Tag Archives: Mesut Özil

9 went, just ONE remains

EIGHT  Arsenal players were selected to go to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This increased to 9 once Arsenal announced a pre-contract agreement with Stephan Lichtsteiner. Of the 9, just one remains.

First to be knocked out was Mohamed Elneny’s Egypt.

With Mohamed Salah still crying over hurting his shoulder, Egypt finished bottom of their group as one of only 2 sides to fail to get a point – the other being Panama.

Alex Iwobi’s Nigeria still the hearts of millions with their popular kit, and would probably consider themselves unlucky to have been knocked out in the group stages.

In one of the toughest groups alongside Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, they were looking like going through at Argentina’s expense until an 86th minute goal by Marcus Rojo destroyed the hopes of a nation; and at the same time the behaviour of Diego Maradona shaming a nation.

The coked up drug treat showing that he was not becoming classy with age by making offensive hand gestures towards Nigeria fans at the final whistle. And getting paid by FIFA to do so.

Mesut Ozil took the brunt of the blame for Germany’s group stage exit. The strong criticsm feels like it has a nasty undertone as Ozil was certainly not amongst the worst players for his national side.

Ozil is a little bit different. A Muslim of Turkish heritage. Whilst the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich escaped criticism, Ozil became a figure of hate within Germany. However Germany’s early exit could benefit Arsenal as there is talk that he could now retire from playing for his country.

Joel Campbell’s Costa Rica finished bottom of a tough group that contained Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. He set up a goal and one a penalty in their final game, but he and his country failed to hit the high notes that they did 4 years ago.

Spain would have been delighted with their last 16 knock out game tie against lowest ranked (and hosts) Russia. They lost on penalties, sending Nacho Monreal home. The Spaniard has basically had a 2 weeks holiday in Russia as he failed to play a game.

Another surprising result, although not as severe, was Switzerland losing 1-0 to Sweden sending home Granit Xhaka and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

In the final game of the last 16, England knocked out Colombia on penalties.

Keeper David Ospina could have been the hero, saving from Jordan Henderson. But two missed penalties from Colombia and then Ospina’s weak wrists saw the South American side get knocked out, upsetting that coke head Maradona.

England and Welbeck were through, Colombia out.

With pre-season training already beginning, Arsenal have a strong 16 players already back at London Colney preparing for the new season.

The early exits by some  means that the likes of Mesut Ozil could well return for the first game of the season against Manchester City.

Is the ideal final England v Uruguay? 0-0 when Lucas Torreira breaks Harry Kanes face, Welbeck comes on, scores, England win 1-0.

It’s coming home guys, it’s coming home.

Keenos

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Mesut Ozil and Arsenal to profit from German failure

I want Arsenal players to perform well for their countries.

It is always England first, but once my nationalism is gone when they are knocked out, I go to supporting the Arsenal players.

Winning a World Cup or continental championship can make a player return different. More confident. A feeling of superiority. Knowing they are a winner.

Mesut Ozil’s Germany have been knocked out of the group stages of the World Cup. And how I have laughed.

Alongside Scotland, Ireland and Argentina, they will always be the enemy – we English have a lot of enemies don’t we? I also forgot about Australia; but they are more like an annoying little brother.

I expect Ozil to get the brunt of criticism for Germany’s early exit.

In Germany, he is treated the same way Raheem Sterling is in England. Criticised for everything. No matter if it is justifiable.

We saw the with Lothar Matthaus’ comments after the first game what some people think of him in the media in Germany. His comments most certainly had a nasty undertone. A hidden agenda.

Despite being one of the better players on the field in their first game – the 2-0 defeat to Mexico; Ozil found himself scapegoat. Dropped.

Whilst Germany won the second game against Sweden, they missed Ozil’s creativity. It was only through a stoppage time free kick that they avoided being knocked out in the second game.

Ozil returned for the third game against South Korea and was again Germany’s talisman.

And yet he will be criticised.

Criticised for a languid style, criticised for not being super passionate, and ultimately, criticised for being different.

Meanwhile the likes of Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Manuel Neuer continually escape criticism.

