On German Tears, England Fears While Emery Meets, Greets and Woos


Yes, bring up penalty shootouts, quarter-finals, a half-a-century of abject failure. All I say is “South Korea”, or if I’m feeling particularly expansive, “Korea Republic”. We’ve had Rob Green in goal, fumbling over his own line, but no England goalkeeper thought himself better than an outfield player. Manuel Neuer wore his clown shoes in Kazan and Germany paid the price.

This World Cup is going to take some beating.

Not if you are Mesut Özil. The previously untouchable midfielder as far as the fans were concerned – five Player of the Year awards testifies to his previous popularity – but he copped flak as he walked off the pitch. His mistake was to answer back.

It’s an invidious position; fail as a footballer and plenty are disgruntled with none reticent in making their views known. There’s nothing new in that as far as supporters are concerned; we vent the minute defeat is apparent – previously sixty seconds before kick-off with Arsenal – and players are expected to take it. Why? Why do we expect players to not react when ‘in the office’, we would?

Anyway, Özil copped flak and that brought forth a slew of statistics which proved he had ‘done his job’. Quite how he did his job in a team sport when his team lost, is another matter. It smacked of my theory, which is frankly not startling, but Özil is untouchable. Or uncriticisable.

Criticise him and a bewildering barrage of distances run, passes completed, and how many chances he created, surface. Or now, ‘big’ chances, as if there is something tangible in that and no subjectivity involved in defining that whatsoever.

Anyway, no-one of German birthright scored so were the chances that big?

Rock ‘n’ Roll Star

The usual strawman arguments about defending surfaced when nobody mentioned it as if to deflect attention from the fact that, like all his countrymen, Özil was not very good at all during this World Cup. And he wasn’t, there’s no point arguing with that. He was dropped, sorry, injured for the Sweden game which was previously unthinkable, sorry, very unfortunate in its’ timing.

What does it mean for us? Well, he’ll be back in training a fortnight or so sooner than expected and you’d think, good shape for the new season in August. Unai Emery has a bit of work to do mentally with the midfielder because he isn’t feeling the love at the moment.

And if anything, Unai knows how to work a crowd. At the supporters gig last night, he woke up from Ivan’s droning to tell us that he’s got a wonky table leg. There are plans, Ivan said, to fix that leg with more wood being added during the course of the summer. A Greek redwood for strength, a Turkish sapling for flexibility, with some South American planks added for good measure.

Less jaw-jaw, just more-more signings. Those will be due to Unai Emery’s analysis of the squad, the head honcho declared thus making sure everyone know that it’s a collective effort, but it falls on Unai’s shoulders if we don’t see any improvement.

Sven appeared in a few rock star photos, looking for all intents and purposes like a scruffy hipster, not your average football scout/recruiter. Which is good because we don’t want ‘average’ at Arsenal anymore.

Anyway, we know Ivan’s good with words and my new optimism won’t be dimmed until events on the pitch play out. The transfer business will ramp up in coming weeks, especially with the curtailed English window.

Perfidious Albion

England kick-off later with all sorts of permutations about winning the group and playing for second. So, it’s Brazil in the quarter-finals, France/Argentina in the semi-finals or Spain in the last four; whichever route England take in the competition, it’s tough.

There was a good point in the Guardian podcast: England have at once an inferiority and superiority complex, labelled the ‘English condition’. That it might be and the point was rightly made, we’re hard-wired to think Brazil will win. Except England are unbeaten in four of the last five meetings between the two.

Frankly, I’d fancy our chances against this Brazil; it’s not 1982, not even 2006 they resemble. This is a shadow of a team and the darkness is caused by Neymar. It’s him and ten others, no matter the reputation of those players. Everything is about him to the detriment of the collective.

Socrates, Zico, the Real Ronaldo; they were the stars whose performances lifted the team, but theirs were team performances. Neymar strikes me as more Rivaldo; playing for himself first and foremost, the team can come second.

Not that it matters. England are going to ‘England’ themselves this evening  and lose to Belgium reserves…

’til Tomorrow.

93 thoughts on “On German Tears, England Fears While Emery Meets, Greets and Woos

  1. Guess who with impeccable timing flies out to Germany first thing Monday morning? Meetings with Germans (HaHa!), Dutch (didn’t qualify), Irish (ditto), and the only fly in my ointment will be a Spanish colleague (unless by some unlikely twist of fate Spain lose on Sunday to the hosts). I just hope that England don’t let me own on Monday/Tuesday.

