Mesut Özil. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

Mesut Özil. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

The man who delivered VG Tips members so much profit with goal assists in his first season at Arsenal, has answered his critics in Germany and now faces a new English football season determined to prove the doubters wrong, especially those at the Emirates Stadium.

He has quit the national team following their shock early exit from the World Cup in Russia. Özil has been on the receiving end of criticism from all quarters. He confronted those who run the game in Germany when announcing his retirement from International football.

Amid a very long series of tweets, Özil said: “Like many people, my ancestry traces back to more than one country. Whilst I grew up in Germany, my family background has its roots firmly based in Turkey. I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish. During my childhood, my mother taught me to always be respectful and to never forget where I came from, and these are still values that I think about to this day.

“I know that I am a footballer who has played in arguably the three toughest leagues in the world. I’ve been fortunate to receive great support from my teammates and coaching staff whilst playing in the Bundesliga, La Liga and the Premier League. And in addition, throughout my career, I’ve learnt to deal with the media.

“A lot of people talk about my performances – many applaud and many criticise. If a newspaper or pundit finds fault in a game I play in, then I can accept this – I’m not a perfect footballer and this often motivates me to work and train harder. But what I can’t accept, are German media outlets repeatedly blaming my dual-heritage and a simple picture for a bad World Cup on behalf of an entire squad.”

mesut ozil may captain arsenal this season

Mesut  in reflective mood ahead of new season

“Arguably the issue that has frustrated me the most over the past couple of months has been the mistreatment from the DFB, and in particular the OPE President Reinhard Grindel. After my picture with President Erdogan l was asked by Joachim Low to cut short my holiday and go to Berlin and give a joint statement to end all the talk and set the record straight.

Since the end of the World Cup, Grindel has come under much pressure regarding his decisions before the tournament started, and rightly so. Recently, he has publicly said I should once again explain my actions and puts me at fault for the poor team results in Russia, despite telling me it was over in Berlin. I will no longer stand for being a scapegoat for his incompetence and inability to do his job properly.

“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.

“I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect. I used to wear the German shirt with such pride and excitement, but now I don‘t. Racism should never, ever be accepted.”


Well said, Mesut.

So what now for a player I watched often when he was at Real Madrid? Both there and at Arsenal I have come to the reluctant conclusion that 

That was why I told subscribers to VG Tips to back him for assists during his first season with the Gunners. A tip that paid off handsomely for myself and those VG Tips members who were around at the time.

There can be no doubting Mesut 

“There was also this man with the quiet voice, the possessive approach and the wise words that showed me that he really wanted me. Arsene Wenger gave me a much better feeling that Carlo Ancelotti did at Real. I realised I did not have the faith from the coach or the bosses.

“I chose, although it was not easy for me at the beginning, a number which I had in my mobile phone since 2010. ‘”Mr Wenger’,” I said. I promised to contact you first if there was the possibility I would look for another club. Now I am here.”

mesut Öziltravels on the london tube

Going underground. Mesut Özil

“I am a player who needs this faith and that is what I have felt from Arsenal.”

Now Arsene Wenger has left the building, time will tell if the London loving 

I can well understand why Arsenal fans get frustrated with a player who sometimes vanishes during matches. I watched Real Madrid games in which he was on the pitch but you hardly knew it. I have also seen Mesut 

Mesut Özil captained Arsenal v PSG in Singapore

Özil captains Arsenal to a pre-season victory

In trying to sum up Mesut 

I paraphrase Churchill thus: “I cannot forecast to you the action of (Mesut A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.”


The transfer window closes August 9th. My pre-season predictions for ups and downs in English football will be mailed to members immediately after.

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