No Arsene – No Ozil – No Party

880277151-frank_gallagher___shameless_by_bezerkartwerk-d6kpv0xI wonder if Arsene Wenger is between little bit rock and a hard place?

Re-signing for two years is unlikely to cut it with Ozil – or potential new signings. A two year extension could potentially have a paralysing effect on our short-term team-building activities.

But the man himself may not want more than two years.

He may have doubts regarding fan reception to the news of an extended extension. He may be weary of the near existential crisis that occurs everytime we drop a point or three.

The toxicity of a small minority can not be ignored; what they lack in size or credibility in the eyes of most, they more than make up for with noise – not least in ways  highlighted in this comment from Eddy in the comments section from yesterday’s blog:

The thing is, can we really blame the media, journos and pundits etc, when a whole host of people who claim to love Arsenal are running blogs and twitter accounts dedicated to attacking all things Arsenal, everything from the major shareholders, the board, the manager, the coaches, the scouts, the fitness and medical people, the players, even our youth players, for God’s sake even our ladies team, everything the club does is dismissed at best and attacked at worst.  These people have put their 15 minutes of fame ahead of the thing they claim to love.

The fact [is] complete and utter scumbags can get fame by being caricature fans on AFTV, and be made legit by the main stream media who interview them, or reprint their views in major publications.

Some have been very smart about it, they spotted that one of the biggest and most successful Arsenal sites for years was Arsenal News Review (ANR), and it’s run by a Chelsea fan, who [has] seen by the success of his book about Arsene Wenger, that Arsenal fans were there to be exploited and make him money, and like Pyles Malmer, the others have seen ways to make money out of it. Some,  like AFTV and some blogs, have been making money from sponsorship and the clicks.  Others have got jobs with the bigger media outlets. bLeGrove is the bench mark for how negativity sells, and many Arsenal blogs abandoned their even-handed outlook and went negative to try and get a piece of it, and others appeared on the scene trying to get their bit too. We even have one blog that only ever publishes a new article after a bad result, they do not have a single word to say when we play well and have a good win.

And let’s not forget the likes of the AST (when was the last time they had a good word to say about the club) and other so called supporters’ groups that have been set up with the sole purpose of attacking the club – BSM are one that springs to mind.

Not to mention the outfit that use a bit of Twitter fame to sell Arsenal related goods,
whilst not forgetting that RedAction, a group that was set up to improve support, abandoned any semblance of credibility when they actually supported the A4 protest last season.

So can we blame the media for its agenda against Arsenal?”

The idiot minority have made themselves the story in the eyes of an entirely mercenary and opportunistic media. That alone could be incredibly draining for anyone, even if they are allowed – even encouraged – to ignore it.

The delays to Ozil’s contract are a concern and Arsene’s apparent indecision is surprising in as far as he’s the last person who would allow the club to be damaged by his own actions.

The delays to Ozil’s contract may not just be about whether Arsene re-signs.

It could also be about who follows Arsene if he does not.

Equally, it could all be sorted one week after the end of the season.

But short of winning the PL or the CL, would Arsene himself feel the team had done enough to justify a 3+ years contract extension?

The WOB’s noisy little campaign has the potential to scyth down the club’s short and medium-term prospects with a devastating example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Yes, we’ve been made aware of Ozil’s doubts.

But how many others like Ozil are waiting on current outcomes. How many would happily jump ship to escape one of the PL’s most odious fanbases. Sure, it’s a minority of trolls making a racket but the failure of the majority of fans to effectively shout them down suggests complicity.

What was that saying about all it takes for evil to prevail …?

And how many players at one time or another have been the subject of vile abuse from ‘supporters? It’s by no means a short list, is it?

I’d suggest these are perilous moments for the club and we may now be at an ominous fork in the road. I’d also suggest we – the fans and the club – have much more to lose than Mr Wenger.

Not least because, as I believe someone may have already pointed out.

No Arsene, no party.

Stolen from Arsenal Andrew by lazy old me – George.

