‘When I can’t support on the pitch tonight, I will support in front of the TV in London’: Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil sends message to his team-mates ahead of Europa League opener after being left out of squad
- Mesut Ozil will still be supporting Arsenal after being cut from the squad
- The midfielder won’t be playing a part in the Premier League or Europa League
- He believes his omission may be due to the club’s commercial interests in China
After slamming Arsenal‘s lack of ‘loyalty’ on Wednesday, Mesut Ozil has said he will still be supporting the club in Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna.
Ozil was cut from Arsenal’s Europa League and Premier League squads by manager Mikel Arteta, which prompted the German to lash out against the club.
Mesut Ozil says he will still be supporting Arsenal in the Europa League after a recent outburst
The German midfielder has fallen far down the pecking order under manager Mikel Arteta
The £350,000-a-week star spoke out on social media, saying that he is ‘saddened’ to be left out of the team, and saying that his ‘loyalty and allegiance’ to the club has not been rewarded.
He said his relationship with the supporters remained strong and would continue to fight for the club he ‘loves’ – even though he is unlikely to play any competitive football until at least January, with his contract up next summer.
Ozil is convinced that Arsenal’s commercial interests in China influenced the club’s decision to omit him from their squads.
Ozil said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ to be excluded but vowed to keep fighting for his place
In a message to Arsenal fans, he praised his connection with supporters and insisted that London ‘still feels like home’
Ozil’s inflammatory statement is understood to have been a reference to his infamous Instagram post last December in which he condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province, which despite being quickly disowned by Arsenal still had damaging commercial consequences for the club.
China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, responded by dropping coverage of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester City the following day, while Ozil’s comments were condemned by the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese FA.
He was removed from Chinese editions of the Pro Evolution Soccer video game and his profile was erased from the social media platform Weibo, on which he had four million followers.
Ozil condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province last year
Arsenal retain a significant commercial presence in China, where the club own a restaurant chain and have an official lottery partner and vehicle provider, which has strengthened Ozil’s conviction that he has been singled out.
The £42m signing started Arteta’s first 10 Premier League matches in charge last season, but has not played since May 7 and will now train with the Under 23s after being omitted from Arsenal’s first-team squads. ‘I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice,’ he added.
Ozil said he still loves the club even though he faces no regular action until at least January
On Thursday Ozil sent a pointed birthday message to former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, praising him for being ‘always respectful, fair, and honest.’
Later on Thursday, ahead of Arsenal’s European match, Ozil said he would still be supporting the team, and even predicted a 4-1 win for the Gunners, with Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny, Alexandre Lacazette, and Pepe getting on the score sheet.
He followed it up with a gif of an animated version of himself in an Arsenal kit typing away at a computer, along with the message: ‘Okay then, let’s go Gunners!!!’