Ray Parlour defends Mesut Ozil and criticises lack of Arsenal leadership

Mesut Ozil has refused to take a 12.5% pay cut at Arsenal
Mesut Ozil has refused to take a 12.5% pay cut at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour admits he feels sympathy for Mesut Ozil after the club’s highest earner was outed as one of three players who refused to take a pay cut.

In an attempt to offset the financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic Arsenal chiefs requested that the players accept a 12.5% reduction but guaranteed any losses would be fully repaid should the team secure Champions League qualification.

Ozil, however, refused the initial proposal, although he could yet agree to take a bigger cut, but Parlour feels the World Cup winner, who earns £350,000-a-week, has been hung out to dry.

He told talkSPORT: ‘He’s on 350k-a-week but I look it as Arsenal’s mistake to give him the money. You’re never going to turn it down, that shouldn’t come into it really.

‘I do believe if there is three or four players then they should all be named. Why’s it only Mesut Ozil who has been named? You should know every single player.’

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inherited the Arsenal captaincy from Granit Xhaka last December and Parlour fears Ozil’s decision being made public serves to highlight a critical lack of leadership in the current dressing room.

He added: ‘It shows the leadership issues again. In my era Tony Adams was captain, he would’ve gone around every single player and we would have all agreed together what we were going to do.

‘We either all do it or we don’t. It shows the lack of leadership. Even with Patrick Vieira it would have been the same. There wouldn’t be meetings with managers or anyone like that, it would have been down to the players.

‘Patrick would have been on the phone or a zoom meeting and said this is the plan, this is what the club want to do what is the feedback? It’s negative news which they don’t need right now.’

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