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December 2020
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Arsenal’s squad list in comparison with others; and could Ozil legally walk out?

By Tony Attwood

As you will of course know, and indeed as is rather implied within the name, the “25 man squad” can be made up of 25 players.   No surprises there.

But Arsenal have only 22 players in the squad.  And that’s after we left out Ozil.

The reason of course was that we couldn’t find any more “home grown” players.  Homegrown’ suggests the player must be English – but that is not the case.  Bellerin is a home grown player, having been trained by Arsenal for over three years between the age of 15 and 21.

The maximum number of un-homegrown players aged over 21 that can be registered is 17.   And as a technical aside, a player trained by a Welsh club counts for the purpose of homegrownityness – or whatever the word is.

And so our squad is short of three players…

Arsenal’s Premier League squad: 

  1. Cedric Soares,
  2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,
  3. Willian,
  4. Dani Ceballos,
  5. Gabriel,
  6. Mohamed Elneny,
  7. Sead Kolasinac,
  8. Alexandre Lacazette,
  9. Bernd Leno,
  10. Pablo Mari,
  11. David Luiz,
  12. Shkodran Mustafi,
  13. Thomas Partey,
  14. Nicolas Pepe,
  15. Alex Runarsson,
  16. Kieran Tierney,
  17. Granit Xhaka
  18. Hector Bellerin*,
  19. Calum Chambers*,
  20. Rob Holding*,
  21. Matt Macey*,
  22. Ainsley Maitland-Niles*
  23. Vacant home grown place
  24. Vacant home grown place
  25. Vacant home grown place

Now it is not quite so bad as it might look because lurking in the list of under 21s are a number of players who might well expect to be playing in the first team some time.   I’ve cast the net widely in the list below, as obviously some are much more likely to be part of the squad than others.  But you never know, given a Europa League game at a time when the club has already qualified for the group stages, you could see some of these progressing further, if they haven’t already.

Under 21 hopefuls

  1. Balogun, Folarin Jerry
  2. Bola, Tolaji
  3. Cottrell, Ben
  4. Guendouzi, Matteo (on loan)
  5. John-Jules, Tyreece Romayo
  6. Medley, Zechariah Joshua Henry
  7. Nelson, Reiss
  8. Nketiah, Edward Keddar
  9. Saka, Bukayo
  10. Saliba, William
  11. Smith Rowe, Emile
  12. Willock, Joseph George

So how does Arsenal compare with other clubs?

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In looking at this we have to remember that the target minimum number of home growns is eight. The clubs with the most HGs are in bold

  • Arsenal: Five home grown players
  • Aston Villa: 14 home grown players
  • Brighton and Hove Albion: 12 home grown players
  • Burnley: 18 home grown players
  • Chelsea: Four home grown players
  • Crystal Palace: 15 home grown players
  • Everton: Ten home grown players
  • Fulham: 11 home grown players
  • Leeds United: Six home grown players
  • Leicester City: 12 home grown players
  • Liverpool: Eight home grown players
  • Manchester City: Four home grown players
  • Manchester United: 12 home grown players
  • Newcastle United: 15 home grown players
  • Sheffield United: 17 home grown players
  • Southampton: 15 home grown players
  • Tottenham Hots: Nine home grown players
  • West Bromwich Albion: 20 home grown players
  • West Ham United: 10 home grown players
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four home grown players

So the clubs that have not filled their quota are

  • Arsenal: Five home grown players – three vacancies
  • Chelsea: Four home grown players – four vacancies
  • Leeds United: Six home grown players – two vacancies
  • Manchester City: Four home grown players – four vacancies
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four home grown players – four vacancies

Now because of this issue Ozil has been left out of the squad and of course he still has the same employment rights as anyone else living and working in the UK.  But what has not been discussed by the footballing press much (if at all) largely because they generally all play follow-my-leader in such things, is whether Ozil could claim constructive dismissal.  If so he could resign and join another club.

The argument would be that by leaving him out of the “25” Arsenal have broken an implied term in his contract which says he is employed as a footballer – which implies him playing football.

The law in England has established through previous cases that demotion or other changes in status count as constructive dismissal.   The argument thus is that by not being in the “25” Ozil is not able to compete for a place in the squad and so he has been constructively dismissed.