    Regards Mesut, no he’s wasn’t the worst but he didn’t pull up any trees either. When you’re portrayed as some kind of superstar and paid accordingly though you’re expected to have a significant influence on the game and he rarely does. What is or isn’t a ‘chance’ is of course subjective, if you lay off the ball outside the penalty area and the ball is ballooned over the bar then in theory it’s a chance but anyone can do that. He does occasionally put in a great ball but he needs to do more than that to live up to the hype. It will be interesting to see what Emery makes of him after a few matches.

  2. I really don’t understand why people want Ozil to do something he is not wired to do. His special gift is his vision and through balls by passing. It was just bad tactics from the coach. Why play Werner as the top CF when Mario Gomez was available ? But with both of them on the pitch Mario Gomez took a poor shot when he had a glorious opportunity to finish from close range.

    Kimmich and Hector were bombing forward as if they were auxiliary forwards. They often set up playing a high defensive line and they were wasteful with the opportunities they had. The deliveries were good, the finishing was poor. They need to rejig their strategy.

    A lot of folks commented yesterday, breaking the 100 comments barrier when Arsenal did not kick a ball. It shows there was a lot of interest in what Ozil and the German team would do. Like I said yesterday, it is time for Loew to leave the job.

    Ozil defending himself is just the reaction which I think is justified, Messi needed Banega to give him a perfect through ball, Ozil was giving and no one was converting them, so why single him out ? Germany won the Sweden game, because Durmaz had a brain fart in the final moments of the game, or else it would have been a draw.

  3. I predict a 1-1 draw today with both sides trying to outdo each other in the last five minutes with the amount of yellow cards they can each receive!!!

  4. lari03,

    Seriously though, you can’t justify his position purely based on his ability to put in a few good through balls per match, he has to do more. All players have weaknesses, the very best work on them and offer more than a just a single specialist ability. DB10 could pick a pass better than anyone (including MO in my opinion) but he was also tenacious and worked constantly on his finishing.

  5. Gee YW, I was expecting something monumental based on your comment at the end of the last post.

    Quite frankly I was expecting worse.

    Some perspective from Arseblog though:

    “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

    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.”

  6. I agree that Neymar plus 10 won’t be better than England necessarily. He hasn’t been at his best and it negatively has affected the team play of Brazil. But he might be rounding finally into better form and if they play Firmino they will get a more team approach that creates better chances for Neymar, Coutinho and so forth. Jesus doesn’t quite have those qualities. To be honest it really has been Coutinho plus 10. He’s been outstanding and does create for others too.

  7. Honestly, Germany’s problem ALL tournament was the fact that they literally played with only 2 defenders back so teams countered on them for fun. The other thing is, NONE of their attackers could finish.

    My friend Bill said Germany won without Ozil but he forgot that they were shit and it took a SUBLIME goal from Kroos at the end. Again, I’ll avoid loads of time arguing about Ozil but FFS Kroos and whoever the other pivot was were utter shit, Hummels, Mueller were dropped and Germany as a whole were shocking.

    I will say this though, the criticism that I have seen is bordering on absurd including the German politicos

  8. C

    I agree that some of the politicians’ comments are madness but most are from the ‘alt-right’ and a regular occurrence with Germany.

    The thing with Low and his squad is that they all deserve criticism from Low for playing Neuer to Ozil through Kroos, Khedira, Hummels and every other one of the 23. None of them come out without being told they could have played better.

    What’s amazed me is that Ozil is somehow exempt from criticism. He isn’t; no player is in a team sport if your team loses.

    But not Ozil, he gets a free pass because he ‘creates’. The number one reason why Ozil will be forgotten in the mists of time, occasionally remembered, is that he doesn’t score enough. That’s a fact. There’s no point in anyone saying that’s never been his game because it should be. If he scored, he would be remembered as one of the games’ great players. As it is, he’ll be remembered as a man of his time and that’s it.

    Anyway, I thought he had a bad World Cup and it was very much a continuation of his Arsenal form. Maybe it’s down to familiarity with his managers. Wenger and Low were part of the fixtures and fittings for club and country. Now he has to prove his worth again, that might reinvigorate him.

    I’m going to come to this theme before the start of the season, I can see!