39 comments on “No Arsene – No Ozil – No Party

  1. i have a strong suspicion that whatever negativity exists in our fanbase is primarily created by the media
    legrove and similar cesspools would not have existed if some dimwit journo had not picked Wenger as the enemy of english football back in 1990s
    a lot of time has passed but they are still very upset that they were wrong

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mockery of journalists after the 2002 PL when Arsene said that he aimed to go through a whole season unbeaten ……….

    In 2003 when we did not meet that standard the press roared and guffawed, whooped and high fived at the daft Frenchman

    Well they were quiet about it in 2004.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Not a perfect correlation, but the loudest critics are almost always those who speak with the greatest sense of certainty; for that reason, I think the second part of what Ozil said is probably more hateful to them than him supporting and aligning his future with Wenger.

    That simple truth that they- we, journalists, ex-players, pundits, bloggers- do not have access to the full story and, accordingly, cannot speak with certainty on most subjects is a devastating one.

    I expect quite a few of us are familiar with rambling on a bit about what we believe could be happening, and then correcting ourselves by admitting we, naturally, don’t know certain details and that these details are crucial. The effect is normally a big ‘but what the f*** do I know?’ Humbling, in short. Or, if you lack humour about your lot, disempowering.

    For all the talk this will generate this week, I expect there’ll be a remarkable shortage of the most critical addressing that point of Ozil’s.

    They can’t,really. It would be too mad to directly deny the truth that there is so much they have no access to, and how much those unknowns matter. So they’ll have to just ignore it entirely. But, no mistake, it’s a hurtful point, and I’m sure it must register unpleasantly. They’ll seek vengeance for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Quite brave of Ozil, but whatever his motives, glad he has come out with this.
    It is possible it is not an ultimatum..ie Wenger doesnt sign, neither does Ozil, but, that as pointed out, he may be equally concerned as to who would follow wenger. I for one would share that concern, based on the recent experience of a club with far more resources than us, based on neighbours who had to go through a whole host of muppets to land the half decent manager they now appear to have in place (even if he encourages cheating).

    Guess Ozil will now get accused of having no pashun….and….after all , exactly what has he ever achieved in the game?

    Liked by 5 people

  5. yes mandy, all Ozil might be saying is “I love playing under Wenger, ideally I want him to stay as manager, but if he is not staying I want to know, before I commit my future to Arsenal, what the plan is for replacing him, will it be an attacking coach, will it be an experienced coach, will it be someone who will give me as important a role as I have under Wenger.”. The last thing Ozil might want is someone as inexperienced as Howe, or as dull as Simeone. Surely anyone of us would be considering who our boss will be, before we sign a contract.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Same in any Job, Manager or Boss you get on with leaves and can’t take you with him, you wait and see who comes in or moves within then decide what you are going to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i’m of the opinion that ozil is just not happy with the way wenger is just being treated by the media and some of the fan base. even some try to use the fact that alexis and ozil havent sign to mean that they arent happy with the manager. i expect alexis to come out with his support for the manager soon.
    what the media know and probably dont like to admit is that wenger is probably the most respected manager in the world. not just for his achievement or his years of service to arsenal but his integrity and loyalty to his players and his employers.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Storm in a teacup – AW will make up his mind what he wants to do as will Stan and the board, and so will Ozil.

    And they will take those decisions far away from the public gaze and unaffected by any opinions or advice that people seem absolutely determined that they must, just must have.

    And when they have reached their respective decisions, shaken hands (or not) and conversations and negotiations are complete I am certain they will let us know.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. You have my hat in the air over this.
    Fighting talk!

    ‘No Pasaran’ while PA still blogs!!
    Top Top stuff eddy, Andrew and George.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. It appears French Hearthrob and par- time world class footballer,
    Oliver Giroud has signed a new contract with Arsenal.

    Nobody has mentioned wages at all.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. if true DC, then it just shows the state our club is in.

    and by state, I mean, just how in rude health it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. the whole fake outrage that the Ozil comments has led to, especially from those malcontents that are very quik to proclaim “players and managers come and go, and my support and love for Arsenal will continue”, once again begs the question off them,

    what exact bits of Arsenal do you support?

    cos we know they pick and choose which players to support, the openly don’t support our manager, or those that run the club, so what is left, what do they actually support,

    Its Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC, that we love and support, but is Arsene not part of Arsenal FC,
    can you actually support the badge or shirt, if you don’t actually support all the players wearing it. So what part of Arsenal is it that they “love” and “support”.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. some of them seem suspiciously close to supporting parts of Arsenal that stray increasingly in the direction of N17 at the moment

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Swansea City v Arsenal
    Referee: Mike Jones
    Assistants: R West, M Scholes
    Fourth official: O Langford


  15. Jonesy?!?

    don’t panic

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ESPN reporting that Zelalem is nearing a move to Dortmund for a nominal fee.