He could try that in an English court, or, since there is a lot of case law established, with the Court for Arbitration in Sport which clearly shows players can a club can take a player from another club without compensation if the player is omitted from the squad list.

The argument is quite clear: by being removed from the squad list, the contract between Ozil and Arsenal cannot be fulfilled so he can go elsewhere.

Fifa Regulations prohibit a player leaving a club without “just cause”, but also makes it clear that where there is just cause, the player may simply leave.   Article 14 of the Fifa Regs certainly suggest that leaving the player out of the 25 is just cause.

Even if this didn’t work there is one absolute way out for Ozil, which is Fifa’s article 15 which is headed Sporting Just Cause.  This says, any established player can terminate his contract if he has played in (or by implication been a substitute in) under 10% of the competitive matches during a season.

Of course Ozil’s situation with Arsenal is not “over a season” but he could argue that by being omitted from the Squad List and not being used in the latter part of last season is “over a season”. However it may be that it could be argued that Ozil would have to wait until this season has ended.  But he could add the second half of last season with the first half of this.  That would be a matter for the courts.

But it seems more than likely that Ozil does have a claim against Arsenal at this point, using any one of these several approaches.  The only question is, does he mind giving up his salary, just to get a few games of football?

6 comments to Arsenal’s squad list in comparison with others; and could Ozil legally walk out?

  • There will be clauses in his contract that stipulate that his loyalty bonus of 8 million paid last september ( just after he refused to take a paycut ) will have to be paid back to arsenal pro rata. The implication is that it’s in Ozils and his agents interest to stick it out to the very end. Then they can rinse another club who are foolhardy to take this player on on a 3 year contract and mark my words, that club will regret it within 6 months and be stuck with him till he is 35 and we see the game hes played with us start all over again. Never agreed with moaning Moreen but in Ozils case he was absolutely spot on when told him to take a shower and cry to himself when at Madrid and dropped.

  • Pete

    “YaGunnersYa” insults me every time I see it. The Ozil situation makes me uncomfortable. When you earn THAT sort of money, you have a responsibility to deliver. If this was a contract that UK employment law applied to, he could have been pushed out for breach on non-performance grounds:-).

    Ozil does not deliver UNLESS he dictates what, how and when. Did not listen to Emery and not listening to Arteta. He’s a football ballerina primadonna. Real Madrid saw through him and got rid. Only Wenger was left to pamper this ballerinas little tootsies and give him the time off to nurse those toes whilst playing ‘Fortnight’ into the early hours, then missing training next day.

    At the same time he was kissing up the international profile of Erdogan, igniting a national feud with his adopted country Germany, and through his money savvy agent Sorgut, levering Arsenal at their weakest ever moment (in Wenger’s last days and when Sanchez fled a sinking ship).

    Arsene would have faced the proverbial firing squad that season from the fans if we lost Ozil too. And from there, Ozil became the “BOSS” of his own contact, whilst all his stats started to go backwards after he signed. Yes he was beautiful and elegant to watch at his best, but that’s the MINIMUM expected for such an extraordinary financial outlay.

    Imagine being another player in the same dressing room as Ozil earning 3 times what you were earning, but having a different relationship with the boss allowing him to skip training and time off, that you had made sure Wenger gave you.

    You don’t see any Real Madrid manager kissing up Ozil today – only Wenger and his footballing style of the year 2000-2010. It has been surpassed. We’ve moved on and so has the wider game, which also applies to the German national side.

    Today Ozil and his money are clearly being managed out of the club by savvy owners. He says he “loves Arsenal”. Really? imo He only wants his 18m contract paid up. He does not care one iota for the club, its reputation, or us the true life long fans who bleed Arsenal. If he did, he would have accepted he will never play for us again, negotiate to terminate his contract and go and leech somewhere else. He is occupying two spaces on our teamsheet because of his cost. Aouar did not come because the books will not balance with Ozil, Sokratis, Kolasinac all draining out the cashflow.

    In all this, his personal charitable “generosity” as been afforded to him by the magnificent contract Arsenal gave him, YET he again costs the club several millions more expressing his personal politics publicly, about the plight of the unfortunate Eighur muslims, leading to China pulling links with shirts carrying his name and not showing games in which he plays.

