Ozil’s Refusal to Commit to Arsenal a Sign on the Wall?

2016 saw the loss of many beloved pop and film stars, Brexit, Trumpin and a colossal attack on the importance and value of telling (and protecting) the truth and respecting human dignity. So many of us were happy to see the backside of it, but not without the trepidation that more horror shows may well follow in the new year.


2017 is also a big year for the club. Arsene’s contract will run out this summer and key players are stalling their contracts talks to see what will happen with him  and/or get a better pay deal. I have no doubt that the decision is with Wenger, as the club will be very keen to keep mister consistency in charge at the home of football. Wenger is as good as a guarantee the BoD can get for  Arsenal to qualify for the CL qualification and make it through the  group stages every single season, and this goes a very long way for the shareholders.

CL football offers prestige and gravy trains full of income, and changing the manager will put this at risk, whoever they would pick as Wenger’s successor. On top of that, Arsene won the FA Cup twice in the last two years and finished second in the PL last season: gradual progress is now being made and there is every reason to believe that more silverware will follow soon. Not all supporters see it that way, though, which is something the BoD as well as Arsene himself will be very much aware of.

I don’t know what will happen but my gut feeling tells me that Arsene is probable going to leave this summer. The only thing that may change his mind is the team winning the PL or CL in May. He knows that he has the players to win something now and let’s hope it will happen. But he is not getting any younger and he may just fancy one more new challenge before he hangs up his raincoat for good.

If Arsene was to go, let there be no doubt that we will enter a challenging, but also exciting, new phase. However much he is trying to leave a solid foundation behind, whoever takes over will need to be able to work with the current players, give or take a few new signings in the summer. They play well to very good under Wenger but how will they do under a new manager? It all depends on who this is going to be and how much they are able to continue Arsene’s approach to style and tactics of the team. They will also need to be able to convince players that their future is best served at Arsenal.

It is very important to hang on to our key players as they will be in demand and other clubs are able/willing to pay even higher wages. All of a sudden, our much advertised and valued consistency could be under threat. Ozil saying he is stalling contract talks due to wanting to know what will happen with his protector and appreciator Wenger, tells us at least that the club have not yet been able to provide clarity/ resolve the contract situation with either Wenger or indeed Ozil.

I would love to have more clarity re Wenger’s and Ozil and Sanchez’s future and let’s hope the club will provide it rather sooner than later. Surely, waiting till May/June is not an option…

So what do you think fellow Gooners:

  1. Are we reaching the end of Arsene’s tenure?
  2. Or merely the beginning of the end?
  3. Or even just the end of the beginning? 🙂
  4. What would you like to happen re the management situation?
  5. And on a scale 1-10 how confident are you about our competitiveness in 2017 and 2018?

By TotalArsenal. 



35 thoughts on “Ozil’s Refusal to Commit to Arsenal a Sign on the Wall?

  • 3 more years for wenger. hes still building a squad to compete for the top prizes in football. lets hope we keep improving. 7.5 /10

  • Ok I will have a crack. Wenger has been brilliant for Arsenal and has been a privilege to have watched. I don’t really have a problem either way, but I do think a change would be good for the club. Trouble is I can’t think of an obvious replacement. .

    I think I would term it a new beginning. We have had many seasons of similar ilk where we have threatened to win the league and then got to November. I think we are lacking some mental strength which hopefully a new manager might add.

    I really like Klopp. Not that he would be available, but he is passionate and has a smile on his face. Wouldn’t object to an English manager, but the only obvious candidate is Eddie Howe. I think Arsenal will always take a conservative approach. I can’t see them appointing the likes of Benitez or Mourinho

    Realistically if Wenger goes (and I really hope he moves upstairs,) it would be very difficult for a new guy to be successful right away. I think we are looking at a 2 or 3 for the first season.

  • Mmmmmn TA,

    Two things I must say before commenting:
    One. I was shocked to find that is was your post, TA, not a guest writer. Only a month aga you knocked me back for suggesting the BoD might decide Arsene Wenger’s fate, and not AW himself.
    So something in the news has prompted you to write this, which I will come to later.