    Jenkinson is said to be in talks with 4 BPL clubs about a transfer too.


  17. AA,

    Your remark at 5:26 could, would, and should apply to me, as it is a bit painful to admit it, but I do not understand what all the consternation is about. I am admittedly tall, but the whole thing seems to have gone over my head. Doh.

    Just to clarify the situation as it was reported by the German magazine ‘Kicker’, Mesut said;
    (1) “I am very, very happy at Arsenal and have let the club know that I would be ready to sign a new contract. [√ ]

    (2) The fans want that I stay and now it is just down to the club,” he told Kicker, the German magazine. [√ ]

    (3) “The club knows that I am here most of all because of Arsène Wenger. He is the one who signed me and he is the one whose trust I have. [√ ]

    (4) The club also knows that I want to be clear what the manager is going to do.” [√ ]

    Surely they are 4 very brilliant and positive statements – I am delighted that Mesut has come out and said this, and his curiosity about Mr Wenger is perfectly normal, and is not a take it or leave it demand – it is someone more than satisfied with his boss – isn’t it?

    You are all obviously happy with that, so clearly I must be missing something I suppose??

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I would be very sad if Zellalem is allowed to go. The lad has always looked a class act to me. Dortmund’s gain could be our loss. oh, well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Zelalem is out of contract in summer, and despite his good loan spell last season at Rangers he has not been anywhere close to our first team this season, he has even been only a sub for the u23 on a few occasions.


  20. They don’t like it up em.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Inside Cohen Bramall’s rise from factory work to joining Arsenal
    By Nick Wright
    Last Updated: 09/01/17 3:54pm

    In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Arsenal’s new signing Cohen Bramall and his agent Lee Payne tell the inside story of how an unknown defender from the seventh tier of English football went from non-league obscurity to the Premier League’s elite.

    Cohen Bramall puffs out his cheeks and shakes his head in disbelief. Three weeks ago he was wondering where his next pay cheque was coming from after he was made redundant from his job at a Bentley car factory in Crewe. Now, he has just come off air at Sky Sports News HQ on the day he finalised a sensational move from Hednesford Town to Arsenal.

    Bramall’s life has changed unimaginably and it’s not surprising he’s still coming to terms with it. Football is full of rags-to-riches tales and Premier League champion Jamie Vardy is the poster boy for the next generation of non-league hopefuls. But Bramall’s extraordinary story takes some beating.

    “I was at the Bentley factory for nearly a year,” he tells Sky Sports. “It was a full-time job fitting radiators and working with big machinery on the production line. I was doing long hours and playing for Hednesford Town at the same time, going up for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and playing matches on Saturdays. It was tiring and I was struggling to get to football sometimes.”

    Bramall heard he was being made redundant on the Tuesday before Christmas. “When they told me I was thinking I needed to sort something else quick, I needed more money coming in,” he says. “But the next day I got a phone call saying Arsenal wanted me to come down for a trial.”

    A broad smile stretches across Bramall’s face as he remembers the moment he heard the news, but how exactly did a 20-year-old left-back from Hednesford go from playing against Coalville Town and Skelmersdale United in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League to training with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in under a month?

    Lee Payne was the man who made it happen. Payne is a former winger who moved from Barnet to Newcastle for a non-league record transfer fee of £125,000 in 1988. His playing career was cut short by a serious knee injury but he now works as an agent at Full Contact, where he uses his own experience to help promising non-league youngsters climb the football ladder.

    “Cohen had just been on trial at Sheffield Wednesday,” says Payne. “He played in an U23s game against Birmingham City at their training ground and it just so happened that Arsenal scout Brian McDermott was there. He hadn’t gone for any particular purpose, he just decided to cover that game on the day.

