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This was no way to say goodbye

OPINION: Mesut Ozil quietly left Arsenal on a rainy afternoon - a stark contrast to an arrival that had Gooners dreaming the the club had signed a galactico

21 January, 2021 — By Richard Osley

MESUT Ozil departed Arsenal with one last look at the Emirates Stadium at the weekend.

The saddest thing about his social media farewell – and don’t discount the idea it was all seeking a sympathy vote – was that he had to film it outside the ground on a rainy afternoon. Nobody was there to let him through a back gate to give him a glimpse of the turf where he did more magical things than his critics give him credit for.

What a difference from when he arrived and it felt like Arsenal had signed a galactico.

In the end, Arsenal with Ozil looked a bit like a scratch golfer who excitedly gets themselves the best woods and irons in the world but doesn’t know how to use them properly. So they gather rust in the shed.

SOMETIMES we may daydream about the idea of Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp being as good at being a manager as they were on the pitch.

And that one day, Arsenal will bypass these sticky years and quantum leap forward with a club legend as manager. It would be a disastrous option.

As soon as you hire a hero you run the risk of one day having to give them the heave-ho, if – and when – things go wrong. Imagine having to ask Henry to pack his bags and walk past his own statue on the way out. If Chelsea continue to play the way they are and sign ludicrously expensive players without reward, though, there’s going to be a tough conversation for the club to have with Frank Lampard.

• THEY call it “cancel culture” – when an internet mass pursue their mark for a wrongdoing until they can’t say anything ever again, get work or a mortgage, and agree to live in a cave away from everybody else.

Imagine where Glenn Hoddle would be, if now was then. Sure, he was punished 20 years ago for wild comments about reincarnation and the disabled, and he lost the England manager’s job for them. But it seems to have all been forgotten and sometimes it feels like he’s glued himself to a seat in the commentary box. Everybody deserves a second chance, but still, what did he do in a previous life to warrant coming back as a grandfather clock on The Masked Singer?

RARELY out of work, you might assume that Jose Mourinho isn’t short of cash – but maybe you’d be wrong.

He’s got a second job on top of being Spurs manager, and that’s appearing in adverts for Paddy Power’s mobile phone gambling games.We are asked to believe he’s fluttering away money in a black cab or while he’s pottering around the kitchen.

At a time when the campaign to end the intense promotion of gambling on TV is growing, it doesn’t seem to be his most special of choices.


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