Former Arsenal defender Mathew Upson has said that Gunners boss Unai Emery took a bold step to bench Mesut Ozil for the weekend Premier League triumph at Bournemouth. The north London side were expecting a tough trip to the South Coast on Sunday and in order to curb the attacking threat, Emery went with a 3-4-3 formation which worked with good effect.
However, with that setup, it meant that one of the attackers had to be dropped and the Spaniard revealed after the game that Ozil was excluded from the starting XI as he would not have been able to match to the physical demands on the day. In a report by The Star, Upson happened to praise Emery for the decision but also suggested that the manager has provided a big statement by doing so.
Germany international Manuel Neuer has admitted that Bayern Munich were not switched off during the first half of the league clash against Hertha Berlin which cost them dearly in the form of a 2-0 defeat. The German champions were pegged back in midweek where they played out a surprise 1-1 draw against Augsburg at home and another winless game has meant that they have relinquished their advantage at the top.
Speaking after the game, Neuer said: “We were not 100 per cent present in the first half. The issue of missing opportunities remains a big one – this was the case again [against Hertha]. We were optimistic at half-time that we could still turn it around. In the Champions League everything is possible because we won the first game [against Benfica]. We are all professional enough and know what football is like.”
Germany international Thomas Muller has stressed that racism has never been an issue with the national side and Mesut Ozil’s retirement has been influenced by the coverage from the media. Ozil received plenty of criticism before the World Cup after he took a picture with Turkish president Recep Erdogan and he was thereafter made the scapegoat for the country’s poor showing in Russia.
Speaking to reporters, Muller said: “The whole discussion was fired up by outsiders. Of course, the protagonists of that matter acted a little bit unfortunately, both the executives of the DFB and the players. But, actually, this debate is hypocritical from the media’s side. Because of the debate, the media gets circulation. The DFB wanted to have peace with it, calm it, but the media always asked, again and again. The discussion was made bigger than it was and now you see what you get from that.So now we finally should end that debate and concentrate on football, because racism inside the national team never was an issue.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stressed that he had never thought about the possibility of become the Germany head coach. The 51-year-old had been recently linked with the national team role after their poor showing at the 2018 World Cup but the German Football Federation have since kept their faith on long-standing manager Joachim Loew.
Speaking to German outlet Bild, Klopp indicated that the Germany role was never on his mind and he is content with his position with Liverpool. He added that keeping Loew at the helm of Germany was the right decision made despite the poor performance at the recent World Cup, he said: “
Honestly, I have never thought about it. I am happy at Liverpool — everything else we shall see.I was relaxed as I expected it. I think it is absolutely the right decision.”
Huddersfield Town have confirmed the signing of Erik Durm from Borussia Dortmund for an undisclosed fee. The 26-year-old failed to make a single competitive appearance for the Bundesliga outfit last term due to injuries but he has nevertheless got the opportunity to head to the Premier League under former Dortmund reserves coach David Wagner.
“It is not every day that you can bring a player of the quality of Erik to your club. He is a World Cup winner and has played at the very highest level, so this is a fantastic day for Huddersfield Town. Obviously I know Erik well from our time together at Dortmund and he has all the qualities to be a great success in our ‘Terriers Identity.’ He is a smart, determined character too. He’s desperate to play and that is always a good thing for any head coach,” Wagner told the club’s official website.
Germany head coach Joachim Loew has stressed the team is not going to ‘break apart’ following the shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico on Sunday. The defeat was Germany’s first in their opening World Cup since 1982 but Loew insists there is ‘ample opportunity’ for the reigning champions to get back on track.
Speaking after the game, he said: “We didn’t play well today… It can happen, you have to accept it. And we will not just break apart now and become completely headless and do something completely different… we have a clear structure and we will continue to look forward, there is no need to break up and panic simply because we lost a match. We will not change our gameplan. If we play out our ideas then we have players who are able to deliver.”
German head coach Joachim Loew admitted that it was a difficult decision to exclude Sandro Wagner from his provisional squad for the summer World Cup. The Bayern Munich striker has been one of the top performing German strikers in recent years but Loew decided to omit in place of uncapped Nils Petersen from Freiburg.
Speaking to reporters, Loew stressed that he had to look upon the welfare of the team and he took the responsibility of informing the key players who were excluded from the World Cup squad. He said:“My job as national manager is unfortunately also to shatter dreams and make hard decisions. It is never against a player, but always in the interests of the team. Sandro showed his class when he was with us. He played for us with full commitment and he has a very, very good character. In the end, minor factors were decisive.”
Atletico Madrid manager has highlighted the need to curb the threat coming from Mesut Ozil if they are to come victorious against Arsenal in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final. The Spanish outfit scored a valuable away goal in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates last week but Simeone has not written off the Gunners from making a strong response.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “Our line is to think about Arsenal. They are a very direct team. They have many players between the lines, who float in a difficult place to score. They have a lot of speed in the last third. Ozil is the most dangerous player they have, because of his creativity and vision of the game.” Continue reading
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised the qualities of Mesut Ozil following the Gunners’ 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow in the Europa League quarter-final first-leg. The north London side produced a dominant first-half performance with four goals scored, and Ozil played an influential role with three assists.
Speaking after the game, Wenger spoke positively about the German saying: “Ozil enjoys and I hope you enjoy. You see a great football player. When you love football, that’s what you want to see. We scored some great goals in the first half and at half-time the target was not to concede anymore and, if possible, add another one.We did the first part of the job in the second half but not the second part of the job. We have to go there with that right focus and try to win the game”.
Germany international Emre Can has said that he is grateful to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has transformed him into a regular for club and country. The 24-year-old had struggled to win over the fans during his initial years at Anfield, but the confidence placed on him by Klopp has done wonders to improve his overall game.
Speaking in an interview with German television show Sport 1, Can explained that he has no regrets of leaving Bayern Munich as a youngster, and admits he has developed a lot under the guidance of Klopp, he said: “Why did I leave Bayern? I was very young and I needed to play. I spoke frankly with Guardiola and he explained that he could not guarantee continuity, which is why I chose Leverkusen. At Liverpool, I’ve developed a lot under Jurgen Klopp. I am very grateful to him, and it is a lot of fun to work with him. I want to become a world-class player. Maybe once in the world selection. That would be great.” Continue reading