Monday, May 20, 2024

Freddie: We’ll deal with Ozil sub reaction

Freddie Ljungberg says he’ll deal with Mesut Ozil in private after the German reacted badly to being substituted off in Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

The German cut a disgruntled figure as he trudged off the pitch just before the hour mark with the cloud coming close to subjecting him to the same treatment dished out to Granit Xhaka in November. Replaced by Emile Smith Rowe, the club’s highest-earner then kicked his gloves to the floor before slumping down on the bench.

It’s not unusual for a player to be annoyed at being taken off and Ljungberg maintains he has no problem with Ozil being angry about the situation.

“He should be annoyed when he comes off,” the Swede told his post-game press conference.

“But I’m the coach at the moment and I made the decision I wanted more energy in the team. We want possession but sometimes we need to run and tackle and win the ball back.

“I think Emile did extremely well in Belgium on Thursday, and I wanted to give him a chance. I think he did well when he came on.”

Facing the Sky Sports cameras, he added: “How he reacts is up to him and we will deal with it later. I’m here on a day-to-day basis but of course we want players in the right way.”

Ljungberg was also asked about the political storm Ozil had kicked up when he took to social media on Friday to castigate fellow Muslims for not doing more to raise awareness of the alleged persecution of the Muslim Uighur minority at the hands of the Chinese government.

Arsenal, who have huge commercial tie-ups in Asia and have toured the region several times in recent years, were quick to distance themselves from the comments via a statement on Chinese social media site Weibo, on which Ozil has over 4 million followers.

“Regarding the comments made by Mesut Ozil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement. The content published is Ozil’s personal opinion. As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.”

That didn’t stop Chinese state broadcaster CCTV pulling a feed of yesterday’s game nor and the Chinese Football Association expressing outrage and disappointment at Ozil’s stance. Some fans in the region filmed themselves burning Ozil shirts. Reporting in The Athletic, Gunnerblog says that the player has even had his fan club banned and “his Chinese internet footprint largely scrubbed out”.

“The China thing, that’s a political discussion so I’ll leave that for the club to deal with,” said Ljungberg when quizzed.

“I think there will be a statement or there has been a statement.”

As the Guardian and many others, including Ken Early of the Irish Times, have pointed out in recent days, Arsenal’s non-political stance seems to be one that seeks to protect commercial interests in China above everything else, which is a disappointing from an organisation that is happy to talk about its values in other contexts.

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I think it’s time mesut’s wages are spent elsewhere. He seems past it to be honest and last night’s performance didn’t help let alone the 10 minute walk he took to get subbed.


Mesut is the perennial petulant kid who takes the ball home if he has to play in goal. And that temperament is part of why he’s such a good footballer.

But he really needs to recognise that when things are going badly, personally and collectively, no one is above being hauled off. You can’t not affect a game of football for 60 mins and get angry about being subbed. That’s not being passionate. That’s just being spoiled.

Olivije Žirod

Who said he was angry only about being subbed. If anything he was mostly angry about his and the team’s performance.


that’s what I saw too. But folks have bought into the narrative, so they’ll react badly when you try to shake their faith.


I think “buying into the narrative” is my least favourite phrase to emerge in the last few years. It’s not only patronising and implies a sort of uninformed brainwashing, it’s not exactly a “narrative” when the player in question has had previous of acting petulantly after being subbed. Might take a look at Baku. And every time Emery subbed him.


It’s the larger narrative. “Ozil is lazy” “He doesn’t Care”, “He’s a waster riding a paycheck” “He’s destroying the club” “He doesn’t care”. Some even go so far as to say he’s single-handedly responsible for the club’s downfall. I’m sorry if it sounds patronizing, but there IS a noticeable amount of programmed mindset coming from groupthink and media narratives. People react with emotion first, and then MAYBE they come back to objectively viewing the situation. In the accelerated digital world, most times they don’t they move on to another knee-jerk emotional response. Look, people are upset with our plight, and… Read more »


I’m sorry this post was just too long to read. I only get my information from provocative headlines in questionably sourced clickbait.


That’s good humor


Ozil’s fluffer springs to his defense yet aging- are you part of his PR team? Serious question…how else to explain your ridiculous defense of the indefensible…

Viju Jacob

And you are here always talking shite.


Puncturing the Ozil love in propagated by the fan boys.


Read up, Mintoes:

Play the ball, not the man.


Oh you’re our moderator now too mpls?! Isn’t there a fkn beavertown state badgers game you should be watching? Leave the Arsenal chat to those who actually follow the team. Now run along, there’s a good lad.


