This saga has consummated much of the first half of this season and has probably decimated team spirit inside the Arsenal dressing room, not to mention team performance on the pitch from time to time.
We are now entering the middle of the January transfer window and every Arsenal fan can be forgiving for wondering quietly whether or not either Sanchez or Ozil, or both, will stay or go. As this unfortunate debacle goes on, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal only have themselves to blame for it. With 18-24 months to go, if you cannot convince your two superstars to renew their contract, then be decisive and either pay what they want or ship them out (with 12 months remaining), and get quality replacements. You’ve gotta get maximum value for these players, and in today’s crazy market, these two players alone could have easily netted us over a cool £100 million. Alas, we fell asleep at the wheel, and this is where it has pathetically gotten us.
But it is what it is, so what exactly do we do now and who do we want to see stay at the Emirates when the window closes?
For me, Alexis Sanchez is a tremendous player with vast ability, passion, and dedication, but he is also a “gentle” mercenary (unlike Emmanuel Adebayor or Samir Nasri), unfortunately. The weird part is, I don’t actually blame him or fault him one bit. Had Arsenal addressed the team needs and surrounded Sanchez and Ozil with hardworking and quality players, we would have already won the league a couple of times by now. At 28-29 and in the final year of his contract, why should he work hard and run himself to the ground every match day when his teammates are reluctant to follow his example?
Watching Arsenal players press the opposing team is at times quite laughable, especially in midfield. Our idea of pressing the ball is to stay about 10 yards away from the ball carrier and keep backing down until we are inside or on the edge of our penalty area. Or have only one or two players do the pressing while everyone else stays far back resting and watching. Sanchez, I think, is fed up with our work ethic as a team, our lack of discipline in critical moments, our inability to address long ago identified defensive frailties, and our refusal to meet his wage demands or at least come close to it.
I understand all that and if he wants to go and we all know he no longer wants to be a part of Arsenal, then let’s sell him to City quickly and get some decent money (£35-40 million) for him. He will get his customary “dream move” to City, play with a bunch of superstars, be coached by a superstar Manager, win plenty of silverware, and make serious money while at it. His mind was made up long ago and his heart is elsewhere. He only started playing well again this past couple of months because he wants to get out of town this January transfer window and is putting himself on the shopping window. It might be detrimental to the team spirit and performance if he is again forced to stay and, more than likely, I fear that he will put in average performances for a player of his quality. He is not going to the World Cup, therefore, he’s got nothing to worry about.
Ozil’s situation is a bit different, I feel. I believe he does love Arsenal and wants to stay but first needs certain guarantees and monetary compensation before re-signing. If he doesn’t get them, he will not re-sign and simply walk away in June. As they say, he’s got us by the balls. However, unlike Sanchez, Ozil’s got a World Cup to worry about and therefore, he will want to remain sharp and in form. He will want to shut the doubters up. He is a consummate professional and really cares about his beautiful craft. Besides, despite what all the haters say about him, Ozil is a truly gifted and extremely intelligent football player, and does do his part. Yes, it may look lethargic at times or look like he is not putting in a shift defensively on a regular basis but that is not his forte. That is not why he is on the team. His job is to be a facilitator and a creator.
If this team was able to convert just half the number of unbelievably easy chances Ozil creates during any given match, we would all be having a different conversation right now. There are many times when Ozil would bamboozle an entire defence with a simple-looking pass but extremely difficult to execute and I found myself wondering: “How the hell did he see and make that pass and make it look so simple? How did he know that the defenders wouldn’t be able to intercept that pass? Has he got eyes everywhere?” This Arsenal team is built around him, I think, and it would a great loss for us if he were to leave now or in the Summer. I like to compare Ozil to a super-gorgeous, high class, high maintenance girlfriend. You know the type of person she is before deciding to court and date her. Once she becomes your girlfriend, you know exactly what is required of you to keep her around. If you don’t fulfil her every wish/need, she will simply leave your for another lover. No bad feeling. Plain simple. Arsenal have got their “trophy girlfriend” but it remains to be seen whether they can keep “her”.
I truly love both Sanchez and Ozil and would be sad to see either go. But if I had to choose one over the other, I would choose Ozil every day of the week. Somehow, this current Arsenal team just does not look the same without Mesut Ozil playing. I really hope he does stay and renew his contract in the coming months.