    Second, I hope we on BK will have a ‘grown up’discussion, but my fear is it might attract a host of ‘one liners’ who add little. I, myself read this ‘New post!’ on NewsNow whilst on my tablet during an advert break. But it was too much for me to begin to comment, as my mind is only at its brightest in the morning.

    Thursday morning.
    I am writing this off-site, so I will copy it over without seeing other comments, so apologies to all if I repeat other views.

    Analysing your reason for posting this blog in the way you have, tells me you think there may be a shift from the BoD/Silent Stan’s normal stance, that Arsene will stay because of the regular income he brings in via the CL, and with this 3 way stand off between the BoD, AW, and Mesut Ozil contract discussion?
    If, and we only have press talk that this is the stumbling block, that Ozil will not sign unless he gets assurances that Arsene will stay. None has been forthcoming from the BoD.
    That is slightly complicated by AW declaring he will decide in April or May whether he will extend his contract or not. Presumably, after our position regards the CL, League Title, and FA Cup are known. It also presumes that an extension will be offered at that time?

    My feeling is this, Kroenke Junior, who sits on the BoD, is more ‘football minded’ than his father? He was the one that suggested that Thierry Henry might succeed AW some time ago. His view on that might have been tempered, as has mine, after TH chose Sky over coaching at Arsenal?
    If I am right about this, then young Kroenke will also know that getting regular income from the CL is no longer guaranteed, such is the competitive nature of the EPL, made possible by the big TV money that is sloshing around at the moment. To win the title may also require dropping out of European competitions altogether, such are the demands on players to keep getting the results required?
    Young Kroenke will also have a business head on him to know, that the really wealthy clubs tend to win the CL. Success in that brings in income from a world wide fan base, which may far exceed that the home grown ‘loyal’ fans can generate?
    So whereas Stan Kroenke has been quite happy to take his £3m a year, and leave AW to run the club at a profit, under Gazidis watchful eye, that may no longer be the case?
    I say this, because somebody authorised the ‘approach’ to the Leipzig manager last month, at a time when we were doing well? That is what prompted my earlier comment at the time.

    This is background stuff. What we each feel about the situation, and prospects going forward is different. It is also irrelevant as far as the decision goes, as the BoD or AW will ultimately make that.

    I have two responses, as probably most do?
    The honourable one that says AW has done so much for the club he deserves a decent exit, and time and choice of his own making.
    The clinical one that says it is probably time to go.

    Heart or Head, that is the question?

    Going back to the ‘Ozil’ question. Why, if that is the stumbling block? has AW not reassured him that he will carry on. Simply go to the BoD and ask them for an extension? Perhaps he has???
    Then we have the silly question of the Number 10 shirt? My own view is, and what I think AW told Mesut when this was raised last August, ‘Wait’. Because AW knows Wilshere will not be coming back. It is nonsense that AW did not know he could put in ‘a recall clause’ on the loan deal. Whatever was said before the move, I think it broke their relationship.
    Only my view, don’t get all uppity on me.

    Back to Ozil. AW needs him to stay beyond this season if he is to hand over a legacy of a club that will be close to the top 3 or 4 clubs next season, whether or not he is in charge?
    The fact this contract stance is now public knowledge, and if it was meant to put pressure on the board, you have to ask why they simply did not kill it while it was just a private discussion.
    They didn’t, which looks ominous for AW’s tenure, and why my reponse will ultimately follow my head, not heart.

    Reasons to follow, shortly


  • So……
    1,Are we reaching the end of Arsene’s tenure?

    Yes. For all the good things he has done for the club, which nobody can take away from him. There are things with his style of management that are out of step with the modern game.
    To name but two: Rigid practice regarding subs, and reluctance to do any coaching from the touchline. Both require a more flexible input regarding tactics?
    The reason put forward for the latter is ‘he wants the players to learn to put things that are wrong themselves’. I have a McEnroe moment…
    He cannot be serious! Modern players, with the game running at high speed, only want to see their position eased. They haven’t got the viewpoint of what is going on elsewhere on the pitch.
    That is the coach’s job!
    Top players of the modern era only stay with clubs for 3 or 4 years.
    It may be that coach/manager also may seek fresh challenges, so it will be up to the Club to buck that trend with the new one?
    AW, I think will move on, rather than move upstairs.

