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George Graham has added his voice to the growing list of former Arsenal men critical of the club’s treatment of Mesut Ozil.
Graham told talkSPORT: “It’s very difficult. The first thing you say is, ‘who is the person who sorted the contract?’
“Did the rest of the board see that contract and agree to it? That was a bad decision.
“We’ve got to try and get rid of him and pay half his wages if he goes to another club, but even then it’s too expensive.
“He’s got to be in a team that’s dominating games and he’s got to be on the ball as much as possible.
“Without the ball… just no. He is definitely lacking, not even at the top level. Without the ball he’s not good enough. With the ball he can be good enough, but he has to be in a good team.
“He was up and down like a yo-yo under Arsene Wenger. He obviously isn’t playing into the new manager’s style.
“You play when you’ve got the ball but you also play when you haven’t got possession. He’s just not up to the standard that Arteta wants.”
That last point isn’t actually true, despite what is regularly claimed.
Arteta selected Ozil for every one of his games before the lockdown (except the very first), he was creating more chances than anyone else in the squad AND was working harder than we’ve ever seen him. Arteta, who played with Ozil, arrived claiming he wanted to build his team around the German.
Then came the break, the request to take a paycut, and the subsequent fall-out.
Lukas Podolski is not impressed with how the club have handled the Mesut Ozil situation, becoming the latest former player to hit out at Arsenal.
Speaking to Bild, the former striker who was a real fan favourite with Gooners said, “I don’t know what happened but I generally think that putting aside a player who has been at the club for six-seven years is not correct.
“We cannot do that, even if something has happened.
“He [Ozil] showed his class on and off the field. He never had negative behaviour with the club. It’s sad because everyone loses in this story. Arsenal have failed to handle the situation in recent months.”
A number of reasons have been given for Arsenal treating Ozil the way they have but few have stood up in light of comments from other players and coaches.
Just this week, Thierry Henry said, “First it was Unai Emery and now Mikel Arteta. It is not easy to succeed Arsene Wenger. Not at all easy.
“With Mikel, I see that the passion is back, a certain joy, he contributes with stability.
“Now he has to solve the situation with Özil and other things, but it does not happen overnight.”