no end.
The Gunners would solve their defensive midfield crisis by way of another World Cup champion who would be an instant upgrade to the existing options in Mikel Arteta and Matheiu Flamini.
Yet despite Khedira’s immense talent, which was on display for all to see during his match winning performance against Brazil this past summer, he’s not the long term target Arsenal should be after.
Ilkay Gundogan is the player Wenger should be setting his sights on.
The Dortmund defensive midfield player is younger, has more range, suits the Arsenal passing style better, and has more upside; plus when Wenger hangs it up a possible transition to Jurgen Klopp will be that much easier.
This scenario means that Mesut Ozil’s relevance to the equation is of even less importance.
Sadly, it’s time to start planning for how best to rebrand and release Ozil into the upcoming transfer markets.
If Pep Guardiola really did have an interest this past summer, then Wenger should salvage his legacy of involvement with the player and sell him on to a big Club like Bayern Munich before the final story is written at the Emirates in ugly, ugly, letters…