    2,Or merely the beginning of the end?
    As far as this season goes, yes. AW has always seen out his contracts, and it would take a monumental blunder by the BoD to give him a reason to go this month.
    That does not mean there will be an early announcement either.

    3,Or even just the end of the beginning? 🙂

    4,What would you like to happen re the management situation?
    Orderly change. Goodwill exchanged by all concerned.
    New manager already lined up to take over as soon as decently possible.
    If possible, a place on the front bench for Dennis Bergkamp, possibly to work alongside the new manager?

    5,And on a scale 1-10 how confident are you about our competitiveness in 2017 and 2018?
    Naughty one! At this stage we have no idea that who will be in charge, what contract have been signed, to know what the senior squad will look like?
    So regarding the youth development, and if we can keep the backroom staff that are in charge at the moment, I think there will be many come through the ranks.


  • Gerry, I wrote in this post that I have no doubt that the decision is Wenger’s, so not sure how you think I am suggesting anything else. It has not attracted one liners but as you know I much prefer brief and sharp comments to mind dumps 🙃

    Not sure whether your assumption that young Kroenke will make the decisions now has much base, but it is an interesting theory. The idea that Thierry could take over, or have taken over, does not work for me. I reckon he would be another G Neville: full of opinions but not able to lead a team when it comes to it.

  • Cheers Retsub, Klopp is very energetic and has a lot going for him, but the losses at Burnley and Bournemouth show that pumping mental strength into the team may not be his strength either. If they can beat Manure this weekend, which I doubt, I may change my mind.

  • Thanks TA. I wrote the first piece as much to understand the decision to put this up for popular discussion, as opposed to your previous stance as closing down anything thing to do with managerial changes. Your middle piece about you thinking he is about to depart is certainly new?

    I agree Kroenke jnr will only feed back to Stan whatever the actual event unfolding might be. But I think after this length of time, Junior’s opinion will carry some weight.

    I also agree about TH.

    However, my final comment in the run up was, why, if the BoD were informed privately as to the wish of Ozil regarding his contract extension, did they not confirm that is their hope too? If they did, then it is Arsene who is reluctant to make that commitment?

    Check your e-mail box for an unusual update.


  • That last one is a good question, Gerry. Maybe they just do not want to talk about in the open or put more pressure on Wenger right now. Or they already know that Wenger is leaving for one reason or another. I think it is relevant to talk about this now as the season has just four more months to go and it is worthy of discussion. Unfortunately, far too few bloggers have commented re this, but c’est la vie. 🙂

  • Hope the wild weather is clearing up, 17ht. Looks really bad in those pictures you posted.

    Ollie, bosscielny and Le Coq has signed extensions, but the real big question is the other 3 bigger names: Wenger, Ozil and Alexis.

    Wenger looked like he can go on for another ten, but could he? That can only be answered by him.

    Ozil and Alexis, more Alexis, prefers the whole team spirit before writing on the dotted line. He wants more action, and less talk. His teammates do not sometimes do what he wants, and he is frustrated.

    So, make him happier by putting back upfront, and Ollie the supersub. Job done.


  • Hi TA, sorry for not commenting on your post yesterday. I was a little down with “cabin fever” and too much shoveling yesterday–wishing I was still in Mexico–but today I’m up early and hoping to finally get out on all the new snow. In other words, we’re fine and the storm is coming to a close… This coming Monday, however, is a bank holiday here (we don’t get very many…) so now it’s all about how the ski resorts and the roads (and the backcountry where avalanche danger remains high) will handle the crowd mayhem which lies ahead. The missus has to go back to work today but the boy has his 4th consecutive snow day so he and I will venture out in one way or another. It’s been a lot of digging (and blowing) and, all told, it’s good we made it back when we did or it would have been an overwhelming task just trying to get back into the house. Also, we were quite lucky to not be amongst the many in our area to lose power, some for lengthy periods. We also avoided flood damage which was a problem for many before the rain turned to snow. Mud slides (mostly in the lower elevations) have also been an issue.