Please Arsenal, pay Ozil what he wants now, sign hardworking quality players (especially in defence), replace Sanchez, sell Walcott, Debuchy, Akpom, and a few others and let’s move forward.
Written by: Gino92
32 thoughts on “Sanchez or Ozil: Who Would You Choose?”
Cheers for your second post in a row, Gino! 🙂
I reckon you have too positive a picture of Alexis, but I appreciate he has made big contributions to the success of the team. For me, he has not been enough a team player and the likes of Giroud and now Lacazette have suffered from this. Yes he works hard but that is with his body rather than with his head. The only one he wants to provide assists for is for his mate Mesut; he is the only one Alexis will spot and pass the ball to with some accuracy. Sell him and get Perez back and buy a youngster with mega promise, or ideally, a ready to rock player. Lacazette is our main man now and I promise you he will become better and better once the Chilean has departed.
Agreed re Ozil. He is the creative heart of this team and without him we are not the same.
Hi Gino. Welcome back and thanks for putting in the effort with these posts.
I can’t agree with a huge amount of the above I’m afraid. I’ve just put in a long response to the previous post, but must have pressed submit after this new one came up. Anyway, a couple of thoughts.
I don’t get why everyone is so concerned about how much money we might lose, or make, with the sales of Sanchez and Ozil. What would we do with an extra £100m anyway? Lets not forget we offer £92M for Lamar in the summer and he just said no thanks… If people think these are great players then why ask us to sell them sooner – there would have been uproar if we had sold them 18 months ago. And which players of their quality are available and itching to come to Arsenal? Not sure I can name them sadly. So if people prize these folks then why aren’t we enjoying them playing for us now?
Of course its not as simple as my line above either; I’m just trying to make the point. My own view (bias) is that we should have got rid of Sanchez last summer because he is a selfish player and not one that helps build a real sense of team (sadly, see the spuds for an example of what that looks like). For those who worry about the cash though, take comfort over all the millions we have saved by having him on a cheap contract for the last two years – other clubs will be paying him that and more in his signing on fee. And they will get a 29 year old who presumably wants a very lucrative 4 year contract. I’m not so sure thats good business, even aside from the team aspect of the matter. We will see how he performs over the next 4 years and be able to judge then what we have missed.
Ozil is another matter for me. He is central to making the team work. And he could very well play at the top of his game for another 4 years. Those saying we should have cashed in should remind me who exactly had bid for him though – I’m not sure anyone did, so I don’t think we’ve passed up a fortune anywhere along the way. He has made more assists than anyone else in the PL despite us having a pretty awful conversion rate. But we have now spent big on a striker. And he looks a good one to me. We need to keep that pairing together. If we can add a gold dust young winger into the mix then that would be fantastic. Lots of names linked of course, but if I could pick the next Pires then I’d be in a different job.
Some other players look like they need to move on. And the door is clearly open. Finding good replacements isn’t simple though. Look at the chavs and manure. With the funds to pretty much chose who they wanted they’ve ended up with Lukaku and Morata. Neither looks like being an Aguero any time soon. Nor even a Kane. Thankfully for the sport its not the simple.
Like I said yesterday, I might feel different about posting here tomorrow… which is now today, or something… So here I am, reading, and now, writing…
Sorry, but I disagree with just about everything written (except for one thing, see below…) and–mamby-pamby, political correct snowflake that I am–I find the comparing Ozil to a high-maintenance girlfriend quite sexist and degrading. (For women, not so much Mesut…) Sorry again…
Some editing, both for correct word-usage (consumed, not consummated, forgiven, not forgiving, in just the first 50 words… among other bits of nit-picking) AND for excessive rewriting of history, assigning motivations, vast oversimplification of complex problems, etc., etc., seems necessary TO ME…
That’s just me, however, and TA, in the end, it’s your site.
