It is turning out to be a rather disastrous final year at Arsenal for the club’s longest-serving player Mesut Ozil, but this underwhelming ending is a long time in the making.
The decision that Ozil would play no part in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign this season would have been hard for any professional to take, especially the club’s best-paid and longest-serving player who should be in his prime.
And the decision rather shows the writing is on the wall for Ozil, who is also facing being axed from Arsenal’s Premier League squad.
In fact, Arsene Wenger, who signed Ozil back in 2013, experienced the same problems with the player that have cropped up since, including him missing training with illness or mysterious injury.
Unai Emery later took the reins from Wenger but he failed to get the best of him, and ultimately froze him out.
Arteta then took the reins from Emery and made the exact same vow.
But when the same problems cropped up once again, Arteta made the decision to freeze Ozil out once and for all.
The fact that Emery claims the Arsenal dressing room was against Ozil being captain is telling, as it suggests players agreed with the former Gunners boss, and ultimately backed his decision to freeze out the German.
This, coupled with the fact that new boss Arteta has been continually praised for the way in which he has galvanised the Gunners since taking the reins, suggests the dressing room is once again on the manager’s side.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for instance, recently signed a new Arsenal contract, and made it clear he was sticking around because he believes in Arteta’s project.
Having the nerve to freeze out the club’s best-paid and longest serving player is a daunting task for any boss.
But Arteta has managed to do this and retain the support around him, suggesting the dressing room has picked its side in this dispute.