World Cup Dreams, Transfer Nightmares and Other Gossip

Despite events on the pitch, a coked-up parody takes all the headlines. Jan-Aage Fjortoft tweeted that Maradona was the “King of Football” and that he didn’t want him to end up like Elvis. Dead on the toilet after a cheeseburger-induced heart attack? There’s an image you won’t easily shake for the rest of the day.

On the pitch, the conflation of whether Lionel Messi is a ‘world-class player’ and Argentina’s World Cup campaign continues unabated. He is, by the way, and isn’t reliant upon the latter being successful for that definition to his career. To assume Pele’s mantle of the greatest of all-time? That will always be subjective. The greatest Argentinean player? That’s always going to be Alfredo di Stefano.

Nigeria complained that the referee didn’t give a penalty under similar circumstances to the one Iran were awarded against Portugal. While I have sympathy for them, that reasoning is as specious as Panama bemoaning the referee penalised them, grapple fans, after Tunisia got away with murder; almost.

The match afforded the opportunity to see Ever Banega, whose pass created Lionel Messi’s goal. Unai Emery worked with Banega at Valencia and Sevilla so naturally, we’re signing him. Because we need more squad midfielders, don’t we? If we’re brutally honest about the signing, he is going to replace Elneny; he isn’t a replacement for Ramsey, or at least I hope our ambitions are higher than that in those circumstances.

To be honest, I will be surprised if Ramsey doesn’t renew his contract given the initial reports were that Emery fancies building a side around the Welshman. There is more to his situation than that but the flattery won’t do the new coach any harm. If Ramsey was on the cusp of leaving, there would be a lot more noise around him.

Ego’s Here, There, and Everywhere

There wasn’t much else to write home about from the day’s three other matches. France and Denmark served up a turgid ninety minutes to deny Australia a place in the knockout phase. Not that the Socceroos were going to make it anyway; they like the new Aussie philosophy of losing in sport and bearhugged it with all their might. Fair dinkum.

Today, it is Germany’s turn to be the centre of attention. In all honesty, if they lose to Snide Korea, they deserve to be knocked out of the World Cup. From a football perspective, Mexico’s clash with Sweden looks a better prospect.

After that, Brazil face Serbia and Switzerland meet Costa Rica. Arsenal interest in the latter and the hope that a ‘big name’ will fall flat on their face with the former. Messi dropped to his knees and pointed to the heavens last night after Neymar fell to the floor and cried with Brazil’s first three points secured.

What vanity act will they produce if either Brazil or Argentina wins the whole kit and caboodle? Prostrating themselves while team-mates trample over them with sharpened studs? Or committing some act of corporal mortification? Whipping off their shirts to reveal a cilice with the spikes dug deep into their skins so that their countrymen know they shed blood for them?

It’s all becoming as grating as kissing the badge; the meaningless acts of ‘love’ for the team/club/country are so superficial, it’s hard to believe anyone thinks there is anything other than a supreme act of ego involved.

While all this was going on, David Ospina wouldn’t be drawn on his future. Asked about Arsenal signing Bernd Leno, Ospina played with a straight bat and blithered about being a Colombia goalkeeper at the moment and not an Arsenal one.

Gossipy Bits

You know he wanted to shoot back with, “What do you think, halfwit? Am I happy to be the third choice at the club? Take a rough guess, pencilneck”, or whatever it is that they call ‘pencilnecks’ these days.

Elsewhere, Caglar Soyuncu’s Mr20% can talk the hind legs off a donkey so no progress on that deal while Lucas Vazquez will bring his unique talents to the Emirates as Ramsey prefers Lazio’s brand of glorious failure to ours. The transfer window officially opens on Sunday so expect a flurry of activity with Sokratis expected to complete his move PDQ.

’til Tomorrow.

151 thoughts on “World Cup Dreams, Transfer Nightmares and Other Gossip

  1. I will say, part of the problem ia that their FB’s push so high up and when Kroos loses thr ball (which was a reoccuring theme in the WC) in the center of the park with only CB’s behind it, it will always be a disaster waiting to happe .