    “Cohen caught his eye and he decided he needed to find out a little bit more about him. He contacted me and asked if I was looking after him. I said yes and he said he really liked the look of him. He asked if Arsenal could get him in after Christmas. I said how about this afternoon? Brian agreed and I called Cohen straight away.”

    Cohen Bramall says he was gobsmacked when he trained with Arsenal
    “I was driving home to get my things together for a trial at Shrewsbury Town when Lee called,” Bramall says. “I thought it was a wind-up, I was going mad, but as soon as he told me he was serious I grabbed all my stuff and headed straight down to London.”

    Bramall arrived at Arsenal’s plush London Colney headquarters just as their senior players were walking in for training. “I was absolutely gobsmacked,” he says. “I got there thinking I was going to be with the U23s but they told me I would be training with the first-team on the Thursday and Friday. I was like, ‘wow’.

    “The standard was insane. It was as sharp as anything. They kept the ball and popped it around so well. It was an absolute honour to be a part of it and everyone was so welcoming. Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chuba Akpom helped me through the whole thing. I felt like I did well.”

    Payne was watching from the sidelines. “After about five minutes I was thinking they were going to sign him,” he says. “Cohen was playing little reverse passes to Alexis Sanchez, crossing the ball and getting on the end of things. Arsene Wenger was standing there nodding his head. I knew the first impression was good, and on the second day Cohen nailed it.”

    Wenger was struck by Bramall’s natural speed and athleticism. “On the second day they did some sprints from corner to corner,” says Payne. “Cohen has got an athletics background. He glides over the grass and he’s got a tremendous turn of foot. I remember watching Arsene follow Cohen go past him and I could tell he was taken with his movement. You can’t coach pace like that.

    “I’ve been doing this a long time and I have been in these situations before, but I was so excited for Cohen. Everything just felt right. We went back into the canteen at the end of the session and the chief scout Steve Rowley came over to us. He said that in 30 years he had never seen a player come from that level and do what he did.

    “It’s a massive credit to Cohen. We’re talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world here. This just doesn’t happen. Normally they would compile a three-month report with two or three different scouts and then build a character profile. What’s happened with Cohen is unbelievable. It’s surreal.”

    Bramall comes across as an ordinary young man. He describes Wenger as a “great guy” and reveals his mum cried when he moved out of his parents’ house, but it’s clear he’s already fully focused on the challenge ahead. He is not expected to compete for a place in Arsenal’s first-team just yet but he lights up as the conversation turns to the future.

    “In the next six months I want to try and build on keeping the ball, being powerful, and getting my body used to full-time football,” he says. “Hopefully I’ll go on pre-season with them and try to break into the first team. That’s my goal, that’s what I want to do as soon as possible. I’m just going to take everything on board and go for it.”

    And will he miss the old factory job? “I actually enjoyed it!” he says with a grin. “But I was going to have to pack it in soon because I’d used all my holiday going on trials. I couldn’t imagine what was about to happen when I was made redundant. Just passing the ball to an Arsenal player was a dream come true.” He pauses to glance around the studio. “This kind of thing doesn’t happen a lot.”


  22. Well at least we will be on the telly

    What a dull 4th round draw ! Didn’t they get the “fairytale” memo ?


  23. well Man Utd game will be one of the tv live picks, so what other ties will get shown

    Fourth Round Fixtures

    Tottenham Hotspur v Wycombe Wanderers

    Derby County v Leicester City

    Oxford United v Newcastle United/Birmingham City

    AFC Wimbledon/Sutton United v Cambridge United/Leeds United

    Plymouth Argyle/Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers

    Southampton/Norwich City v Arsenal

    Lincoln City/Ipswich Town v Brighton & Hove Albion

    Chelsea v Brentford

    Manchester United v Wigan Athletic

    Millwall v Watford

    Rochdale v Huddersfield Town

    Burnley/Sunderland v Fleetwood Town/Bristol City

    Blackburn Rovers v Barnsley/Blackpool

    Fulham v Hull City

    Middlesbrough v Accrington Stanley

    Crystal Palace/Bolton v Manchester City


  24. Southampton away. The more optimistic self I’m trying to cultivate says, ‘bring it on. Would be great to get one over on them’

    The still my real self self says ‘bollocks’

    Overall on the draw, quite an achievement. If you were handpicking a draw for dullness I don’t think you could beat it.


