Ray Parlour slams Arsenal leadership in passionate defence of Mesut Ozil

Ray Parlour has leapt to the defence of Mesut Ozil and criticised the lack of leadership at Arsenal amid the recent disagreement regarding player pay cuts.

Ozil is one of three Arsenal stars to decide against taking a deduction in their salary despite the rest of the squad agreeing to the club's request.

Arsenal proposed each player give up 12.5 per cent of their weekly wage to help the club ride the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

As the club's top earner, Ozil has become chief scapegoat for criticism, but former Gunner Parlour feels the German midfielder has been unnecessarily targeted.

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

"I do believe if there are 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."

Arsenal remain hopeful of agreeing terms with the other two unknown contract rebels, which would leave Ozil as the sole outcast.

Ozil could yet follow suit further down the line, but he wanted to know the full financial impact before making a decision.

Sky pundit Gary Neville has been vocally critical of Ozil and co., and said: "The principle of not being together as a group is indefensible. You’re a team on and off the pitch.

"I wouldn’t like to be one of the three who hasn’t agreed. It will alienate and isolate them from the rest. When a group of players are voting on something, you go along with it."

And Parlour has pointed to the wider issue of leadership at the club, following on from the problems with former captain Granit Xhaka earlier this season, who has since been replaced in the role by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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