    Your post confused me a bit–another reason for my tardy reply. I’m still just a newbie when it comes to understanding the way contracts and the press coverage of them works in this sport in Europe and England. Things don’t seem to swing so wildly (result to result) in our sports over here so these things (contracts, managers getting fired/stepping down) seem much more straightforward…

    Pre-amble done… Obviously, I’m a big Wenger supporter so (to take on some of your questions) I’m hopeful that we see extensions for him and Ozil very shortly. I realize he’s a lightning rod for criticism and that the support is divided in opinion, much to the detriment of the team and its results, I believe, but I’m convinced the club will struggle mightily when he finally leaves. It may be true that we’re entering a period of parity where being out of Europe could help for competing well for the domestic trophies. Still, I think, being on the world radar (going far in the CL…) is massively important for a club like ours to continue growing. In my opinion, AW is (by far) the most likely manager to keep us on that trajectory. Whenever he goes, I think–and the Ozil comments probably suggest–some of our best players will go too, leading to a (painful) rebuilding period. That’s just one observer’s guess, so take it as you will…

    It’s so much tougher (again, just my opinion…) when the support has been spoiled by our consistency and each match (each result…) is a referendum. Perhaps some barren years or the ups and downs that Liverpool, Chelsea and ManU are experiencing would re-calibrate things for the fans. A new manager, I think, would likely ensure such a cycle, for better or worse. Hell, after a couple of them–managers, that is, our Moyes and Van Gaal, if you will–maybe we could get Mourinho in and, him being special and all, and he could get us back on track… 😀 😦

    We won’t know until it happens, of course, and maybe I’m being a bit too much of a fraidy-cat. (Is that term in play over there?…) Financially we’re the 4th club in the league but the teams below us (Liverpool and Spurs) look like they’ve stabilized pretty well and have young and nicely developing cores of players (and managers). If they can keep on their own upwards trajectories they can (quite easily, I think) challenge an Arsenal club if there’s any drop in our consistency and/or confidence. (Looking at the table, of course, we should already be quite worried…At least nobody seems to be “pulling a Leicester” this season…) If the group can keep its belief and we continue to work together and play as a team, however, I think we can nip in front and finish ahead of both of them and maybe some of the bigger spenders too…

    Of course, that’s not (nearly) enough for most supporters and anything less than the league title will be a disaster. Things are compounded by our terrible draw in the CL. Now, if we don’t win these next several matches (including another bad draw–very likely at Southampton in the FA Cup) and then get results in early February at Chelsea and then Bayern it will be another round of failure (Groundhog’s Day…) and the sky will once more be falling down upon us in our part of North London. Things, to me at least, feel very well poised on a razor’s edge and these next few matches feel as crucial as any I can recall…

    So, to come full circle, maybe this is what we’re waiting upon. If we can get through this next month of fixtures (with satisfactory results) maybe there could be some announcements on the contracts–Ozil’s and Wenger’s and, ideally, Alexis’ too. Personally, I’d like to see those announcements as soon as possible as I think they would help us get those results…

    Many believe that AW was a game away from being gone just before he signed his last contract and that if we hadn’t beaten Hull City in the 2014 FA Cup final that would have been it. Luckily (or the opposite if you hate the manager and would rather we’d lost that final…) Santi, Kos and finally (in extra time) Ramsey got the goals and AW was given another go-round while Fabianski, in goal that day, kept out just enough of them. Once again, it seems (to me at least) crunch time is upon us…And, interestingly enough, Fabianski will be there trying to keep us out (on Saturday at Swansea) this time around… (TA, just like this same fixture last season, if you want to do the match preview, have at it…although I can probably also find the time/energy if need be…)

    Anyhow, that’s just one fella’s view. apologies for the long post…

  • Ok Total, if you insist…. 😀

    Yes, I think we are approaching the end of Arsene Wengers reign, he is 67 and despite what he says, the rigours of managing a top top EPL club must take their toll…
    10 years is a long time in management, 20 years is an eternity.
    And Arsene, it seems, doesn’t delegate, so the full force of the responsibility lays on his shoulders constantly…

    Of course for many fans, the only Arsenal manager they’ve known is Arsene, so there is bound to be a level of nervousness concerning the unknown.
    But I believe, if the Board and Gazides take advice and, as I believe they are already, begin to investigate and talk to successors, then we could the a seamless transition.
    It doesn’t have to be a disaster if it is handled sensibly…

    I would listen to Arsenes views on his successor, but his opinion shouldn’t be binding and if the club wish to employ a manager who maybe does things a bit differently, then the club shouldn’t be afraid to go in that direction…

  • Cheers guys 🙂

    Agreed with a lot there, Seventeenho. I just cannot see Arsene signing another contract unless this team convince him to do so, and reckon winning silverware is required for it. Just a gut feeling.