  25. Probably Southampton then.
    Remind us, when was the last time man Utd got a difficult draw?
    Oh yes, when we beat them at Old Trafford.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Nice little advantage for us for once if Saints progress.

    2 games for us before we play them on 28/9th, 5 for them. 2nd leg of semis at Anfield on the Wedneday before

    Liked by 3 people

  27. High time we smashed Southampton – I am in a draw for South coast games so my fingers are crossed – and let’s face it – it won’t be Nawridge

    Liked by 4 people

  28. We’ve seen cricketers and others occasionally struggle with the demands of modern sport, same as anything

    Then there are contextual and older references like Paul Vaessen

    Or the simpler examples of not sh*tting on your own doorstep? A radical concept in some places for sure, but, well…

    Q: Is the above too much for the expert desperate for a part time column for a shrinking news organisation to consider when trolling the gullible?

    A: yes.


  29. D ‏@Highbury_74 2h2 hours ago
    From what I’m reading, we’ve just become the fist team to ever get knocked out of the cup during the draw. By a team we might not be playing

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Arsenal FCVerified account
    🤔 Time for a quiz – which player was this? #PNEvAFC

    – Eight tackles won
    – Five ball recoveries
    – Five crosses
    – Two key passes
    – 92% pass completion


  31. I too would be gutted if Zelarlem goes, he has always been lightweight but his performances at Rangers were good in a tough league. I have always thought he is the type of player who plays better the higher the level he is playing at.
    I have seen him have some right stinkers at reserve level but at the same time his vision and passing can be immense. Personally I think we should persevere with him as he is class and will be a very very good player however just like bale sometimes you have to wait longer for the butterfly to emerge.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. like with any player who is six months left on a contract, it will be up to the lad if he stays or goes. Arsenal usually won’t loan out a guy before he signs a new deal, when we do it normally means we are not keeping him.
    Jon Toral had a more impressive loan last season and is much more robust than GZ, but he too looks unlikely to stay. He is off to Rangers on loan, after his stint with Granada did not go as well as planned.

    Remember the guy who made his CL debut the same night as AMN, Central defender Stefan O’Connor, he is having a poor loan spell with Masstricht, barely getting any game time, but on the plus side Nwalaki is shining bright for them, and could very well be the reason Zelalem is starting to look surplus to requirements.

    Crowley needs a successful loan at Go Ahead Eagles, if he is to push on here too.

    And guys lets not forget we have several highly talented attacking midfielders in our u23’s and u18’s, not least Willock and Nelson.

    Its one of the problems with the coverage of the game now, that we know far more about our young players than at any time in the past, we have seen them live, or highlights or youtube clips, and we get attached to them like never before. In the past we would at times here a whisper about a great talent coming through, we might read a reserve or youth team match report in the match day programme, and draw conclusions from it, but our first real sighting of any youth was when they actually got in the first team, and they either sunk or swam.


  33. Josh James ‏@JoshJJames78 Jan 7
    Arsene Wenger has won as many FA Cup matches as the previous six Arsenal managers combined (73)

    Liked by 1 person

    By arseblog – January 9, 201733

    Mesut Ozil Kicker interview – full transcript
    Mesut Ozil’s interview with Kicker, in which he discussed his future and that of Arsene Wenger, made some headlines over the 24 hours.

    Thanks to @LGAmbrose, we’ve got a full transcript of it for you. Enjoy.

    Mr Özil, for the kicker journalists you embodied world class over the last half year. Over the last few months, what was different to previous years?

    Firstly I’m very happy because this ranking shows my aim to constantly improve myself further has also been recognised in public. Many have expected me to finish more often and score more goals. That’s going much better this season than in previous years.

    Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger also asked for more goal threat from you before the season. Have you become more selfish on the pitch?

    I would never say selfish but my movements are a bit different. I don’t look for the ball as deep, instead I wait further upfield. Then sometimes I have five minutes without a touch but find more chances in front of the opposition goal. The most important thing for me is: I must be free on the pitch. That’s what I need. The coach gives me this freedom and hence it’s going so well.