Just a helpful suggestion.

Martin Dufosse

He’s shite. Never has and NEVER will be suitable for our League. It’s to quick and to physical for him.


Oh, Mitoes is at it again? Aren’t you the one that utter the shites like: “(Ozil) has single handedly held us (the Arsenal) back for 5 years straight”?

What kind of blabber are you offering us today boy?

Martin Dufosse

Can’t think of him having one good game in the last two years.????


Liverpool away? First game back under Emery this year.

Martin Dufosse

This player.????. Is stealing 350 large every week.!!!!!

Henry II

I like Ozil I really do and some of his balls/ play has been exceptional and a joy to watch live. However, and unfortunately, Arsenal are not a club who can pay those wages for the inconsistency Ozil brings (whether that is team driven or personal performance). His wage is a poisoned chalice.


Now THAT is a well reasoned argument.

Runcorn Gooner

Just get rid of him at any cost. He has been an underperformer for so long it’s embarrassing.
He is a major reason AFC can’t move on. We need to start again fresh, somehow, and Ozil cannot be a part of it.


Nothing changed yesterday when he left the pitch. FL is too indulgent to his former U23 players. Being blind won’t help the kids and the team. But yes, Özil didn’t have a good game but focusing on him is way to easy. If only he’d be the only problem, then his month outside of the group thanks to UE would have been paradise for Arsenal and it wasn’t.
Btw, he has been involved in almost all our goals since FL has been in charge.


Rubbish. Freddie has no obligation to leave Ozil on the pitch for 90mins if he’s not affecting the team positively.

Our u23 players are the future of the club. Ozil is the past.

Martin Dufosse



Don’t care about his stance on China or Erdogan, care about his football which is his job. It has been bad.


Sell him to a Chinese club. They’ll love him over there I hear.


For god sakes, this is becoming a comedy show. Sick of this Ozil saga, just get rid of him & have this over and done with…

With the amount of negativity around the club now he really had to throw a hissy fit yesterday, didn’t he? Setting a great example to young players….

This is NOT the club we all fell in love with….


Any other player on the pitch and we’d all have a quick comment like Freddie about how “I want him to be angry at being subbed” or “He SHOULD be frustrated with the clubs performance” or we would have a chuckle and move on.


Bollocks we would.

Cliff Thirburn

Cloud reaction? Sort of a Grandpa Simpson thing?


Perpetual dark cloud over the Emirates. Burn Ozil’s contract at the stake and free Arsenal!

Venga Bus

I saw Mesut v Leicester last year at the Emirates. My son and I on a dream trip to the home of the club we love. It was beautiful, 3 1 , and He was amazing ( everyone nearly was that night) as he glided about the turf. That’s the memory I want to keep, not the one I’m seeing now. It’s like the memories of AW are of the latter years more dominantly than the glory years. Time for Ozil to exit before it becomes truly toxic and leave us with the beautiful memories. BTW…… Arteta for me with… Read more »


“Arteta for me with Freddie beside him”
Who says Arteta wants Freddie?
Who says Freddie wants to work alongside Arteta?
To me it looks like we need new coaching staff with new fresh ideas of this dynamic changing game of football, else the football we play will continue to be as static and boring as it is now.


Another example of poor performance, weakness and lack of leadership; poor of Ozil to behave like that at the substitution, weak of the club to put commercial interests above humanitarian issues, and both show the total lack of leadership at Arsenal in general. Wow what a mess we are in.


It is not a political problem, its a humanitarian problem. These are concentration camps!

Via David Ornstein:

“Mesut Ozil chose morals over money & was well aware how China would react. His fan club of 30,000 registered members has been closed, his name scrubbed from the internet. Premier League wrote to Arsenal offering support/advice if needed”.

Wish the club showed a bit more backbone and morals.


Humanitarian? His pal, Erdogan is killing Kurdish Muslims indiscriminately. That doesn’t bother Moral Mesut?


In the Athletic article: “For some, any discussion of Ozil’s politics is clouded by his association with Erdogan. Given the allegations the Turkish president faces, that is understandable but in this instance, Ozil appears to be drawing necessary attention to a significant human rights violation. It is perfectly possible to question his attitude to Erdogan, and sympathise with his views on the Uighur population.”


To be fair, calling something bad is still true, even if yoh don’t say other bad stuff is bad.

He may not have a palatable stance when it comes to Erdogan, but that doesn’t make him wrong to speak out about issues in China.

A Different George

According to the New York Times, China has placed a million Uighurs in camps. A million.