  2. haha

    this is turning out to be an interesting tournament.

    england playing the best football in the cup and the likes of ze germans getting knocked out in one of the easiest groups in the tournament, picking ozil over sane has cost them massively

    spain, portugal, argentina scraping through by the hairs on their nuts and the brazilians maybe next out.

    great stuff.

    south korea who’d have thunk that?

    big massive smiley face with a wink.

  3. Exactly it was like watching Arsenal do the same thing over and over again without getting results.

  4. Emery should sell Ozil who went out missing as he often does in Arsenal. Get Benega, and get rid off this player which reminds us of Wenger’s failures.

  5. JonJon:
    haha

    this is turning out to be an interesting tournament.

    england playing the best football in the cup and the likes of ze germans getting knocked out in one of the easiest groups in the tournament, pickingozil over sane has cost them massively

    spain, portugal, argentina scraping through by the hairs on their nuts and the brazilians maybe next out.

    great stuff.

    south korea who’d have thunk that?

    big massive smiley face with a wink.

    Agree

  6. Not only Ozil, but his friend Khedira did not do well. Both were slow and lacked any semblance of urgency to get their side going. The German team had a chance without Ozil and Khedira.
    4 years ago Khedira was on Arsenal’s radar as Wenger tried to lure him in, only to discover that Khedira had no desire to do so and he demanded over £200K per week if any PL club wanted him. Podolski tried to convince his friend to make the switch.
    Good that Low was busy with his team, and clubs which wanted him including ours were lucky.

  7. JonJon,

    Two things mate:

    1. I would say Croatia is playing the best futbol

    2. It wasn’t Ozil or Sane…it was Sane or Brandt, plus Sane has been shit for Germany when he has played. Plus, if Hummels(yea I know but 5 yarda out, with loads of space and time no pressure and Ozil literally made it so all you had to do was put it on target and you put it over) Muller and Werner could finish I think people would be singing a completely different song about Ozil.

  8. Its funny all the blame is again being laid at Ozil’s feet but how many of you actually watched the match? He went missing, no, the strikers for Germany went missing…Muller, Werner, Reus, Draxler and Gomez had chances and none of them could hit the ocean standing on the beach let alone finish. The other player that seems to be escaping criticism is Kroos who gave the ball away plenty of times at midfield and sure he scored that goal but he was shit.

    I agree, Goretzka should have startrd for Khederia but laying blame at Ozil for Germany’s failures and saying he went missing in the match today is far wide of the mark.

  9. Well that was an afternoon and a half of football.
    Shocked at how bad Mexico were, after their past 2 performances.
    But lucky for them, Germany was worse.
    Absolutely terrible.
    Kudos to Sweden , who deserved to top the group in the end.
    Onto tonight!

  10. C, Ozi created their only worthwhile chances, but he did look flat and out of options I thought.
    I put some of that on those around him for not creating opportunities though.

  11. I wouldn’t blame Ozil, but on the other hand he didn’t make the difference either once again. Delivers too infrequently to be truly top class.

    And to rub it in I’m with Pete – hope Brazil follow the Germans and take an early exit!

  12. Phil,

    I think ultimately the German wingers and CF were flat and as with Arsenal, the chances will be created but if they are not finished then all the blame is laid at his fert despite Muller now going 10 tournament matches only producing a whopping 1 assist and 0 goals, Kroos giving the ball away loads of time and despite their league form, neither Gomez or Werner being able to finish.

  13. andy1886,

    I might he literally put it on a platter for both Hummels and Werner and neither could finish. I honestly think that its quite lazy to simply pile on Ozil like so many are doing.

  14. c

    sorry pal

    nobody else has scored 6 in one game this tournament – and im not buying into ‘it was only panama’ thing – belgium could only get 3 passed them

    and germany were playing south korea – if ozil can only create 2 chances all game then somethings wrong.
    england would have paggered them 6-1 🙂

    the situation will probably change in the knockouts and the big players will step up and england dont have any, so nature will take its course, but for now england have been the best team and the germans are shite and that makes me smile.

  15. C: https://www.football.london/arsenal-fc/mesut-ozil-world-cup-exit-14800274

    Completely on point but for the Ozil haters there isn’t ever any other player on the pitch, either for Arsenal or for Germany.

    Strikers don’t score? – Ozil didn’t score. Never mind that he laid it out on a red carpet for them. He earns too much money to not win the game on his own.