    Was 2016 the best year of your career?

    When you look back over all the years, I’ve always performed, also at Werder Bremen and Real Madrid. The statistics prove that, they were always very positive. Other than the fact I score more goals, the only thing that has changed is the expectations for me are raised each year. People always expect good games from me. If I have one bad game after 10 good ones, there’s immediate criticism.

    Like after the recent defeats against Everton and Manchester City – for the English media you were the scapegoat.

    We didn’t have much more than 20% of the ball and as a team couldn’t perform, so I also couldn’t play my game. I have been in the business for many years. If I believed and accepted everything written about me I would be crazy. But through my experience and self-confidence I can handle my critics. They just make me stronger.

    Did you feel your cross for the winning goal against West Brom on Boxing Day was an answer to your critics?

    Not just the cross. Over the whole game I performed, had a lot of the ball and helped create a lot of chances. The beautiful thing in our job is you can always prove yourself again.

    At the end of the year you aren’t as fit as in the autumn and had to miss games due to infection. Does the season take more of a toll than usual?

    Probably no player in the Premier League would claim he has the same liveliness as the beginning of the season. Plus, I played through the Euros, had a short holiday and could hardly prepare for the season. As a player you need a break, not just for your body but also for your mind. In the Premier League you just don’t have that. Between Christmas and New Year it hurts a bit, as colleagues from the Bundesliga and other leagues post photos from their holidays. Julian Draxler sent me a video from some other place every day to annoy me.

    Is the title out of sight after those two defeats?

    Definitely not, the past has shown that too. A year ago we were top of the league and quite a few people thought we’d be champions. Now Chelsea are in that situation but the season is long. We need (to go on) a run, then quickly you’re at the top again. I am convinced that we can still reach our target. With the new players, for example Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi, we have more potential. And we have better team spirit.

    How is that shown?

    In previous years there were always players who were upset because they sat on the bench. Now they come on hungrier. Everyone feels this year we can really achieve something.

    Is securing fourth for a Champions League place the minimum target?

    When you look down, that’s where you’ll land! If you’re worried you play worriedly, not with freedom. Then you fall, maybe not just out of the Champions League places, but completely out of Europe. When you really want to reach your target, you must look ahead.

    In the Champions League last 16, Arsenal have been drawn against Bayern Munich for the third time. Is elimination inevitable?

    In football you never know. To win the trophy, you have to face the biggest clubs in the world and prove yourself. It is great that we have that chance again. Bayern are one of the favourites, in recent years they have played outstanding football. This season, they have become more vulnerable. They are not unbeatable – especially this year.

    Your contract at Arsenal ends in 2018, for over a year there has been a “tug of war” over an extension. Why haven’t you and the club found an agreement?

    This is the first time that I am concretely talking about it. I am very, very happy that I play for Arsenal and I feel very, very well. I have shown the club my willingness to extend (my contract). The fans want me to stay. Now it is all up to the club.

    Is it about money?

    Many have said that’s the reason. To be completely honest: in my career, it’s never been about money. It is about fun, about trust. The club knows that I am here because of Arsène Wenger above all else, he brought me here and I relish his faith. The club also knows, that I want to know what the manager is going to do…

    His contract expires in the summer?


    Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was recently upset as he accused you and Alexis Sánchez of scolding the club in contract talks with your wage demands.

    Everyone has a right to express their opinion but this statement doesn’t interest me, it also doesn’t affect me. Ex-players or other people that give their view don’t know what is actually said between me and the club. For me it is about trust and being valued, not about money.

    In the national team you inherited the number 10 shirt after Lukas Podolski’s retirement. Why do you still wear 11 at Arsenal?

    I would like to wear the 10, I’ve always wanted that, the club knew that from the beginning. Jack Wilshere already had the 10 when I arrived at Arsenal in 2013. The club said I will get the 10 when it is free. Since Wilshere left in the summer it’s free but I still haven’t got it.