I don’t think the club should be “distancing” itself from Ozil’s condemnation of China’s actions. I am embarrassed enough by “Fly Emirates” and “Visit Rwanda.”


Depressing saying “We aren’t political” while the rest of the world is. I wish I could rise above the problems in my community like that.


On top of this, the club were silent and issued no ‘distancing’ when Bellerin said “F*ck Boris”- clearly a political statement.


This^. They should learn something from Celtic and their support of Palestine that is oppressed by Zionists.


Ozil is being hypocritical, but that doesn’t mean he’s being wrong in this instance!


The club must deal with the Chinese reaction too! Should we make business and money at all cost? Please, dear owners tell us how much money our beloved Arsenal wants to make in relation with the Chinese, Kazakh etc market. And we will be happy to replace that amount just to stand by the true values of the club and feed the mercenary management. And I am not a rich man at all…

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

FIFA have strict rules against political interventions in football. Why would clubs intervene in politics in the name of morals? Arsenal is right on this issue.

A Different George

FIFA has rules against criticising the countries that give them bribes.


What a sad human being this guy is ^


443 Wal marts in China as of 1-19.


Start to dig a little into the political lobbying history and “ethics” of our ownership and things get very very dark for me. It was only a matter of time before the football wouldn’t be able to gloss that over and reality comes to light. I don’t want to assume or imply any political imperative on other Gooners, but for me it is currently problematic and very relevant. I love the club, but the club is owned by people I would not classify as my “tribe” in any way shape or form. Organizationally, I think this plays out in many… Read more »


Chinese TV dropped our game yesterday.
Today Arsenal fans in China are burning their shirts.

Surely there has got to be clauses in our players contracts that allow us to rip up their contract should they do things that cause the club financial harm?.There must be.

Steven Morrow’s Arm Cast

He’s been causing the club financial harm one week at a time this whole season.


yeah man, maybe Arsenal should send players who ‘cause financial harm’ to a concentration camp for hard labour and re-education

Crash Fistfight

How about sending them to a camp that teaches them how to concentrate instead?


Good point aussie – he’s been causing us financial harm for 5 years due to that fkn contract wenger gave him.


I’ve been so devastated by the current happenings at Arsenal FC and the players are not helping things. We need people to take up responsibilities in arresting the downward trend


The way he walked off like “how dare I be subbed” screw facing the fans etc was ridiculous he walked around and did nothing the whole game and wants to get uppity when he’s rightfully subbed. Even his weirdo boyband fanbase have to see the difference between him and KDB. KDB is unanimously the far better player, on a better team with less pressure on him yet he works harder, runs and makes chances for his team and makes a difference. Seriously I just hope this chinese political stuff he’s been tweeting about is a breach of his contract and… Read more »


Happy to sell him, he’s not been good enough for a long time and is far past his best, but no one should be punished for rightly pointing out human right abuses and atrocities.


you’re right but imagine your employee at work was doing no work hadn’t hit a single target for 4 years frequently didn’t turn up for work, off sick any time you have a meeting up north. Then you find out that same guy is getting YOUR company dragged on the internet resulting in a probable huge loss of revenue. As with Lebron James/the NBA vs China. The NBA has already reported losses of 100s of millions due to broadcasting being halted in China because of a similar situation. I understand the moral standpoint but I’m an arsenal fan first and… Read more »


“I understand the moral standpoint but I’m an arsenal fan first and yet again people are overjoyed to back this guy in yet another move which is detrimental to the club.”

i am a human being first, then an arsenal fan.
Ozil was right to speak out about it if he so felt the need.
unfortunately the club needs the mega bucks that china will bring to football in the next 5-10 years.


Well said hustle!


Shout out to the people who spent months telling us that Ozil was the missing link.

Not for the first time, his lack of on-pitch leadership in tough situations was brutally exposed yesterday

Don Berna

I`m done with him. He can bounce


Giving this bloke £350k a week is one of the worst decisions in a long list of bad decisions by this club.


Arsenal football club should always be apolitical. However players on their private social media accounts, should be free to express themselves in any way they want, it’s called free speech, freewill and freedom of expression, and these are things we should never take for granted. The Chinese government removing all trace of Ozil from the Internet, should be a reminder of why we should never have a state run internet, and how important a free media is. Ozil has been on the slide for a very long time, he’s finished at the top level, and we should move him on… Read more »


Yes, yes and yes but i personally don’t know about a football club being apolitical. football is imminent political. And it’s not about having a neo-liberlism economy, trading taxes or the wealth of the upper class. As u said it’s about human right’s violations against minorities. We do justify the oppressive regime in rwanda by having them as sponsors. So we do take a stance and we get money, huh?! Who cared about the “Visit Azerbaidjan” deal from Everton?! Nobody till two english teams had to travel to the region of Karabakh where one of the players coundln’t join coz… Read more »


Well… there goes the “offload him to China” option. Stuck with him until 2021 then.