    Nice one Kev and 84. Kev agreed, it does not have to be a disaster and good management can lead to a smooth transition. But the risks remain high and Wenger and the BoD know this. As a fan we can get excited about it but as a shareholder/responsible director these are scary times. I am pretty convinced we will not get that same consistency again, at least for a long time. On the other hand, the adventure of a new manager with their own philosophy etc could be very exciting.

  • Seventeenho, the preview is yours if you want it. And thanks for the weather update. We saw a picture of an avalanche entering through a house’s door which looked pretty dramatic. Enjoy the snow with the c! 🙂

  • Well said TA, yes RIP Graham Taylor he did seem like a nice genuine bloke.

    Although you didn’t ask directly about Wengers replacement , you did allude to new management in question 4. Interesting that as far as I can see no other names have been mentioned.
    As Kev has suggested I am sure that if Wenger is to leave, moves have already begun to identify his successor. Whilst it would be great to have a Bergkamp or Henry I would only see them as part of a management team. I wonder if they consider Bouldy as the man?

    That said when Wenger was appointed, I had never heard of him!

  • Retsub, I have had a feeling for a while that IF somebody is to succeed Arsene it could well be Joachim Low, the German national team manager. But I guess if this was already arranged, Ozil would have signed a new contract in a heartbeat. Given that three Frenchies signed a new contract today, maybe a French manager has been lined up… 🙂

  • Another interesting question is does Wenger leave Arsenal in a better position than he found them. The obvious answer is undoubtably yes, financially sound, great stadium, continued success etc etc. But worth mentioning two things that he did acquire. A fantastic defence which was the cornerstone of his early success and secondly the small matter of some Dutch guy called Bergkamp.

  • He also acquired a great club history with pride and strong foundations. But there is no doubt that Arsene has moved to club up one or two echelons in terms of respect, size, style of football and financial strength, oh and winning silverware. 🙂

  • Sacking or just not offering Wenger a deal could be one of the biggest decisions in the Club’s history I think. Not many Gunners know what it is to not a have a permanent manager. We blame Wenger to chnage every season but we are asking that 1 man to make a little change in his existing structure. If you ask the other top 6 clubs fans about this, they’ll say that they don’t even know if they’ll have the same manager after summer. Such is the inconsistency and instability in the football world.

    Actually this instability is what makes me and I think many others insecure to the thought of sacking Le Prof. What we can do is only watch what the club does. The Board however has a huge decision to make I think. They’re decision can change where we will stand in the coming years.

    What I would do?
    I love Wenger but I want a change. It’s okay if I’m still frustrated but at least I tried to change something. I would appoint a manager of high repute, Manuel Pellegrini maybe and let him take charge of the club. This ensures two things, partial stability due to experience and assurance to players due to experience. So, the future of our players is secured.
    Then monitor the progress of these young managers during this time, maybe even make them known of their audition period so that they do not switch to a rival club or get sacked.
    Thierry Henry
    Eddie Howe(not convincing yet)
    Walter Mazzari(not young)
    Patrick Viera
    RB Leipzig guy( passionate)
    Anyone I have missed

    Option 2
    Instand and ready to play solutions
    Jurgen Klopp
    Pep Guardiola
    Antonio Conte(doesn’t suit our style but impressed by the man)
    Massimiliano Allegri
    These four will need a lot of convincing and some dumb decisions from their current club

    Why do I want to sack Wenger?
    It of course depends on the result of this season. If he wins the title, I won’t dare sack him. And there is nothing wrong in that, I want the best for my club.
    I know we can have a tough time like Manchester United but we are anyway having a tough time now. Mr. Wenger has made some excellent signings in tge padt few seasons and has built a wonderful squad but he still fail to extract the best out of them. It is because of his rigidity, in a squad which has a wealth of options, rigidity has no place. Thus I believe it’s the end of an era. And I’ll miss him dearly and might even want him back if his successor fails but I have to be brave now and say, Sack him.

