Arsenal on Thursday to posted on their Twitter account a quote by 1st team manager (don’t forget the promotion he was given last summer) Mikel Arteta, lecturing the public to not abuse football players, etc:
💬 "I'm all for people to have their opinions, but not just to be insulting people, abusing people and using a screen on somebody's phone to tell them whatever you want, to a person that you don't even know. That for me has to be eradicated, because it's causing a lot of damage." pic.twitter.com/2Pd7RkkDia
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 4, 2021
Just to make sure we didn’t think they were doing it for shits and giggles, which was my first reaction, note the tweet was accompanied by a heavily photoshopped image of a somber Arteta on a dark background, bathed in pale light as if he was a persecuted soul, struggling against the forces of darkness.
What a lovely attempt at psychological manipulation of the unsuspecting.
Is this the same Arteta, as well as his cohorts and bosses in the Arsenal management, who, after Project Restart last June, victimized and abused Mesut Ozil for not taking a paycut during the Covid lockdown?
Football fans have remarkable short memories, so I am forced to remind those who may have forgotten that after Project Restart Ozil was never selected for another game by the club despite being key in the previous 10 EPL games under Arteta’s regime, never leaving the field with the club behind on the scorecard. When asked by the media Arteta prevaricated and deflected, ultimately implying that Ozil was not selected for football reasons. Concurrently mainstream media was apparently briefed by the club that Ozil was a bad apple in the dressing room, lazy, only willing to play certain games, etc.
However it was communicated to the public, that version of Ozil falling out with both Arteta and the club was deliberately aimed at defaming and discrediting him in the eyes of the Arsenal fans. Predictably he was the subject of the most vile abuse on social media.
Did Arteta or any member of the club hierarchy set the record straight, did they do what was necessary to “eradicate” the abuse and defilement of someone who was by far their most famous player?
Victimization and persecution
In due course, over the past three months in particular, what many of us had suspected, eventually came to light. Ozil and other two other unnamed players were being victimized and persecuted for refusing to take a paycut that Arteta had demanded on behalf of the suits. The German had the “affront” to request guarantees that there would be no redundancies of staff if the players gave up some of their wages. Arteta and his bosses could give no assurances because after bullying the rest of players to take a 12.5% cut the club went ahead and sacked 55 employees including key long-serving scouts as well as Jerry Quay who had served for 15 years as the beloved Gunnersaurus.
This is the same Arteta now painting himself as pained by the damage caused to players. What about staff?
Start of this new EPL season last August, Arteta gave lie to his declaration in December in 2019 that that every player would be given an equal chance under his management. Instead he demonstrated he was fully aligned with the Kroenkes who, since Wenger left, had targeted Ozil for exit from the club. Emery tipped us off that it was a management directive to not select Ozil in his teams. Arteta simply took the policy further by not naming the German to either the Premier League or Europa squads.
Now the club has finally got rid of Ozil after paying off the remaining wages under his contract, rumored to be a mouthwatering £7 million. No wonder the German can play for free for Fenerbache for the remainder of this season.
But it is not only Ozil who is victim of Arteta’s savaging of players who did not bow to his diktat. As my good friend @ShardGooner exposed in his recent blog there has a Game-Of-Thrones like purge by January 31st of any player who expressed any public support of the German. Kolasinac, Sokratis, Willock and AMN have been either let go or loaned, in almost all cases with the club paying most of their wages. Don’t forget in the summer window they already got rid of that French firebrand, Guendouzi, exiled to Hertha Berlin because, it is rumored, he vocally supported Ozil in not agreeing to the paycut.
Is there anything more “damaging” to the “reputation” of these players? But the club has the temerity to have Arteta painted as the one in grief because players are being insulted.
Who are they fooling?
It seems to me many fans are like lemmings walking in lockstep with the manager and his bosses. Since they are so much in thrall with Arteta, please advise him to focus on taking the club out of the mediocrity of mid-table and get us into European football starting with Villa this Saturday.
At the rate they are throwing money around left, right and center, to satisfy Arteta’s massive ego trip, we had better get into the European competitions next year. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this spending spree could end in disaster if we don’t have that extra source of revenue.
Given his recent actions and the challenges ahead in my opinion Arteta is in no position to give us lectures about abuse of players. He had better hope the team that he has built is psychologically resilient to overcome the challenges ahead in the next 17 games. Wolves on Tuesday is just a taste of the many obstacles that any Arsenal team will face as they strive for the upper end of the table.