Sunday, May 19, 2024

Henry: Ozil and Sanchez holding Arsenal hostage

Thierry Henry says that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are holding Arsenal hostage when it comes to negotiating their new contracts.

Speaking on Sky this evening, after the Man City game, it was put to the club’s record scorer that Alexis seeking the £400,000 a week he’s been offered from China and Ozil looking for £300,000 (it’s gone up from the £250,000 mark now), mean Arsenal will have to break the bank to keep the star duo.

“Those two players are vital for the future of the club, they have to secure that deal,” he said.

“But to what extent? I don’t know if Arsene is going to want to pay those numbers. But if they don’t sign, who are you going to bring after that? What’s the future?

“At the moment they are holding the club hostage. They are amazing but if they are on that amount of money, I want a hat-trick every week – and also when there’s no game!

“You need to be in a situation where you’ve won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.”

Of course what Chinese clubs are offering and what newspapers report are a) very different things and b) probably not 100% accurate.

Keeping them both is crucial, but there’s no way we’re paying anywhere near those sums. Fellow pundit Graeme Souness, said, “It’s a real watershed moment for Arsenal because if they don’t sign those two players, two players who have proven they can arguably be their two best players, and allow them to leave, going forward, what’s that saying about Arsenal?

“But the dilemma is if you pay them the money they’re after, they’ll all be knocking on the manager’s door saying they want a big increase.

“For Arsenal, as a big football club – and they genuinely are one of the big clubs in world football – they have to make a statement.

“If they allow them two to go, how are they going to attract big players in the future?”

Still, third highest scorer this season Ozil had a bit of a stinker today, so we should be able to knock a few quid off his wages now.

That’s how it works, right?


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Frankly Ozil we can replace.

Just sign on Alexis.


Just like henry, held gunners hostage for a move to barca

gooner of Oz

Then again he scored hatricks when we didnt even play and had achieved a lot for the club.


He’d won us things though


Don’t twist the facts. Henry extended his contract with us the year before he moved to Barca so that Arsenal would get paid a transfer fee rather than moving on a free.

People may not like him as a pundit, but as a player he did everything right by the Arsenal.




Im fairly sure his reasons for leaving Arsenal werent just footballing ones, did he not divorce his then wife at the time, and moved across to Barcelona all at once.


Agree we could change our system so that we don’t use a Ozil type of player. Alexis is hard to replace as he is usually our best player regardless of position he plays. He could also play no10/CAM if Ozil leaves.


Özil is easy to replace if we go to 433, like a lot of winning teams these days. Look at the number of talents in midfield. Heck even in our team either Ramsey, Cazorla, and Xhaka. We must absolutely keep Sanchez though because good strikers and wingers are rare these days.

Bould's Eyeliner

What? Alexis only get’s like 70% of his service from partnership with Ozil. What on earth do you think is going to happen to Sanchez after we sell Ozil? He’ll pack up and leave.

There’s a reason why even CR7 was publicly pissed at Real Madrid when we snapped him up. There’s no Ozil-type player; there are previous legends, and whether Ozil lives up to those expectations is up to him. Sell? Don’t be ridiculous. He’s our real star. Henry had Bergkamp; Sanchez needs Ozil.


Ozil has excellent vision. He can make split second decisions like no one else. The time that ozil takes to make a defence splitting pass from the time he receives the ball is second to none. However, he doesn’t have the close control and ability to dribble and hold on to the ball as some playmakers like David Silva, Coutinho, and Iniesta do. David Silva takes responsibility with the ball while Ozil waits in pockets and tries to play anonymous so he can get the space he needs to make that quick play. Defensively also, all the playmakers in Barcelona… Read more »


I think the idea of selling him comes from the fact that according to reports he is asking a huge weekly wage from the club but doesn’t show too much effort on the pitch. People are not questoning his quality but the amout of money he is worth. He surely hasn’t looked like a player who should be earning 200k+/week this week. You expect Ronaldo/Bale/Messi/Neymar level performances if you are paid 200-300 k /week (well not at united).

The Playmaker

CR7 got over him pretty soon though. He won two Balon d’ors in three seasons after Ozil left.