He probably did the insta thing deliberately to sabotage any option we might have of punting him to China thereby allowing him to continue his one man destruction of Arsenal football club. The guy must really hate us.


Well, I think with that comment you’ve proven my point about not being objective.

Criticize the performances that aren’t worth the pay packet, that’s fair. They aren’t. Criticize the player for taking a political stand you don’t agree with, that’s fair too.

But that’s straight up conspiracy theory and character assassination shit there, man.


Well if Ozil hadn’t held a gun to Arsenal’s head and made them give him that contract we would never be in this situation of him cheating us ever week. I can’t wait until he leaves so I can hate on some else.


Yeah damn straight I’m assassinating his fkn lazy ass character. 90% on here agree Ozil is bad news for Arsenal. Has been for years. Ex players like Liam Brady (any idea who he is mpls? Probably not…), fans from all generations, acknowledged experts in the game etc etc, all agree Ozil is bad news for AFC. And then there’s mpls – lover / stroker of Arsenal team destroyer Mesut. Why is that?


Aside from being habitually abusive, you are making repeated false assumptions. I’ve said many times recently and in the past that Ozil’s not a fit for our team the way it is. I’ve also said clear as day that my point is he’s not SOLELY to blame and some *ahem* are clouded by a single hate mission to make it all about him. But rather than hear that you’ve chosen to lob profanities and homophobic insults, accuse me of some kind of personal erotic fantasy you must have, and claim that I Have some kind of fanboy ‘Ozil can do… Read more »


Lol. Funniest post I’ve read all year. Take a thumbs up oh guardian of the forum. Well played. And I love your 180 on Ozil now after being ripped a new one by 99% on here. And let me offer you one last suggestion in return, apparently Mesut loves getting his balls tickled just before he “plays”…give it a go next time and see if you can make him earn his 350k/wk.


After being ripped a new one? Funny, doesn’t look that way to me. We really do see things differently.

Fine then, resisted until now, but it’s just flagging your offensive posts from here on.



Flag boy, give our regards to mesut next time you’re fluffing his sack. Tell him Mikel’s gonna have a word real soon…the 350k/wk holiday will soon be over.



Personally, Arsenal’s compliance re. Ozil / China leaves a taste that is much worse than the performance yesterday or performances this season. We clearly have no values whatsoever.


Corner-kick merchant (rightly) complains about the Uighur minority treatment in China, meanwhile his best man the Sultan is annihilating the Kurds.


thank. you.


I’m glad that Mesut is raising awareness about state persecution policies in china, but he would do well to reach out to erdogan, whom he knows, and try to raise awareness for what the Turkish armed forces are doing to the kurds at present… just a thought.


Ah, Mesut. I’ve always appreciated him, but, he’s now caught in two minds and not really about the football anymore. Shame. We need solidarity, not loose cannons.


To say the club’s non-political stance is disappointing is disingenuous in my opinion. I can’t imagine a single global corporation or entity that would, at this point, take any stance against China (see the NBA in America, for example).


Ever watched South Park recently?


Actually, I would have kept Ozil on the pitch. He was no more anonymous then Aubameyang. Certainly felt the player we should have hauled off was Pepe. I’ll say the unpopular many prefer to pretend does not exist : Pepe has been thus far a flop for 72m spent. A couple of 10 minute spells in a couple of games thus far where he has been good but otherwise rest of game his off ball work is poor and his attitude wrong. Every time he takes on some one and loses (which is more often than not), he throws his… Read more »


China showing what an oppressive and intolerant country it is by its reaction to comments made by a footballer. Arsenal will no doubt bend as money talks.


Arsenal shouldn’t bend to China but not surprising behavior. We’ve been bending to Ozil last 5 years and look what it’s got us…


Only a month ago Emery was heavily criticised for not playing Ozil. Ha ha ha


This is the trouble with the world. Everybody(most people) “acts” a designated part instead of being who they really are. Everyone is expected to “act” the part scripted by the society they live in. We see this with managers/coaches/players not being able to express displeasure in refs performances without a hefty fine(i suspect this is how FA earns its cash), TV comentators not able to critisise the refs when they make mistakes, in fact they go the other way and tell us it was a correct decision even though they know it was not. The club will(have to) learn from… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Money talks…

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