  9. As for Neymar, don’t get me started on Neymar. He will never be considered the best player in the world. Now he is a showpony.

  10. Nice one YW.
    Think even Nostradamus would struggle to predict the winner of the Cup. Which I guess is what we all want.

  11. Agree that OZil hasn’t had the Cup he would want. He reflects the entire German team performance.
    No better, no worse.

  12. YW,

    For both players, Ozil and Neymar, you have to question their clubs motives behind their signings. In Neymar’s case did PSG really think that they were signing the next Ballon D’oR winner or did they see it as a ‘Statement’ or a marketing exercise? Modern football is tending too much towards the latter, then the image has to be cultivated to maintain the player’s value to the ‘brand’.

    As for Ozil we all know that originally AW was trying to sign a striker (Higuain and then Suarez). When they cocked that up Ozil was a handy face-saving alternative. Did they really think that he was the final piece of the puzzle, that our mediocre strikers would improve as a result? I doubt it. Then there was the contract renewal earlier this year. Did we offer him a huge salary because he was essential to the team, because he was the player that we could build a title challenging team around? Nope, again we did it to save face after losing Sanchez and numerous other before him. Anyone who believes that was a purely footballing decision is fooling themselves.

  13. Ozil has and always will be a luxury player, a player who when the team is playing well he’s going to grab a goal or assists for fun but when it’s going against you he isn’t going to be much use.

    Germany’s problems were not caused by Ozil, the whole team had no balance, no finisher and Boateng was all over the place. It looked like they believed their own hype and felt they’d win regardless.

    Ozil created the best chances in that last game…had they a finisher and won he’d be getting plaudits for the same performance. I say one more season to see how he copes under Emry

  14. Neymar has the potential to be phenomenal. His problem is he believes his own hype. Ronaldo acts the main man, because he is, he drags teams over the finish line, he is a relentless worker outwith of games in terms of practising and keeping himself in shape.

    I hate to say it, but Neymar needs a Ferguson type manager, someone who’ll sit him down and tell him to stop the 100 step overs, to pass and move and stop the theatrics in terms of demanding he takes freekicks and penalties

    I don’t think there are any managers who can do that these days, if 200million player doesn’t like the manager, they’ll probably get rid of the manager.

    Neymar wouldn’t fit in at Madrid…They’re all superstars but they have all earned the right, Neymar just expects to be number one, Ronaldo and Messi earned it. IMO

  15. I believe YW said it best when it comes to ronaldo vs messi…..you’d pay to watch messi but you want Ronaldo in your team. I wouldn’t even pay to watch Neymar, he doesn’t excite me when i see him because i know he’s going to beat his man, stop and look to beat him again or flick it over their head.

    When Ronaldo or messi beat players for fun, ball usually ends up in back of the net or at the feet of someone who is away to score.

  16. I’ve long held the view that Ozil will only prosper as a legendary playmaker if he has men alongside, with the ability to take advantage of his vision and creativity.
    It may well be that under Unai Emery and with the talents of Aubameyang, Lacazette and Mkhitaryan, Ozil will at last begin to display his undoubted ability.
    As MesutsLeftFoot says above…….give him another season. 😉

  17. Its an obvious straw man argument.

    Tons of absolute crap being heaped on Ozil (“body language” – how the fuck does that equate to a meaningful, measurable, realistic, statistic?), so when the rubbish gets pointed out and shown to be the complete bullshit it is, unable to actually come up with anything logically sound, its now the petulant “oh, he’s beyond criticism”.

    No he isn’t.

    But why should absolute bullshit be accepted?

    Come up with something intelligent and we can all discuss and debate it, but the absolute drivel that’s being spouted deserves to be pissed on with vigour.

  18. Great post yogi.

    I adopted Mexico and England as my favorites when the USA USA USA choked away their chance to play in the tournament and I had been excited about the prospect of Mexico going deep but they terrible yesterday. I think they draw Brazil in the round of 16 and I would love nothing better then to see them do what they did to Germany If El Tri doesnt play better they have no chance to advance.

    I think England will surprise everyone and hopefully win against Belgium today and I am confident they will do well. Gooooo England.

  19. “The stats showed that Ozil did not actually have that bad a game, in fact, he setup seven chances from open play, a record for a single game in the 2018 World Cup.