    This is fact. He is now costing Arsenal money beyond his obscene salary!!! Play the football you are paid to do. Keep your politics to when you’ve hung up your boots. You cheated the club you claim to love by these personal political actions. Where is your responsibility?

    Mesut Ozil. If you truly love Arsenal, please leave us. We loved your elegance, but that was a long time ago and nowhere near enough for your cost, and like Wenger you’ve overstayed your welcome. and now you are holding us back.

    Now you are destroying any respect we might have left for you. The club that pay you do not want you. You have been found out. When all Arsenal fans absorb this about you, we will be left bitter.

    11.2m twitter followers are yesterday’ s story. Arsenal fans are for life and your followers are as as transient as you are as a player – here today, gone tomorrow. Please let this be Goodbye.

    Arteta is a genius how he is handling you, but please go now so he can concentrate his genius to improve the club you claim to love.

    If you truly love Arsenal, you will recognise by now you must go asap and we will remember you fondly. I’d like that. Please leave now.

  • Menace

    Here we go again Fulhams Kamara gets a red for raking studs on the calf of an opponent.
    Cancelo did worse to Tierney but stayed on with a yellow. Then again with a Walker boot almost down an Arsenal players throat not looked at by VAR what would we expect from the corrupt PGMOL.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In the PL, Us Gooners have come to know that the PGMO’s select elite referees have been very selective and still are in their match refereeing infringement calls when it comes to issuing the yellow or red card to players for any serious infringements that they’ve committed when playing in a match.

    But in the match refereeing eyes of the PGMO referees, what constituted a serious infringement offence committed in a PL game by an Arsenal player warranting he be yellow or red carded will not necessarily warranted another player playing in a match for a different club side get the same treatment as the Arsenal player will get or have gotten for the same kind of infringement committed for the simple reason he’s an Arsenal player that needed to be treated differently from others.

    As a matter of fact, Mesut Ozil the great lover of money to the extent of if it comes to false pretences to get hold of it when opportune, will not walk away from Arsenal.

    Ozil should leave Arsenal when he can still be milking much cash from the club for his shit football that he’s playing for the club? And even if at the expense of disrespecting the club’s orders but still be getting the money that is so huge to forgo?

    Despite he’s now been technically dismissed by Arsenal henceforth from playing his shit football for the club, Ozil would still not move out of the club except if Arsenal forcefully ejected him out of the club for goods.

    Ozil and his Dr Sogut agent think they are smarter than Arsenal and can continue to manipulate club’s hierarchy bosses the way they like to be milking huge money out the club for no services rendered by turning it to their cash cow.

    But let them wait and see. For, Arsenal will suddenly strike on them decisively that will leave Ozil scamper out of habitatating Arsenal. For, Arsenal have given it to him softly. But as he has refused to take it, I am sure when next they’ll give it to him, it will be the hard way. If I were Ozil he shouldn’t wait for it to come to that. But since he’s not me, his greed and deception will not allow him as he’ll say, okay let me see how it’s going to happen to me Ozil the chief manipulator.

  • Steve Vallins

    He could be an over age player for the under 23’s , they would/could learn a lot!!!!

  • Desert Gooner

    What is really going on with the Ozil situation? Are all parties telling the truth? Ozil alluded to being punished by the club for speaking up for the Urghurs (sic) in China and if one recalls at the time he did, Arsenal (EPL) games were not broadcast in China that
    weekend. Arsenal has at least four Chinese sponsors currently, could Ozil’s activism be affecting this arrangement against the background of these companies operating under the rules of the Chinese Communist Party; a diplomatic conundrum indeed. Also, Ozil’s agent seems to egging the Arsenal leadership to speak on the ‘real reasons’ why his client isn’t playing. Could an NDA be in place, who dares speaks breaches this and faces the consequences?……I’m additing 2 + 2 I know, but so much doesn’t smell right with this arrangement. I can’t believe Ozil couldn’t offer at least 20 mins per game with this team, especially with the arrival of Partey who surely has strengthened the team and any formation with four defenders would accommodate Ozil. Am I overreaching?

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