We can sell OZIL in the summer get a minimum of what we paid for him nothing less than 42m because he’s at his peak but id go up to 200k or evn 220k for Sanchez but not more because he hasnt won us anything yet but he’s a very commited player when he plays and hes a leader and steps up in big games. Ozil on the other hand goes hiding in big games


Let’s hope so, Blogs.

Hopefully we can call in a few favours from Sir Chips and his “contacts”.


“A bit of a stinker” is putting it so so mildly. Based on that performance I wouldn’t give Ozil the lint from my pockets. It was one of the worst performances I have ever seen from anyone wearing an Arsenal shirt. Gervinho and Andre Santos would have done better than that today. Class player but his lack of any kind of work rate was horrific to watch. It’s made worse by the fact that excepting for the spell when we got the goal, We looked completely inferior to City, Like we didnt belong on the same pitch. I want to… Read more »


I think Sanchez deserves every bit of his new contract. He would be exhausted but still giving his all, challenging everything.

Ozil is my favorite player in the world. But if he wants a fat new contract, he will need to show that is willing to work for it. Not just saying “run around a bit” like the lazy pundits, but actually challenge headers, chase people down.

MIke de Jong

What has Ozil done for the Gunners to make him your favourite player in the world? He is so lazy when the team need a bit of effort. He is obviously just waiting for the next transfer, and a huge signing on fee.

Le Jim

I was genuinely disgusted by what I saw. On many occasions, with a City player on the ball about two yards away, he was walking more slowly and more casually than a literal pedestrian.


When you have a manager that claims the last two performances were “good” then I’m not sure what else you can expect from these players.
They need to be told how absolutely piss poor the effort was at times and I’m not convinced we have the manager willing to do that.


Yes it was funny to see, especially when Sanchez runs from one player and passes Ozil along the way, and charges down the next player the ball was passed too.
Amazing!!! And this happened more than once.


I’m glad everyone is now noticing his glaring weaknesses. Things have to be going his way for Ozil to play amazingly. He’s worth extra money but 200,000-300,000 a week. No way. No one is bigger than this club. Alexis at least tries his hardest in every game.


I don’t really blame Ozil today. With the way we set up and played, he was left high and dry. Christ, just look at Sanchez in the second half. Thought he was dead until I spotted him holding hands with big foot 25 minutes in.


I wouldn’t say that because of his weakness, he is no longer worth the contract – that is silly. He’s still our 2nd best player and if we lose him, it would be quite terrible.

Lee Meade

I think Ozil can be traded. Should be traded. The German occupies the position that belongs to Jack Wilshire. Arsenal need to put Jack where he belongs in the middle of their midfield. If Jack needs inspiration for what he needs to do, look to Theo Walcott. Theo has looked a new player with improved fitness and refocused attitude.

Godfrey Twatschloch

Or we can flog Jack to cover the increase in Özil’s wages and get to keep one of the best players in the world.

Poodle time

“You need to be in a situation where you’ve won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.”

Isn’t that the truth.
Was ozil even playing today.


How many assists does Ozil have this season? And how many assists has Wilshere had since 2014? Right.

Mesut O'neill

Not entirely sure what you are getting at Henrik.

Ozil has 2 premier league assists this season, Jack probably has the same, I’m not sure as I haven’t watched any Bournemouth games


Would would people say to playing Ramsey there, when fit, to give Ozil the rest he needs?


my fucking typos — blame sleep deprivation. blame arsenal. blame ozil? nah.


Hmm,speak of other players but not Ramsey. He is another bogus guy who’s just enjoying the clubs money with very little impact coupled with injuries, not to forget slowing down games and firing blanks.this guy isn’t arsenal standard now.may be your having memories of the other old Ramsey.


Ozil was shite to say the least. But does the number of good games he has make up for the few terrible ones he puts in during the season? Noone can be expected to perform consistently super every game. Noone. Would just be nice if he put in a super performance against a quality opponent 🙂 But I much rather he be at Arsenal then a rival 🙂 As for wages…. its a tricky one. If you want to be considered a big club, and compete as a big club, you got to pay big club wages. It shows ambition,… Read more »


When ozil is not at his creative best or scoring goals he’s a liability.