    The 29-year-old also completed the highest number of successful dribbles and made 94 passed with 85 percent accuracy”

    Did he boss the game?


    Was he below par?

    To a degree.

    Was he responsible for Germany crashing out the world cup?

    No more than any other player in the squad who got on the pitch in any of the 3 games, and probably quite a bit less than several other “names” in the squad.

  20. Disappointed Brazil didn’t crash out last night. This team is a negative shadow of their dazzling teams of the past.

    I recall the ’82 vintage as being some of the best football I ever saw played. Zico, Socrates, Eder, Falcao, Junior…shame they had a garbage centre forward.

  21. He’s been at the club 5 years!

    Is there a club foolish enough in China to take him off our hands? I sincerely hope so.


    As MesutsLeftFoot says above…….give him another season.

  22. Regarding Germany the team we saw in this tournament I think Mesutsleftfoot said it best yesterday when he pointed out that Germany looks amazingly like the last couple seasons of Arsene Wengers Arsenal teams. Their tempo was as slow as molasses in January with lots and lots of useless possession with no penetration or purpose and remarkably disorganized on defense. I am quite sure that Joachim Low didn’t change drastically change his tactics from what he had been doing and I am also sure that Low didn’t suddenly stop coaching them on positioning and organization so I think it comes down to the players just did not execute. The Germans have no one to replace Klose and many of the players difference making players who have carried Germany for most of this decade including Ozil, Muller, Khedira, Boateng, Gomez have moved past their prime and they no longer can make a difference. The things that came easily and worked for them in the past just are not as effective anymore.

  23. For those that wanted to sell Bellerin and thought finding a top quality RB wouldn’t be expensive in todays market, think about this:

    Juve just spent 40m on a RB who is not even in the Portugal WC squad to replace Lichtsteiner….

  24. Regarding Ozil he played exactly the way we have seen him play for the last 2 1/2 seasons for Arsenal which is exactly what you would have expected. At this point in his career he is what he is. A player with tons of skill who struggles to have much positive influence in the majority of games. He looks great against the Faroe Islands when Germany wins 12-0 but in his last 15 games for Germany in the “big tournaments” including the last 2 world cups and euro 2016 he has played 15 games and has 2 goals and 2 assists which just about what we have seen from him in and Arsenal shirt over the last 2 1/2 seasons.

  25. C,

    I’m with you on that one, see how he does under a coach who actually gives a flying fuck about defending and if he doesn’t make the grade fair enough. I think that he’ll flourish though.

  26. Do any of those other players in the Germany squad play for Arsenal? No.

    Were there any other Arsenal player in that squad, I’d have questioned them but our other German who isn’t retired, was not considered good enough for the squad.

    I’d question whether you’ve actually read anything I’ve written Mike because I can tell you that it really does look like you haven’t. Serious, re-read the points I’ve made instead of finding one phrase and fixating on that.

  27. YW,

    Your right, is it coming from the alt-right but still its incredible that even the likes of Bild are endoring it.

    I know personally, I have stated that Ozil didn’t have a good WC and the point I was making is that he was also let down by some absolute shit finishing. My biggest problem is that Ozil seems to be the only person being blamed when in actuality if Hummel or Werner put away the chances they had that Ozil would be applauded for his creativity and the whole of thr German team would be praised for their mental strength.

    I agree with you though, I do think Emery, a new man with new ideas is what is needed. I think the one thing that people forget ia that like with all things in futbol, its rare one person can do everything and different people do different things.

  28. andy1886,

    I absolutely think that he will flourish because he needs to be coached up defensively to be consistent. He was brilliant until last season when he was wildly inconsistent but the potential is there and in abundance

  29. The question isn’t whether or not Ozil deserves criticism, it’s where is the criticism of the other German players, by name. Kroos and Khedira, who were sitting behind Ozil, were nowhere to be seen when Mexico were given free run at Germany’s back two. Mueller contributed nothing to Germany’s effort, but he started two games and played significant minutes in the third. All are big name players, who, I would argue had worse world cups than Ozil.

  30. Germany definitely has s late Wenger feel. That’s a good insight. But is Low the one shouldering the responsibility for the German pundits, fans and media? Not really compared to the disproportionate blame on Ozil. Scapegoating him despite Team failing and coach bring complacent and confused with suspect tactics, selections and motivation. But let’s create a storm over Ozil and his bad influence, attitude, posture, failure to sing the anthem, his dumb meeting with Erdogan over a month ago.