If I’m done writing (and perhaps I’m not…in fact, if you go in the back channels you’ll see a post of mine, all ready to go…) and you feel like you need extra writers, Gino seems both capable and impassioned. AND, I agree with his conclusion. Get rid of Alexis and keep Ozil…
Not that we have any influence on what will happen…
And, if that scenario does come to pass–and, I’m praying to dennis that it does–what will we complain about next?…
Brilliant article….well written and mirrors my thoughts. The problem we have is our board! My theory is that AW wants to invest in top quality players but the board is not sanctioning deals, as a result with fans and media pressure we sign players not quite good enough. AW is being too loyal to the wrong ppl, he should not be loyal to the board by keeping quite, instead be loyal to the fans and admit he is not getting the full support of the board in the xfer market. In all seriousness we need 2 top top quality centre halfs, top quality lm, a creative (thibk santi) mid and defensive mid. Wont happen thou 😐
AB, well written stuff there, echoing many of my own thoughts…
I’m in a bad mood, but it AMAZES me that people can both fault the team for failing to keep up with other clubs’ spending–THEN, barely bothering to use the other side of their mouths, complain about Arsenal failing to recoup sufficient money in moves that would have been OVERWHELMINGLY criticized–probably by the very same pundits!! I can actually pardon the pundits. Hey it’s a job–maybe like being a high-maintenance girlfriend (read: prostitute…) is–and you gotta make your money… We’re just “supporters,” shouldn’t we take a little more pride in staying consistent with our arguments?…
Clearly, Gino is not referring to a ‘prostitute’ but a ‘classy, demanding’ lady, but I made a little adjustment so this is clearer.
TA. Forgive me for pasting my comment from the previous thread. I think the two are related in any case. About an hour ago I wrote:
Blimey fellas we seem to be making hard work of things at the moment! All because of a nil:nil draw with the Chavs? Hopefully not. Quite a few things to pick up on here for me.
Firstly HT, don’t think you are alone in your line here. I’m very largely with you on most things Arsenal. I’m pro-Wenger, though not to the extent that he can’t be criticised. I’m sceptical about the easy alternative choices that are so often offered or argued for. My one issue perhaps is that I’m less down on where we are than you seem to be at the moment. But thats probably because you’ve been trying to keep spirits up by actively blogging on this, whereas I’ve been largely silent. Anyway, don’t go anywhere; I don’t think anyone on this site wants that.
To stick or twist with Wenger? Clearly we will have to twist at some stage; time will make that inevitable. The question is whether sooner is better. The answer would be yes if we felt we would get a better manager or be able to attract better players – be that through spending more or having a manager that more players wanted to play for. Clearly there are alternative options out there. The spuds have landed on a good one I think most would agree. But they’ve tried about 10 others before they arrived at him. I’ve lost count of the false dawns promised by friends who follow the poor spuds, every time convinced they had the man to revive their fortunes. Those that want change must accept that for every Poch that turns up theres probably 5 AVBs. And when we twist then the odds are we will have spells with one or two of them before we get anything better.
Will we spend more with a new manager? I don’t subscribe to the view that Wenger is tight and thats simply why we don’t spend. Yes we have cash reserves, but anyone thinking a new manager could just come in and spend them all is in fantasy land. The reason we have the owner we do is because he is playing the long game when it comes to finances. He isn’t going to change his business model for a new manager – the manager will have to conform to the current one, or else he won’t be appointed. To be clear, we are rich in cash reserves. But less so in turn-over and still less so in terms of potential financial backing.
Clearly a fresh manager could be more attractive to young talent and bring better players in. Klopp is perhaps the strongest test of this theory. And he is unproven as yet in my view. He is spending and has a good attacking team. But he is not shopping at the very top of the market (I wouldn’t even count VVD in this space). What Liverpool are doing (as with the spuds) is buying well in the B league – young players on the up, or those that haven’t fulfilled their potential. Salah a fine example of a great buy. But would he have gone to Klopp on the back of a season like this? I doubt it, his sights would have been higher. Our buying has been more mixed in these areas over recent years. We have just overhauled our transfer team. Will it fix what looks like a weakness? Time will tell, but I don’t see it as all down to Wenger.
And finally then, is our team actually a disaster? As I’ve said periodically, after watching Arsenal for over 40 years now I find the assessments of this team as rubbish quite laughable. Believe me there have been some really poor Arsenal squads! But this isn’t one of them. Its not as good as the northern oilers lets face it. But if thats the benchmark of success then we (and most other supporters) are in for a lot of disappointment in our lives. I don’t think our squads are weaker than Pool or Spuds – though both can play with more panache than us of late, and the latter really look like a team. In fact I think I would rather have ours than either of their squads. The Chavs and manure both have squads that should be better than ours, and probably are, albeit with weaknesses as well.