    At the beginning of December, Der Spiegel devoted their cover page to you – with gold Euro signs in your eyes. In Spain, you were supposedly asked to make a tax payment of over two million Euros and on account of a ‘serious penalty’ have been fined 800,000 Euros. What is the current status?

    On that article, all I want to say at the moment is I immediately sought proceedings with my lawyers. The cover page as well as the essential points of the story about me have been forbidden with a provisional injunction.

    Back to football: after defeat at the Euros in France you were beaten down like hardly anyone else in the German team. How difficult was it to accept this semi-final defeat?

    Very difficult, because it was a bitter Déjà-vu experience. Clearly we were world champions in 2014, in Brazil we had a great experience. But in previous years we were already knocked out of the tournaments in the semi-finals. 2010 against Spain, 2012 against Italy, now against France. That was particularly painful – the disappointment is still there.


    We wanted to show the world that, like Spain before, we could establish an era. I absolutely wanted to be European Champion, because I knew how wonderful that felt from the U21 triumph. In the first half we took the French apart, the final was right there. Then in Marseille, as everything ended up, emotions ran high and there were tears. I simply wanted it to be untrue that we had lost the game despite clearly being the better team…

    The feeling of giving up a huge shot at the trophy is the predominant one?

    Definitely. I am really good friends with Cristiano Ronaldo and the Portuguese can be proud of what they achieved. But when I see how the final was and how it was won, it hurts all the more. I am sure we would have done it. But that’s football. The winner isn’t the better team, rather the one that also has some luck.

    Maybe also more determination?

    Yeah, that too. In a tournament it’s important that everything goes right and every player is fit. In the semi-final Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez were missed. We had no real striker to really push into the box.

    Which lessons can you take from France into the World Cup in Russia?

    That you don’t do unnecessary things, for example handballs in the box and waste so many chances. We have to be ice cold and hungry for goals. When that’s the case, we will achieve our targets.

    Joachim Löw has recently strengthened with some younger players. Does that change the face of the team a bit?

    I can’t follow the Bundesliga so intensely, because I usually have my own games. But I see that the young players coming in have the quality to play at a big tournament like the World Cup.

    Who do you mean?

    Julian Brandt is an example, he is so good on the ball. Also Max Meyer. Leroy Sané and Julian Draxler were already there at the Euros but still belong to that group of players. We already have a lot of potential, not just for Russia but the years to follow.

    In the last two and a half years, long-time leading players Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Miroslav Klose, Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger have retired. Has that altered your role with the national team?

    I believe, behind Mario Gomez, I am the longest serving player in the national team but my role is always the same. I just like to play! When something is going wrong on the pitch I open my mouth and that has weight. But usually I am rather quiet and leave the talking to the players from the “team council”.

    Was it an important signal to the team that Löw has extended his contract from 2018 to 2020?

    Yes. We are glad to have such a great coach on our side. He has earned it after developing German football over the years. For many years he’s had a consistent vision for beautiful, offensive football.

    Löw has already confirmed that he wants to leave a lot of players out this summer during the Confederations Cup, instead naming a squad of young talent. Are you glad or would you like to play in Russia this summer?

    Of course we want to play, that’s why we became footballers. However, I know a break in the summer would do me good. Eventually the body doesn’t do what you want and you drop a couple of percent. That’s why I’m thankful that Joachim Löw, as well as Arsène Wenger, can let me occasionally miss a game.

    Klose ended his career at 37. Have you already got an idea how long you can go on?

    Above all else, how long my body allows me to. In any case I already have an idea what I want to do first after my career.

    And that would be?

    I tell my friends and family: I will take a whole year off, go on holiday with my family and I would like to see the world, and play football with my brother and friends.

    Over Christmas you had a dozen relatives and loved ones at your home in London. Do you always need someone around you?

    Sure! I often have visitors, my cousin Serdar and my dog Balboa are basically always with me. I am lucky that the friends I was raised with work for me today and are there. And that the right people, who I trust completely, have joined us. The two years in Bremen I lived alone, watched TV shows alone, ate alone. That wasn’t for me. Over Christmas everyone was there, everyone slept wherever there was space. It was fun

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Hellloooooo everyone,

    Lots of familiar commentators here. First time commenting here, fine article there George.

    Keep up the good work here at PA. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. New post up


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