    The far right has become increasingly mainstream in Germany (and not just Germany). To me the reaction in Germany really has some bigotry involved in it. You can’t have a full explanation of what is going on without acknowledging that his ethnicity, religion etc… make him a more vulnerable target in Germany. He’s a star, but that team is chock full of stars. Kroos, Neuer, Muller, Hummels, Boateng, Reus.

  31. NM

    The entire German team was poor and everyone in the squad from the manager on down needs to look in the mirror to find the person responsible for what happened. However on an Arsenal blog we naturally tend to focus on an Arseana player more then the other German players.

  32. I should point out that I am a critic of Ozil on AFC. This is something beyond that going on right now, I think.

  33. Dare I say NM, that certainly the English-based readers are only seeing criticism of Ozil because he is the biggest name in their squad from the Premier League.

    My problem with it all is that you can’t offer an opinion that Ozil has been bad, without a barrage of statistics and bollocks about defending, passing and whatever, coming back at you.

    He’s been bad, Mueller’s been bad, likewise Kroos, Hummels, etc, etc, but I don’t give a rat’s arse about their performances. My concern with Germany is purely how Ozil played. Apparently, he was stellar so I must have been watching a different World Cup.

  34. And it will not benefit the player or Arsenal to have this overreaction taking place, I don’t think. I think it worthwhile to defend the player from unfair scapegoating. Germany was humiliated. Ozil wasn’t great but he is bearing the burden of this national humiliation unduly.

  35. There has been along running debate about ozil on the blog for 2 years. One of the discussion points was the idea that his inability to be consistently influential with Arsenal not his fault and he has been a much different player for Germany and we would see in the World Cup that he is as good as ever. The fact that he has not been any more productive with Germany in recent years then he has been with Arsenal and he looked like the same player with Germany that he has been with Arsenal during this World Cup adds another data point

  36. Poland actually scored a goal and lead 1-0. Germany will certainly be the biggest disappointment of the tournament but Poland was close before today’s game but they get a small bit of redemption if they win

    Wojo lost his spot in goal to Fabianski and Poland are keeping a clean sheet. With Swansea now in the championship may be we should have bought fabianski

    If the scores stay 1-0 in both games then Japan goes thru ahead of Senegal because of fair play points and fewer yellow cards

  37. Limestonegunner,

    Your spot on about his ethnicity playing a part, I mean it was massive before the tournament and continued to play a part when you heard some talk abouy his performance and inclusion.

    Isn’t it funny that Kroos has received absolutely no criticism anywhere…

  38. Its amazing to think that the 2 goals knocked Germany out of the WC were mistakes by Kroos:

    1. Against Mexico he lost the ball in the middle of the park as the deepest midfielder(Xhaka style) that led directly to the counter and goal

    2. Against South Korea yesterday, he tried to play that cheeky back pass in his own 6 yd box that the South Korean player scored on

  39. England win they play Japan, England loses they play Columbia and Southgate makes 7 changes….

    How you England lot feel?

  40. Andy, I quite agree with you everyone has weaknesses. Ozil doesn’t strike me as someone who is going to change his ways. DB10 was an awesome player, and like YW rightly stated, what immortalizes a player is the goals he scores. The conundrum in which we find ourselves and what annoys most people is the 350k weekly salary Ozil receives. Quite frankly that’s a problem which only the Chinese league can proffer a solution to.

  41. Lehman has spoken on Ozil:

    Obviously I saw that (criticism) from a very close distance last year,” Lehmann told talkSPORT.

    “And what comes out is that if you want to play a good World Cup it doesn’t start two or three weeks before the World Cup.

    “It starts actually at the beginning of the season ahead of the World Cup. You need to find your rhythm you need to have a good pre-season.

    You need to practice a lot, you need to participate in training sessions, and unfortunately Mesut has been prone to injury quite a lot.

    “I remember the last three games for Arsenal he couldn’t play and he couldn’t even train.

    “In January and February in the winter he didn’t have a lot of training sessions.

    “And so if a player goes into a tournament like that then it’s always a small disadvantage.”