That all puts us below the top 3 and in the mix of the next 3. Thats just as it is folks. The world has changed since it was just between us and manure. There are now loads of clubs all chasing the best players, several of them able to offer far more cash than we can. The best we can hope for is something along the lines of the spuds – a stable squad of young talent who are coming through together. We have more cash to put in the mix for one or two stars. But stars are a mixed blessing as we are seeing with Sanchez – I would squarely be rid of him, replacement or not.
Our position is a healthy one. Much of that thanks to Wenger. Should we stick with him beyond his time because of that? No. But equally we shouldn’t be unrealistic about being able to match the period that was his prime – with him or anyone else. We’ve been privileged to have had that invincibles squad; their like won’t come around often.
AB good comment and I hope you are well!
I think the scenario of Alexis and Ozil leaving for free AND no top four finish would qualify for criticism, don’t you think? It was a gamble to hold on to both, and it was done so they would get us back into CL, and, if this fails, supporters are entitled to be disappointed?
It is indeed harder to get quality players but that has only become a recent problem for Arsene. I reckon there are now managers who have a better eye for talents/ undiscovered gems.
Gino, writing at sea must give extra clarity. You have gone to the heart of things .. Ozil v Sanchez.
Give me Ozil any day. Sanchez is important because he has dramatic contributions. What he costs the team is just as weighty, but not as dramatic, not as visible. The turnovers, the stray passes, that one twist and turn too many with a colleagues beautiful run gone, the dressing room “wahala”, the strong mercinary vibes that he emits. Sum all these up and it becomes clear why Ozil makes an easily choice.
Contrary to your post (you followed up by doubting your assertion) Ozil’s handicap is that our team is totally not built around him. Ozil roams to find a role for himself in a structure that doesn’t fit his talents. Ozil needs to have plenty of the field in front of him and his recent great form is that he now drops deep from where he initiates his operations. Wenger nearly killed his play when he was asked to add more goals to his game. He is a supplier. Period. What we need more is one or two extra box runners who are also clinical finishers and we will see the Ozil who has won the German player of the year more times than any of his current international mates emerge.
Give me Ozil any day.
AB, no problem at all, I am glad you copied it in.
Hi there TA. I’m ok, mixed fortunes I would say. Life has been complicated this last year and will probably remain so over the coming one. But nothing remarkable for all that. I hope you are well and making the most of being in the best country in the world TA. I’m not talking UK lest there be any doubt!
I think both your points are fair ones. The gamble that has been taken has been to keep Sanchez and Ozil regardless of their loss in value in order to get back into the top 4 (or even challenge for the top spot – how long ago that seems now!). If we lose them and fail then it will have been the wrong judgement. But this is where Wenger is on a hiding to nothing really. Don’t most fans want him to try and keep our best players and get back into the top 4? If he had sold and been in 6th place now, people would be queuing up to say he should have kept them regardless! I guess thats the expectation that comes with an £8m salary and managing a top side. I’ve not given up on either or both top 4 and retaining Ozil, though the odds are lengthening I must admit.
Talent spotting is harder to judge. How much was it Wenger before and how much is it him now? I’m sure he signs all the deals off. But surely he must rely on his networks to a fair degree when it comes to evaluating potential? Whatever the system its true that we have not been up with the best over the last 10 years. Clearly the club have moved to address this with the recruitments team. If they really are only a minor support act when it comes to bringing in talent then things will not improve much. I wish I had an insight into how business actually gets done. The outside impression of wavering and poor planning seems at odds with such big businesses. I feel there must be more to it.
I had assumed that this January would be the usual loads of noise but very little action before Christmas. But maybe I will be found wrong. With Coq already gone, and both Sanchez and Theo quite possibly on the move I suspect at least one significant arrival may be expected. I’m torn about Theo; I think he would still get goals given the game time. But there’s no point him spending the season on the bench at his age, and it really looks like Wenger has moved on from him. Hey ho. Will we have one of these young French wingers in his place in 2 weeks time?
AB, sorry to hear life has been complicated for you at times and may continue to do so. I will respond to your comment tomorrow.