  • That is a bit harsh JK?

    I think that there may be a subtlety of language here. ‘Sack’ is at the severe end of the scale, along with ‘dismiss’, while ‘not offer a new contract extension’ would be in the middle, and ‘seeing out his contract’ at the respectful end of the scale. They all mean the same thing, in that AW would not be manager next season. Reading the other parts of Neeraj’s comment, it is hardly ‘Wenger out’ material is it? Criticisms yes, but not disrespectful.
    On reflection, I am sure Neeraj if he could change that last sentence for one of the less ‘disrespectful’ terms he would … but I will leave that for Neeraj to say.


  • Agreed Gerry. Good comment Neeraj and your love for Wenger is clear yet you think it is time for a change. Nobody will sack Wenger… it is a matter of contract running out at worst. Not sure what you mean when you say an alternative is ‘Not young’. What has age to do with it and why would Koeman, for example, be too old? Not that he would be my choice..

  • Yeah I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and yes I mean not extend his contract.
    TA, age was a factor because I like a manager staying at the club more than just a couple of season or even less. So a younger manager could replicate Wenger. Koeman, I don’t think could carry on for 20 years, hence not that young but that also means he has experience, so that’s a good thing.

  • Nice article TA!

    In so far as my thoughts on the questions you posed:

    Are we reaching the end of Arsene’s tenure?
    – Yes. He is 67. I don’t envisage him managing too far into his 70’s.

    Or merely the beginning of the end?
    – I think he will sign another contract with Arsenal at season’s end for either two or three years. I just think he loves his job too much and will want to keep going until he is at least 70.

    Or even just the end of the beginning?
    – I think the end is near but not at season’s end.

    What would you like to happen re the management situation?
    – I think Arsene is an exceptional spotter of talent, particular at a youth level, and a great mentor of players, particularly off the pitch. Tactically and from a squad management perspective I think he lacks the pragmatism to modify his footballing philosophy to the point which would make Arsenal genuine title challenges. For that reason I’m open to Arsenal changing their manager at season’s end. That said I wouldn’t be up in arms if Wenger stayed. I’d just expect more of the same from
    Wenger and that Arsenal wouldn’t win the Premier League.

    And on a scale 1-10 how confident are you about our competitiveness in 2017 and 2018?
    – About a 7. Arsenal have too much talent in their squad not to be competitive. That said, I think Arsenal’s squad is still deficient in a few areas (e.g. a crossing left winger when Giroud is in the CF role, two more genuinely defensive central midfielders to challenge/usurpe Xhaka and Coquelin). That and Wenger’s tactical approach and team selection policy are not coordinated enough for me to believe Arsenal can win the title this season or next.

  • Gerry and TA,

    I understand that Neeraj is a little excited when he wrote the last part, and it does not seem like he is a WOB for the starting portions.

    If my words were too strong, Neeraj, I apologise to you.

    One can say that 20 years is too long, but Wenger knows his body the best and if he can stay for another couple of years, he is looking at a second team that can fight for top honours.

    By the first team, it means the Vieira and Adams era. The second team is one that evolves around Ozil, Sanchez, Ollie and Welbeck.

    I have to put my thoughts into perspective, but I think you guys have a similar idea of what might come.


  • No worries 84 🙂

    Waldo thanks for a well balanced response, and I agree with a lot you are saying even though I expect Arsene not to prolong his contract this time round, unless unless… 🙂

  • Neeraj, it is unlikely we can find somebody who can do what Wenger did and stay with us for 20 years, but I can see where you are coming from. Five or ten years would already be an achievement in the current situation. Key is to keep our club values and footballing philosophy alive and delivering successes… not an easy task for anyone with such tough competition in the league and in Europe..

  • I don’t think any of our longest serving post war managers did 10 years in charge, not even Tom Whittaker, Bertie Mee, Terry Neill or George Graham, the managers who actually won major trophies.
    So with respect, I don’t think we should get hung up of attracting a successor who can do 10 years or more. Just get the right man and enjoy the ride, be 5, 6 or 8 years.
    What Wenger achieved, in staying in the job for over 20 years, will probably never be seen again. It isn’t really the norm at the highest level…

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