  42. C:
    Its amazing to think that the 2 goals knocked Germany out of the WC were mistakes by Kroos:

    1.Against Mexico he lost the ball in the middle of the park as the deepest midfielder(Xhaka style) that led directly to the counter and goal

    2. Against South Korea yesterday, he tried to play that cheeky back pass in his own 6 yd box that the South Korean player scored on


    The reason the Germans lost is they were ponderous, slow, unimaginative and totally ineffective on the attacking end and they could not find a way to score in 2 of their 3 games and surprisingly their defense was remarkably disorganized. I think part of the reason they were so poor defensively is despite their huge advantage in technical skill and ball possession they were unable to break down the opposition and they became frustrated and lost focus

  43. Gooooo England. I can’t watch the game in real time so hopefully when I check the score it will be good. It always a mistake to look ahead but I will do it anyway. I think we have an excellent chance to go win against either Japan or Columbia and go thru to the round of 8.

  44. I don’t Joachim Low suddenly became stupid and his tactics have worked well in the past but his players did not execute and he had no answers. I think many of players that he has counted on to be difference makers in the past were no longer able to make a difference.

  45. I think one the biggest reason the Germans finishers struggled was because its exponentially more difficult to finish when your team is playing at a snails pace tempo and the opposition has time to set up and organize in the penalty area.

  46. I think the stat “chances created” is more misleading then helpful. What you call a chance created is highly subjective and if you roll the ball to a player who is 35 yards from goal and he takes a shot that does not get thru the sea of players in the penalty area then that is a “chance created”. I suspect Germans probably were close to leading the tournament in ball possession, passes completed and chances created but we all watched the games and we all know how ineffective they were. The same thing happens when we watch Arsenal play.

  47. It speaks volumes that Welbeck wasn’t deemed good enough to start for England’s B team against a weakened Belgique.

    I hope Emery is taking note.

  48. Just seen the replay of Batshuyai kicking the ball into the net in celebration. Except typically he kicked it against the post straight into his head. Top notch centre-forward play…

  49. For as talented as the Belgian side is, the fact that Chadli and Vermelean continue to be selected just shows how national team futbol can be less about form and appearances for club and more to do with managerial selections.

  50. YW:
    My problem with it all is that you can’t offer an opinion that Ozil has been bad, without a barrage of statistics and bollocks about defending, passing and whatever, coming back at you.

    Yes, it’s so inconvenient and thoughtless when people come up with things like actual facts.

    Quantitative measurements like “doesn’t do enough for me”, and “body language” are so much more meaningful and accurate than ethereal stats like passes, sprints, distance covered, chances created, take ons, tackles, etc.

    Is Ozil perfect or exempt from criticism?

    No, not even close.

    But stupidity deserves to be pissed on.

  51. And on Ozil. I only watched the highlights but ozil was the player creating most id not all of germany’s goal scoring chances.

  52. MikeSA: Yes, it’s so inconvenient and thoughtless when people come up with things like actual facts.

    Quantitative measurements like “doesn’t do enough for me”, and “body language” are so much more meaningful and accurate than ethereal stats like passes, sprints, distance covered, chances created, take ons, tackles, etc.

    Is Ozil perfect or exempt from criticism?

    No, not even close.

    But stupidity deserves to be pissed on.


    You can’t really believe that all of those rather nebulous stats are really more important or telling then what our eyes see and the fact that a player who has that much of the ball in the attacking 1/3 only has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 15 big games for Germany including 2 World Cups and Euro 2016.

  53. Bill,

    Bill, you are aware that eye-witness reports and Identification parades in criminal investigations have been found to be seriously unreliable?

    That’s because people want their perceptions to be confirmed.

    It’s why a jury system in court cases is a very bad idea.

    Whilst 93.8738% of all statistics are made up 🙂 , used in the correct context they are several orders of magnitude more meaningful than the shit people come up with.

    The reason I’m pissing all over the idiocy surrounding Ozil is that it’s become a populist movement, with every halfwit and his dog trying to climb on the bandwagon.

    At this stage it’s nothing more than xenophobic bullying, and to have some little whingers bleating at getting shown up for trying to climb on the band wagon is hilarious.

  54. Bill:
    Senegal misses out on the round of 16 because of yellow card difference. How random is that?

    I was very disappointed at the last African side going out, but it is what it is.

  55. Bill,

    Just a point on Ozil’s salary that everyone likes to harp on.

    When Sol Campbell arrived at Arsenal on a free his weekly wage was way in excess of anyone else because instead of paying a transfer or signing on fee, it was built into his wage.