Gooner Marty

So is every player


There’s a reason why Mourinho sub’d him out after 60-70mins in La Liga at Madrid. He drifted out if games and doesnt defend and press the defensive to create something. Love Ozil but he’s a luxury player and plays when he wants.

California Gooner

It’s not that Özil is lazy. I really don’t think he is. But he can mentally drift(and boy did he drift today). His style makes it look like he couldnt be bothered. I don’t expect him to win every game but he has to to display the “want to”.

Jeffers the Francis

It’s a slippery slope either way you go.
Fail to sign them- shows Arsenal are not willing to pay the big bucks to their star players that other big clubs will
Give in to their demands- other players will want increases and they reset the bar for the club wage structure for signing future star players as well
I think we will probably attempt to strike a happy medium with their wage demands…


Give Alexis £250k pw. I think he will take that as a compromise to not retiring early in China.

Ozil can be sold, as long as the sales proceeds go straight into buying a top quality replacement.


I think one of them is expendable and we all know it’s not Sanchez. The thing is if we must break the bank for these players then consistency must be guaranteed n Sanchez has shown that time n again. I know we are no Madrid with no ‘Galacticos’ but we could keep playing hard ball brinksmanship with these contract rebels, with d aim of securing at least another creative world class player b4 shipping out. If man u who’s on thursday night football can boast of 3 to 4 worldclass players – even though our situation n financial status may… Read more »

Mesut O'neill

I’m sorry, who are these 4 world class players at Man Utd that you speak of?

A world class player is someone who is within the top three players in his position. The only player who would even stand a chance at this is David De Gea.


Alexis is worth it, not sure about ozil. He only played well once every 5 matches.


If both want the money. Think chech should be on more. Ozil is a class player say 200 grand or sell him need to flog jack wilshere


Let Alexis go but get lukaku. Let ozil go but Wilshire is in town. Let Wenger go get Allegri or viera whichever. Arsenal needs cleansing or devine intervention

Le Jim

Holy fucking shit. Thank fuck you’re not running the club hahah

Ajmal Siraj

Why would these players go to China? Even if they get fat contract, won’t they lose a lot of commercial/sponsorship money?


What’s the point of signing them up if Wenger is still in charge??
How is that Klopp can turn Lallana into a decent player…but Wenger turns Ozil to shit?


Wen fee doesn’t scold any almunia etc


I mean, Wenger


“They are amazing but if they are on that amount of money, I want a hat-trick every week – and also when there’s no game!” Well Said King.


Well despite Ozil’s poor season they both have the same number of goals. Don’t see how Wenger has turned Ozil into a *bleep* Player. Ozil is just naturally a lazy guy.


If they don’t extend them what next? Wenger has already said to the effect that we are beyond the stage where we would rather sell to recoup some money. Most of the fanbase would also appreciate if the players are held to the extend of their contracts.

But left to their choice on a Bosman, doesn’t it increase the risk that they will sign within the league and strengthen our rivals? This must be a chestnut for the club.


Sell Ozil. Bring back Cesc. At least he’s more of a fighter


I don’t think Ozil is consistent enough to merit such kind of money. He looks out of shape for physical games and doesn’t have appetite for challenges. Sanchez on the other hand shows by example and performance that he is consistent. Personally, I wouldn’t care if Ozil was sold. He can be replaced but players like Sanchez are hard to find.

Matthew Arsenal

I just find it outrageously ironic that Henry of all people is criticizing other Arsenal players for holding the club hostage. The club broke the bank to extend his contract and 9 months after saying he was a Gooner for life, he left for Barcelona and blamed it on the departure of David Dein. Furthermore, he was shit for those 9 months. Terrible body language, complaining about the youngsters who needed veteran leadership, and moping around the pitch. Or just plain injured. Heck, Gallas was a better captain. Yeah, he won trophies, but relatively speaking, he was surrounded by a… Read more »


Fuck em both the greedy pricks.