    Midfielder or winger loses the ball? – why wasn’t Ozil there to tackle and get it back, either side of the pitch or in the middle. He’s just SO fucking lazy………..

    Defender screws it up? – Why didn’t Ozil come and fetch the ball, run with it up the pitch, and score? What shit body language…………………

    If the German keeper were to turn round and throw the ball into his own net some arsewipe would find a way to blame Ozil for it.

    Quite frankly its not worth arguing with people who will move the goalposts around all points on the pitch in bizarre efforts to “prove” some completely ridiculous or irrelevant “point”.

  16. JonJon,

    Sorry mate, 2 of those were penalties from set pieces when the panama player just talked Kane and if memory serves Kane’s goal was a deflection off his heel he knew nothing about and the other was also a deflected goal. I applaud you though.

    Ozil created several chances but his job is to create and he created great chances, they go in he geta praise, they don’t and he gets slaughtered despite Kroos and the rest of that lot being dreadful.

    Your right though, knockout will show the England we all know to be true. Can’t remember if it was you but England’s group was BY far the easiest with Panama and Tunisia in it.

  17. MikeSA,

    Isn’t it funny people say he’s lazy and doesn’t care but for Mexico’s goal he was the one who ran back and tried to make the tackle…then I hear well he got beat without realizing that he is running full speed one way, Lizano cut back…wonder how many can run full tilt then stop and as a player cuts back try and stop him from scoring..

  18. C

    We have talked about this a lot but finishing is exponentially more difficult when the attacking team is playing at a slow tempo and the defense is set up and organized in front of goal. Do you think it’s just a coincidence that for the last couple of years the teams that ozil is supposed to be the creative lynchpin seem to play at a slow tempo. It’s not a coincidence that poor finishing seems to follow Ozil. I have not watched the game today but I don’t think it’s a complete coincidence that the Germans looked a lot like an Arsene Wenger team when Mesut was playing and they looked more dynamic in the game he sat out against Sweden.

  19. I don’t think it’s just bad luck or coincidence that the conversion percentage on passes that ozil gets credited with a chance created are significantly lower then you would expect.

  20. C
    germany are out after two defeats in an easy group , ozil was as bad as anyone else on the pitch yet its not his fault and england have beat someone 6-1 and they were lucky??

    i dont buy into that mate – youre letting your bias get in the way of facts..

  21. Bill,

    Kroos had the most touches in the match for Germany so shouldn’t the dictating of the tempo fall to and on him? Also when you look at the Sweden match they looked dead and they got back in the matcb by litetally throwing everynody forward and Sweden decided to defend for their life. You didn’t watch thr match so you shouldn’t comment, your really shouldn’t. Against Sweden it took a sublime free kick from Kroos and a ball that bounced off Reus to score, based on what your sayong Germany should have scored more as should their strikers with no Ozil right………

    The other thing is, some of the best and most sublime futbol Arsenal has played over these past couple of seasons, Ozil was at the heart of it, whether it was the 3-0 demolition of Chelsea or the FA Cup semi and Final. Honestly, for somebody who haz complained about how bang average as finishers we have in this squad, you should actually be defending Ozil because lets be honest, name another big name club that would have had a strikeforce of Welbeck and Giroud as CF1 and CF2…..

  22. JonJon,

    No, your letting your bias honestly but its all good. I’m accustomed to defending Ozil and Brasil is the side I have always followed and they are on to the knockout.

    So 4 of England’s goals were either by deflection or penalty by a shit Panama side that literally never even tried to attack and I’m being biased….

  23. I’m out….again, Ill leave you with Muller who is a top 5 goal scorer in WC history based on goals scores has only 1 assist and 0 goals in his last 10 tournament appearances and Werner has 1 goal in 2018 for Germany

  24. C

    It will always be someone else’s fault. For the last 2 1/2 years you have been telling me that Mesut is a completely different player when he suits up for Germany but not surprisingly in this World Cup he played exactly the same as he has for Arsenal for the last 2 1/2 years. He is not the same difference making player as he was 4-5 years ago. Germany’s problems are not just Mesut’s fault but he is no longer a player who can provide solutions. Germany’s most of the important difference making players from this decade such as Ozil, Muller, Khedira, Boatang, Hummels, Klose, Gomez etc are no longer making a difference. The squad needed to be freshened up and rebuilt but I don’t think Draxler, Werner, etc are good enough or at least they are not ready yet.

