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31st Mar 2016

Poor translation may be to blame for Mesut Ozil’s extremely harsh Arsenal comments

Lost in translation

Patrick McCarry

Mesut Ozil has put his hands up and admitted Arsenal have not been good enough.

The German assist lord gave an interview with Spox when back home on international duty.

During the wide-ranging chat with the German website, Ozil stressed his commitment to Arsenal, professed an appreciation for Zinedine Zidane and insisted he did not mind playing the holding role in Jogi Low’s national side.

Ozil was also frank about how Arsenal have allowed the Premier League title slip from their grasp.


The Gunners looked set to claim their first league title in 12 years when they defeated Leicester City 1-0 but they hit a rut soon after. It now looks likely that Leicester and Tottenham will fight it out for league glory.

Asked about Arsenal’s travails, Ozil said [translated from German]:

“Looking at our season, you have to honestly admit we only have ourselves to blame. Recently, we have not performed as well as we can against the so-called smaller teams. When that happens in the Premier League, you pay the price.

“Nevertheless, we are still in with a chance. We have to hope Leicester and Tottenham slip up and take advantage.”

Many English outlets are running with a slightly cruder version with this line in particular lambasting Arsenal’s shortcomings:

“Looking at our season so far, we have to be honest and admit that we screwed up ourselves.”

‘Screwed up’ is the phrase that is spreading across social media tonight. Some have taken exception with the translation but this is the phrase you will no doubt read and hear about in the coming days.

Whatever way you look at [or translate] it, not many would argue with either version of the quote.

In fact, many Gunners would go further than that, and use more expletives.