Lord Beresford Velvet

The amount players are being paid now is fucking obscene. Footballers and managers are so out of touch with the real word it is unbelievable. A player on £250,000 a week earns more in one week than I do in 14 years. I am sorry but you have to draw the line somewhere or what bankrupt the club ? raise ticket prices so much only the rich can afford to go watch ? Is that what football clubs want ?

Sheffield Goon

Totally agree. When I see the poverty around me, those wages are truly obscene. Enough is enough. It won’t be long before even the TV viewer is priced out, having to pay extortionate prices to different TV companies, with no real model of competition in operation. That’s the root of all this. If BT and Sky both showed the same games, THEN we’d have a choice, and they’d have to be competitive in their pricing. As it is now, they know they can charge what they want; we have to pay both if we want to see all AFC games.… Read more »

Alex Cutter

Right. And social/economic parasites like the owners deserve the money more?

Lord Beresford Velvet

Nobody has said that at all, the amount of money in the entire game now is obscene

Sheffield Goon

Indeed, it was a much better game when players played for their clubs, not just for the money, and often for one club for an entire career. They were paid a decent wage for what they did. Fans paid a fair price to see them. Sky made it a better experience at first, but now the game is completely fucked up. The sport I love has been ruined by money. Many people I know, fans of all clubs, don’t even bother any more. Most players are just thick, spoilt wankers who haven’t got a clue about the real world. It… Read more »

Qld reds

We’ve got a Rolls Royce attack with a bargin basement engine.


Our back 4 is solid. Our problem is that by accommodating Ozil we leave a defensive hole in the middle of the park. We play 2 CM against 3 in every big match,


Exactly. We haven’t had the dominating, free flowing football we used to have since we switched to a midfield 2. Even with Santi. To be fair that domination was frequently sterile and we are now more clinical in front of goal, but we need to find a balance. We are just too easy to bully when playing 2 CM. Or bring back the Vieira/Gilberto axis from retirement.


And just like that we’re chasing a cheese wheel down a hill

Alexis, Atom & Humber

The bubble is going to burst soon, very soon. If football in general don’t get its shit together. We say city bankers are on “mega” wages and they are earning 100k to 200k a YEAR. Yet for footballers 250K a WEEK isn’t enough. Dear footballers, remember this, we the fans are the ONLY reason you can even get paid close to this, and with these performances, it will get to a point where we won’t foot the bill anymore. When world economies are struggling and the common man is working his ass off just to get by. And then we… Read more »


Ozil is one of my favorite arsenal players, but I don’t think he’s worth receiving such wages yet. Also, unlike Alexis I think Arsenal can do with Ozil and that’s a fact. Arsenal’s issue had never been in the attacking midfield but in the striking and defensive positions

Ex-Priest Tobin

I’d just like to remind everyone that I’ve been saying for years that Wenger should be out and Ozil is overrated and getting downvoted to shit for it. Ozil is one of the biggest wastes of cash I’ve ever seen in an Arsenal shirt and it’s crazy how some have been praising even his average performances as if he is some god-sent genius.

Puff Puff

I agree 100%.I mean some fans claim he is better than Zidane!Ffs he is hardly the best no.10 in the world not to mention the league.I mean Kdb,Silva,Coutinho,Mata,Isco,Iniesta are all better


No need to bring Bergkamp into this….


Maybe if arsenal had a squad like manc or Chelsea we would simply leave özil on the bench for a difficult away game.. Just not the kind of game he’s good at.


How did society let 300,000 pound a week be the going rate for a top footballer? And to see some of them going on Children in Need asking us to “give as much as we can”. If they gave a portion of their wealth, there wouldn’t be a need to ask us. It’s disgraceful how much money is being asked for.


I don’t mind us breaking the bank to keep sanchez, cause he earned every pound that he makes. Ozil on the other hand is very underwhelming this season, apart from the occasional game or two that he turns up for. Tbh i don’t think he even deserves to be in the starting eleven, considering how poorly he has been playing for the past few games or so.


A good deal for us will be to keep Sanchez at all cost and then sell Ozil now. Don’t see Ozil playing 90 minutes every match in a serious club

Chris kijjambu

I think we should re-call Wilshire to push ozil on the sub’s…
Otherwise ozil does not deserve a pay rise for now..