It is not Ozil’s fault that the likes of Muller, Timo Werner and and Mario Gomez have had awful World Cup’s. Unable to hit a barn door.

Ozil can only do so much. Like with Mats Hummels headed chance, he can create a clear goal scoring opportunity but it is not his fault of it is a donkey in the end of it.

It was similar at Arsenal.

How often would Ozil float a brilliant ball over the top, or play a perfect through ball, only for Danny Welbeck or Olivier Giroud to mess up the finish?

Germany actually reminded me a lot of Arsenal in this tournament.

Full backs that bomb forward and do not care about defending. A midfield which offers no protection. And strikers who do not look like scoring.

I wonder what we would now be thinking if Joachim Lowe was set to replace Arsene Wenger at the club.

Ozil needs striker to finish off his good work. Dennis Bergkamp would have struggled behind these German strikers.

The different this coming season for Arsenal is we have invested in the strikers.

Alexandre Lacazette looked a much better player in the second half of last season, and as for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it starts to get exciting.

The amount of chances Ozil creates is incredible. Continually in the top 2 or 3 in the Premier League. Next season we will have a truly World Class striker finishing off those chances.

Ozil and Aubameyang are going to be a lethal pairing. Two incredible talents and masters at what they do. They will feed off each other. Make each other even better.

Disappointment for Ozil and Germany is good news for Arsenal.

It means Ozil will be back to pre-season training earlier, and will be fit and firing to start the first game of the season.

Mesut Ozil and Henrik Mkhitaryan sitting behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette.

This season we have the men to create the chances and to finish them off.

Keenos

Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil & England

Granit Xhaka

This morning we wake to news that Granit Xhaka could be in line for punishment after his goal celebration against Serbia.

The Swiss international made the sign of the Albanian Eagle when scoring in the World Cup.

For those that do not know, Swiss born Xhaka’s parents fled war-torn Yugoslavia before Xhaka was born. His father was a political prisoner for 3-and-a-half years

Xhaka Sr’s crime had been to take part in demonstrations against the communist central government in Belgrade.

Xherdan Shaqira, born in Kosovo, also made the same sign when he scored his goal.

Reports are that both men face a two match ban for making a “political symbol” but what a load of tosh.

They are proud of their Albanian / Kosovan heritage, and made a hand sign in support of Albania, in support of their parents. If the Albanian Eagle is a political symbol, then so is every national flag.

It is a symbol of their country. Like the English rose or Scottish thistle.

Would it be different if they were playing for Albania? Making the hand sign when they scored? Probably not.

FIFA have to understand that in a multi-cultural game where players often have duel-nationality or duel-loyalties.

Xhaka is a proud Swissman. He is also a proud Albanian.

If they are banned, will FIFA also ban Muslim players who pray after scoring a goal?

Mesut Ozil

So Mesut Ozil was made scapegoat after Germany’s defeat against Mexico and was dropped to the bench for the game against Sweden.

Ozil in Germany is a bit like Raheem Sterling in England.

He gets a lot of negative press, much of it unjustified, just because he is a little different to many of his team mates.

He is often labelled as “Muslim” and “Turkish” and criticised for not being passionate to play for the country.

This is a player who has 91 caps for his country and was their best player at the last World Cup.

Whilst he gets a lot of criticism, Thomas Muller escapes all criticism. It is not hard to work out the difference between the two.

Germany struggled to create in their 2-1 victory over Sweden. The same defensive frailties they showed against Mexico were on display last night. Ozil can not be to blame for Germany being poor defensively.

England

Struggled to get into the World Cup, but the buzz returned when Germany nearly went out yesterday. Add in Argentina’s struggles and it has been a horrendous tournament for the Old Enemies.

I am a proud Englishman. Whether it be cricket, rugby or lawn bowls, I will support England.

However the national football team I have always struggled with. Like many I struggle to cheer on Harry Kane and Dele Alli, or Gary Neville and John Terry. But I will cheer on England.

I was out in Lille when England were in France in 2016. We drank the city dry. It is up there with the best of Arsenal Euro-always.

So at 13:00, I will be in my garden, BBQ on, beer in hand, backing the boys.

C’mon England.

Keenos