Hey AB, that is an excellent few posts there… And very (very) well written… I’d like to express things as clearly, in fact, rather than being so reactive and polemic… Like TA, I’m sorry that life has presented you with mixed fortunes… I can relate, I hate to say…
For me too, Wenger is not beyond criticism–and I REALLY appreciate folks who say their piece AHEAD of results (as TA did when he saw the team-sheet for our FA Cup debacle)… Blaming so much on the guy just really irks, esp. if I can at least understand (find justification for) his thinking…even when it doesn’t work out results wise. To have each bad outcome result in knee-jerk Wenger–blame posts/comments makes me think of the other meaning of the word (jerk, that is)…
I like our first team as well and think we’re really solid down to about 15 or 16 guys. With 4 or 5 out injured–and others perhaps, as Gino suggests, playing for other reasons–that’s cutting it close, however…And it leaves precious room for competing in these domestic cups, which many Gooners, I think it’s fair to say, seem quite ambivalent about…
Now, however, I’m repeating myself–due to too much posting–from which I should take a break. (See the next post, if TA chooses to put it up. We have a match in just over 12 hours, however, so something more topical–and less personal and philosophical–might be in order instead.)
Anyhow, great posts (or comments) or whatever they are… Always good when you pop round, IMO…
On the current post… Of course, Ozil, and give him top money, the same–or even more than–Wenger gets, as he’s our “on-field manager,” IMO… Comparing the two, I’d just say that there are a thousand ways to show your determination and fight beyond chasing your own giveaways with verve. Alexis’ goals, however, have to count for something, and, as Wenger is saying, he will only sell if they (the goals) and he (Alexis) can be replaced. Team player (with loads of talent to boot) over the guy playing the (more, much more…) individual game? I know what I’d choose…all 8 days of the week…
Am I the only one in the world (apart from Wenger) who knows that Wenger has a joker which he would or would not pull out ie sign his own man on a Bosman!!!!
If Sanchez calls his bluff and refuses to sign to the end and is that important to Wenger why wouldn’t Wenger cut his loss to bid for him on a Bosman.
If Sanchez is truely that important to him, on a Bosman, he is so much cheaper than Lemer and co. Wenger might just be getting ready for a big laugh.
I have no idea what you’re talking about, PE…
Yes, if we offer him a new contract and he prefers it to all others, he would sign it. Is this going to happen? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m guessing… no(!!!!)
There would be no transfer fee (at the end of his contract, on May 31, I believe), just as there will be no transfer fee to any other club…
Short and sweet, I’d keep Ozil, as I think we have a chance of retaining him.
Mesut is a World Cup winner and there’s nothing bigger for him to win.
He also enjoys living in Hampstead.
Alexis wants to win the EPL and CL, so he isn’t going to stay.
Yes HT, on a Bosnian all clubs including us are free to bid for him. Our advantage would be …… no bedding-in time for us and at nearly 30 that bedding-in time is a critical consideration. We will be signing a known and for the others … something of a gamble.
An argument that we have the whole market to choose from for his replacement holds true for the other bidders.City can as well go for Lemer or Malcom or Fikir or Leon Bailey etc
My opinion is that there is a lack of excellent playmakers now. Teams without playmakers often struggle, MU, Real ( ageing playmaker), Liverpool’s attack may struggle from now on. Whereas goal scoring wingers are plentiful, Lemar, Sanchez, ……..
Hence, more important to keep Ozil and rebuild from there.
Kev, if he wins it with City with less than 15 matches left (possibly less than 8 starts) he’s surely not going to be beating his chest.
His game is so much based on agility and you know what tired legs can do to that. Maybe we are milking his last top performance (not exactly top) season.
**Bosman ….. my 03.29 comment
If Wenger is to remain the manager, I would go with Sanchez over Ozil every time. Why? Because when Wenger’s pass-pass-pass-pass attacking strategy fails to create clear cut goal scoring opportunities (which it frequently does), Sanchez, unlike Ozil, is willing to take on the opposition, whether it be via a dribble or long shot, to actual score Arsenal a goal.
If Wenger weren’t the coach, it would depend on the attacking system of the manager and which player was more suitable.
Hi all.. Nice post Gino..
I must agree with Waldo.. I choose Sanchez over Ozil..
But, look like we will lost him soon.. Maybe both.. Go to hell.. Life must goes on..