  25. I’m happy to let our Spanish cowboy make the decision on ozil.

    What a great walk Emery has. I’m sure he commutes to work on horse back.

    In the vaquero I trust.

  26. In defence of ozil he did put one on a plate served with a side dish of relish for Hummels. Glad it didn’t get finished though..

  27. Mexico was totally outplayed and they terrible today. I think they play Brazil in the round of 16 and they need to play a lot better if they want to have any hope to advance.

  28. We mustn’t look a gift-horse in the mouth. Germany’s early departure from Russia means that Mesut Ozil ( and any other current German internationals we might be signing!) will have unexpected extra time to prepare for next season.
    With Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Lacazette facing a full season at the Ems and reaping the benefit of Ozil’s playmaking, I can foresee happy times ahead. 😉

  29. I would hope anyone who watched the last 10 minutes of the Germany/South Korea game is now in favor of VAR. Everyone in the world who watched the replays on TV knew that was a good goal and not correcting the call when we have the technology available would have been terrible injustice to everyone involved.

  30. Ozil is going to be blamed fully since he started in both losses and was benched in the only win. I don’t think this is good for Arsenal. I don’t see him responding well and his value will be lower so selling difficult and not remunerative. I think it is quite unfair but that is what I expect the outcome of this incredible humiliation for Germany will be: scapegoating Ozil and questioning his Germanness.

  31. And we did

    Phil:
    Hoping OZil puts a few people back in their place today.
    Judged by his demeanour and lack of overt passion / enthusiasm and not his ability in my view.
    People say he doesn’t step up in the big games. We will see.

  32. Just take a look at this shit on Metro dot co dot uk:

    Headline: “Joachim Low criticises Mesut Ozil after Germany’s World Cup exit”

    Actual comment in response to a question directly about Ozil: “‘It wasn’t only Ozil, a number of other players didn’t perform as they normally would. ‘I take responsibility for that and stand up for that, but I thought it was a good team.”

    Typical fuckwads.

    And now, despite Ozil actually doing his job and putting it on a platter for his team mates, its now apparently his fault and his fault alone that Germany crashed out.

    “Logic? What the fuck’s that when we can climb all over a scape goat without having to think too hard, its just so much easier to blame Ozil for everything”.

    The dishonesty around this disgusts me.

  33. Some perspective from Arseblog:

    “This World Cup has thrown up some surprises, but this was right up there
    with the biggest shocks in tournament history. Joachim Low’s side have been
    poor throughout, no doubt, but to finish bottom of a group behind Sweden,
    Mexico and South Korea is not something anybody expected.

    As ever there was spotlight on Mesut Ozil afterwards, with the German
    manager insisting he wasn’t the only one who played poorly, but it’s become
    de rigueur to criticise the Arsenal man. In some ways it’s understandable,
    he’s one of their stars, one of the most high profile players in the world
    and when his teams don’t do as well as they should he takes some of the
    heat.

    We’ve even seen it with Lionel Messi in this tournament, so nobody’s
    immune, but in the case of Ozil he is in many ways at the mercy of his
    teammates when it comes to the perception of his performance. For example,
    had Matts Hummels headed home the glorious chance that Ozil put on a plate
    for him and Germany had won 1-0 – a result which would have seen them go
    through – he’d be lauded for being the creative force and the man who
    conjured up something just when his team needed it.

    In yesterday’s game he created 7 chances, more than any other player in any
    other game at this World Cup, and yet because nobody finished one or more
    of them, he comes in for criticism. Like most of the German players he has
    been a bit below par, but three generally poor performances by that team –
    one of which he didn’t even play in – tells you the problems they have go
    far, far deeper than Mesut Ozil.

    On the plus side from an Arsenal point of view, he now goes off on
    holidays, gets some rest and recuperation, and will return to us sooner
    than we thought he would. How new boss Unai Emery is planning to harness
    his talent remains to be seen, but you can be sure he’s going to view him
    as a key player in his team.”

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