    If Ozil hadn’t signed a new contract he would have been doing something similar at a new club, so we didn’t really have much of an option, it was lose him and he’d get a large package elsewhere, or build in a signing on fee in the new contract.

    Is it excessive?

    Probably, but harping on about it as his weekly wage is not taking cogniscence of the circumstances.

    The club didn’t have to agree to it and could have just lost him for zilch.

    His agent negotiated a stellar deal for him, which any one of us would have accepted were we in his shoes.

    Ozil does what he’s supposed to do, and does it better than almost any other player on the planet.

    That people look at his wage and want him to do something else is not his or the clubs’ problem.

  56. @Mike (of the Salvation Army),
    Rarely have I read such a bigoted and ignorant comment. You seem unable to compose more than two or three words together without recourse to obscenity.
    Your objection to the jury system suggests to me that you remain a closet supporter of apartheid. Perhaps you would confirm this so that we all know the sort of person you are.

  57. nicky:
    @Mike (of the Salvation Army),
    Rarely have I read such a bigoted and ignorant comment. Youseem unable to compose more than two or three words together withoutrecourse to obscenity.
    Your objection to the jury system suggests to me that you remain a closet supporter of apartheid. Perhaps you would confirm this so that we all know the sort of person you are.

    Wow, there’s a complete leap of utter stupidity.

    It’s always been more than a little obvious that you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, but this is a whole new leap into the idiot void.

    Exactly which comment are you referring to?

    You have no idea whatsoever of what my political leanings are or ever have been, so to come up with an accusation like that is bizarre and strongly indicates that you need serious help.

  58. nicky,


    I’m an apartheid fan because I made the statement that the jury system is flawed?!

    Jesus you really are a complete idiot.

    Are you aware of how many incorrect verdicts have led to wrong convictions based on jury decisions?

    Few people in juries have any idea or are guided by the actual legal principles even when instructed by the presiding officer.

    Two high profile examples of why the jury system is a complete fuckup.

    OJ Simpson – right verdict but for the wrong reasons.

    Louise Woodward – wrong verdict for the wrong reasons.

    Go and educate yourself a little on the law before you make such a patent tit of yourself.

    There a reason why it’s said that if you have the option of choosing between a jury trial or not you pick a jury if you’re guilty but opt to be tried by a judge if you’re innocent.

    Jury trials are not about justice, they’re about salesmanship.

    God you’re thick.

  59. Hooray! At last a comment without an obscenity. Things are looking up!
    The Salvation Army will be pleased.

  60. There are people who’ve been wrongly convicted and executed based on flawed jury understanding of the law.

    There are people sitting on death row right now who are innocent but were put there by incompetent juries.

    And ‘m supposed to be the apartheid supporter!?

    Are you fucking well in the head you fucking moron.

  61. nicky:
    Hooray! At last a comment without an obscenity. Things are looking up!
    The Salvation Army will be pleased.

    I really couldn’t give a flying fuck about your personal preferences, you’re an idiot.

  62. And in case you’re about to question me about my legal knowledge, I’m currently doing my LLM and I already have another master’s degree

  63. nicky:
    Ever heard the phrase “Over-egging the pudding”?
    If so, stop it.

    A life lesson for you: don’t start what you can’t finish.

    Now piss off.

  64. > Ozil does what he’s supposed to do, and does it better than almost any other player on the planet.

    That’s not right otherwise Real Madrid wouldn’t have sold him. And big clubs would have fallen over themselves to tempt him away last year…

  65. YW,

    Real had just bought Bale and needed to recoup some money quickly.

    Ronaldo, amongst others, threw a strop when Ozil was sold.

  66. Real had bought Bale, but were Ozil so integral to their team, he would not have been sold. They had plenty of other saleable assets at the time.

  67. YW,

    If I recall Benzema was another possible sale but they decided to keep him and sell Ozil instead.

    Anyway, I’m hopeful that Emery will judge on performances rather than reputation, so we will see what he makes of Ozil soon enough.

  68. Best blog action in months 🙂

    This new manager of ours is refereshing parts I didn’t even think could be reached!

  69. To be fair, they’ve got a squad full of saleable assets at any given minute. It’s up to them who they jettison. I choose that word carefully too

    Real had bought Bale, but were Ozil so integral to their team, he would not have been sold. They had plenty of other saleable assets at the time.

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