Better looking for his replacement sooner..
I’m happy enough with Wenger for not buying Lemar.. 90-100M is crazy.. We can bring Zaha and Mahrez both with that.. Both are proven in PL..
I also loved the idea to put Draxler in.. Moreover if Goretzka also coming.. Hehehe..
But I don’t really like the idea to barter Sanchez with Mkitaryan.. I think Mata is better.. Hehehe..
Waldo, it used to be like that with Alexis but he has been found out and his effectiveness has disappeared. Everybody knows he wants to move towards the ‘D’ and unleash a shot… defenders prevent him doing so. It has also been a while since he made the byline and put a good one into the box for his fellow attackers. Yes we like to pass-pass like all other good teams but Alexis is a crap passer and loses us a lot of balls… he is the weakest link. If we play Laca-Giroud upfront with Ozil in the hole or on the right I reckon we start scoring a lot more goals. Perez and a new signing will further bolster our attacking options.
I was also for keeping hold of Ozil and Alexis and yes Wenger was and is in a difficult position re this strategic choice. And yes he gets paid to make the right decision and right now it is not looking too good. I am with you though that there is every chance we will still finish in the top four. We need to go on a good run and it looks like we need new blood to achieve this, so this January TW is an important one (and so is today’s game v Bournemouth).
Re attracting and recruiting talent also fully agreed. We don’t know what is happening behind the scenes – it is a black box for us – so we can only look at the outputs. Too many players have recently been bought to then be loaned out or sold again: players in their prime that should have hit the ground running, like Perez, Gabriel, Debuchy, and to an extent Campbell. (Walcott and) Welbeck should be carrying the team along now but have/has had no impact, and looks like another bad buy now. On the other hand, he also bought Mustafi, Xhaka, Kolanisac and Lacazette who I reckon are v good, typical Arsenal players on whom success can be achieved.
January could become a pivotal month for Arsenal and Arsenel, on and off the field! 😀
TA re both your posts above. I agree, a different format up front should produce more goals. The combination at present (with Sanchez) isn’t working. What combination will is harder to say. But I feel that the Ozil Laca combination should yield goals. And Theo could yet come into the mix.
A top 4 finish would be a good outcome for the end of the year. No question. And how Wenger gets there doesn’t really matter. I’d like to see Jack and Ozil on secure contracts and some promising talent come in. Which of the many wingers we have been linked with is the real deal though?
It’s the defence that’s worrying me really at the moment. We need one of Kos or Nacho back pretty urgently. Both ideally of course. The Jonny Evans links work for me I confess. But how likely they are I’m not so sure. £30 for a 30 year old CB. Not sure. Could give us 4 years perhaps though.
A further observation. If Sanchez does go to manure it will expose the lie about talk of trophies etc; it will be a matter of plain cash. It will make his departure all the less one to mourn for me. He will be another tricky player in a prickly squad. I can’t wait to see it all blow up there.
There is a strong rumour that Alexis is out of the squad for the Bournmouth game.
Well Wenger said he would sell only if he can replace.
Whoever he has to replace Sanchez with has to be a good goal scorer. One of our weak points is not having midfielders who are good goal scorers.
Seems confirmed that he is out of the squad. BBC reporting as such anyway. I’m not bothered whether we have a replacement sorted or not. I’d rather get the panto over with.
I wouldn’t miss Sanchez. I wouldn’t miss a player who has lost possession of the ball more times than any other player in the PL (Whoscored) since his arrival. If only we can recruit rightly our team would improve.
PE if he goes to Man Utd he may not be beating his chest mate, well not this season.
But next season?
I see he’s not in the squad for Bournemouth, so it looks like adios Alexis. 😟
I certainly would miss Sanchez. He is a player who makes things happen and I think I also saw that De Bruyne has similar statistics around losing the ball and he ain’t bad. I haven’t been the biggest fan of Ozil but the past month or so, he has been playing really well and I believe the fans are reacting accordingly. I don’t want to lose either of them, but neither is bigger than the club. If they want to go, let them and get as much as we can.
Only a few players go onto better things when they leave Arsenal
I hear there is a chance that Jack will play at Bournemouth today and wants to be captain. Great news if it true
New Post 🙂
(Seventeenho, only you can decide whether you want to issue that post…