Yorkshire Gunner

Ozil has a poor game as playmaker in a team that spent all of the second half parked at the edge of its box and we now have to sell him whilst last week we were lauding him. The fickleness of the modern fan and so typical of the scapegoat culture we live in.

Aditya Swarup

It is not scapegoat culture but his lack of helping other teammates out. He goes missing in physical games. He is not some vanity player who can sit like a queen up top waiting for others to win the ball back and then passing it to him. Did you watch Everton’s 2nd goal and how he chickened out from competing for the header. I can very well do with an average player that tries hard rather than a good player who gives no shit until someone gives him the ball. If you dissect the performances from all the physical games… Read more »

Yorkshire Gunner

He is what he is and always has been. The team should be set up in a way that allows him to do what he does best but through either lack of personnel or poor tactics, we seem unable to do it.

What f..ks me off after a defeat like this is how everyone from fans to media defaults to the same old narrative (Ozil is lazy, Arsenal are weak)rather than an actual analysis of what is going wrong.

I don’t discount that they could be right!


I think you understand what you’re saying right. Shape up according to a player who already plays in a free number 10 role with full freedom and team is already in a shape that gives him full freedom. What I don’t understand is your lame sentence, he is what he is. Really, a lazy player who ambles around and can’t challenge for a single ball. It is amazing how you can justify Ozil’s performance and brand the people who are criticizing him part of scapegoating culture and fickle. I think you need more time to comprehend a team game called… Read more »

Yorkshire Gunner

For Ozil read Hoddle, Waddle, Le Tissier et al. We have an inate suspicion of flair players in this country unless they “run around a bit” and “get stuck in” He wasn’t good yesterday but bar Sanchez who was? I simply don’t get the vitriol plied on him personally.


He is effective in the no10 role when we meet a deep defence with two banks of 4 when he can move in between the lines. In big matches he gets surrounded with their DM’s in the middle of the pitch and can’t do his tricks. He doesn’t defend either so he just sdisappears. Even the Germany national team plays him on the wing.


Ozil and Sanchez are demanding very big wages so as to sign new contracts. Fine,but is it really worthwhile for the two?ozil is really a talented footballer more so with the ball at his left foot.I also appreciate what he’s put in.however, I doubt his work rate.this guy doesn’t put in his all.just look at situations when we lose balls.he has no ball recovery plan in him.where people are running about,he’s walking about.he’s even more annoying with the way he gets lost in big and physical games.As in the case of Sanchez, even the blind can may even think… Read more »


All this talk about the amount football players earn , have a look at what the top American sports players earn. The clubs are very wealthy due to TV revenue, if you want to compete at the top you need to pay top wages , anyone suggesting we shouldn’t do that should not moan when we continue to finish 3rd or 4th in the league.
We should pay the pair what they want and go out and get another one ot two players the same in my opinion.

Lord Beresford Velvet

Yes and let’s bankrupt the club and make tickets so expensive nobody bar the rich can afford to go watch as well


I think the money these greedy fuckers are on already is disgusting. Footballers shouldn’t be being paid this much as it is. If they want to leave to further their greed I say let them go. Fuck it, I’ve had enough of reading about these overpaid twats getting more in a week than I’m likely to earn in the rest of my life.


To say that Sanchez and Özil lack a class act behind them is just ignorant bullshit.

Sanchez should be offered a contract of 200-250 a week while Özil should be offloaded. He’s a fantastic baller on his day but not what the team needs. Both Mourinho (sub in around 65 min) and Ancelotti (offloaded him) where ruthless. Wenger needs to be the same


Is anyone else in the PL on 300,000 or 400,000 / week? If not, we shouldn’t be expected to give that kind of money. They can go. “You need to be in a situation where you’ve won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.” That is spot on.

Godfrey Twatschloch

I believe Ibrahimovic is on 250 which is pretty good for a 35 year old but he did come to them for free.

Lord Beresford Velvet

What makes me really fucking laugh is the old “they need to earn as much as possible because they have a short career” bullshit !
A year at 250k a week is 13 million before tax. That would set you up very comfortably for the rest of your life, never needing to work again. Just 1 years work on that salary so that excuse is bollocks …
Money has ruined football


Sell them both, we have youngsters that are waiting in the wings.

