In the wake of the news that Mesut Ozil has refused a request by Arsenal to take a 12.5% pay cut because of the financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, former Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, has weighed in on the debate.
Both broadcaster, Piers Morgan, and pundit Ally McCoist had already had their say on Ozil’s stance with the former suggesting he was sickened by it – reported by Metro – and McCoist putting the blame on Ozil’s team-mates in a talkSPORT rant detailed by CaughtOffside.
Carragher has hinted that he believed the player’s agent and his words of a few weeks ago set the tone, and that Ozil has scored a massive PR own goal with his attitude at a time when Arsenal clearly require their senior players to step up.
“I think his agent did him no favours when he came out and spoke three or four weeks ago,” Carragher said on Sky Sports, cited by Metro.
“[…] I think the highest paid member of the dressing room, the biggest name in that dressing room should be the one who almost sets the example really. It hasn’t been a great PR success story since he had that contract really so this has been a massive PR own goal.”
It’s unknown at this stage whether Ozil’s stance will have affected his position at the club, though it seems clear that by making a stand and going against the majority of his team-mates, he’s unlikely to be the most popular figure in the dressing room or among supporters once football returns to some kind of normality.