Naija Fan

It will be nice to see the club and players settle for a WIN WIN package. May be, increment should be based on performance, just thinking. For a player to demand a exceptional pay beyond club policy, such players should also be willing to give exceptional performances. Again, application of resources is also important, if Wenger don’t maximize the the potential of the players we can’t put all blame on the players. That is why a player will do so well in a club and badly in another. it is important to know where and how to play them. For… Read more »


Keep alexis and ozil out and bring back Cesc

Blitz Bailey

I liked Özil better when he was a playmaker and creator, But Wenger in all his wisdom wanted him to be more of a second striker and goalgetter instead and it has hurt his game in my opinion. Sure he scores abit more often but he is also alot less influental on the game. What is Wenger’s problem with him just playing the classic number 10 role? It is what he excels at and where he is among the worlds best. As a second striker there are many better players in the world than Özil, But as the number 10… Read more »


Traditionally number 10 has always been the second striker.


Couldn’t agree more, since Arsene expects him to be another goalscorer it’s completely messed him up. He’s a natural playmaker and now he seems to be forcing his game to score goals, which changes his positioning and his effectiveness. Also how can he make anything happen when we don’t have the ball and there’s absolutely no movement ahead of him? We didn’t buy him as a centre back or winger, and Arsene told him he would build a team to suit him. It would seem that Wenger lied.


Quite simply Arsenal will work out a maximum wage they can afford to keep these players vs the cost of having to replace them. Atm Alexis wud be pretty damn hard to find a comparable replacement for, Ozil much less so,in fact I think we cuold probably find an upgrade if we really wanted or simply change the team system and use a different type of player..even Giroud and Alexis as a forward pair

James' giant peaches

Fuck ozil, if he can’t jump for a header he can fuck off.

Godfrey Twatschloch

Such big words about Özil from a lot of people here. Let’s just let him go then. See what happens when we bring back Jack “ooh me ankle” Wilshire and Aaron “trigger happy” Ramsey to fill his slot.

Shall we?


Özil and Sanchez has brought 2 FA-cups and a 2nd place, that’s about it. Is that good enough ROI for silly chines money? Not according to me. Make Sanchez an offer somewhere near the EPL top earners and let Özil find a new employer if he think the grass is greener somewhere else. Arsenal will still continue to qualify for CL without him.

Godfrey Twatschloch

The team is underachieving so let’s sell our two best players.


That Random Gooner

Özil is only preforming when he gets what he wants, unlike Alexis who always try his best no matter what position he plays. If Özil is still going to act like this, then buy Julian Draxler instead and sell Özil. But Alexis? Asking for 400,000 a week is a bit too much right now. If he keeps his good preformance and we win the league, then give Alexis what ever he wants.

Rahaman Afolabi

Honestly, it showed that the contract saga really affected the performances of the players, especially, Ozil. Sanchez will always show courage going forward but Ozil dropped terribly low.
Sanchez should be handed a new deal, Ozil needs to up his game for bumper wage. We need agility plus physicality in the team. Our players must wake again. The boss is trying to play safe,we must just be optimistic. Sanchez should be tied here. Thank you.


What really annoys me about this, and it was the same with Vieira, Henry and RVP, is that they complain about wanting the club to “match their ambition”, but then dither about signing lucrative contract increases. The effort and money required to pin these players down could be spent bolstering the ranks with the kind of players that match their “ambition” if they weren’t so selfish and milked by agents.

Pardews Peaches and Plum Emporium

Takes a hostage taker to know a hostage taker I guess. Phenomenal player but sitting with the 2 Jamie’s seems to have rubbed off on ol’ Thierry and he’s turning into quite the hypocrite.

On another note, if you want £300k player then you need to play like a £300k a week player. I understand the frustration exhibited by Alexis but if he wants £300k plus then he can just suck it up and keep gesturing for the full 90 minutes.


Don’t lowball them but also don’t support paying them exorbitant wages. My major concern is not playing personnel, we’ve seen that change over the years. More interested in a managerial change.

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