More Bits & Pieces Including: Mesut Özil, Friendlies In The USA And A Centre Back

Posted: July 25, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
Tags: , , ,

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Mesut Özil has retired from international football. Not for the usual reasons of being too old, or too slow or even too good. No, he has retired because he feels disrespected after racist comments were made about him following his being photographed alongside the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

What did he expect? Whilst we deplore all racism there was bound to be some reaction to such a thoughtless action.

Erdoğan is head of the oppressive government which has been accused of human rights abuses as well as being outspoken about German politics.

Strangely enough, little is being said about Ilkay Gündoğan, the other German of Turkish descent who was with Özil at the time.

In a statement on Twitter issued by the now former German international, he said, “My job is a football player and not a politician, and our meeting was not an endorsement of any policies. The treatment I have received from the DFB and many others makes me no longer want to wear the German national team shirt. I feel unwanted and think what I have achieved since my international debut in 2009 has been forgotten.

He also went on to criticise the president of the DFB, Reinhard Grindel who he accused of having a racially discriminative background whilst bemoaning the fact that he held a high position in German football.

Most of what he said is very true. What he can’t escape from is the fact that he posed for a photograph with the head of an oppressive dictatorship. Whether or not this was politically motivated is irrelevant. It looks as though he and Gündoğan are quite comfortable in the company of a possible war criminal.

Whilst Erdoğan may not be quite at the same level of notoriety as Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler, he is hardly a shining example to be held up for future generations to admire.

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A meeting between a German footballer and a dodgy old Turk results in international retirement for one of them. Guess which?

If politics and sport do not mix then stupid footballers being photographed with dictators certainly will not be the catalyst which enables them to do so.

His retirement from international football has now become, in itself, a political statement.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles…..

A Manchester United team made up of under-23 players, under-19 players, a 35 year-old third choice goalkeeper and Alexis Sánchez managed to draw 0-0 with MLS West’s bottom side San José Earthquakes.

The Earthquakes once boasted a player called George Best and, had he been available for this game, they would have won it with ease.

32,549 people managed to turn up but failed to make the 75,000 capacity stadium look full. The ones who didn’t show up were probably the wisest in this instance.

The organisers and Manchester United were disappointed with the turn-out because they didn’t make as much money as they had hoped. Well, here’s a little clue as to why there weren’t that many trying to stay awake in the ground.

Romelu Lukaku isn’t there. Paul Pogba isn’t there. Fred, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard aren’t there. Nemanja Matić was there but didn’t play. As we asked in our article of a couple of days ago, how many people would go to watch the Rolling Stones if Mick Jagger were on holiday?

What is it with the idiots who organise these things? What did they expect in a World Cup year?

The whole idea of a pre-season tour in America this year is ridiculous and, with a little luck, it will end up having cost the clubs money. That being the case maybe they will put a little thought into this in future and not just be driven by the amount of money they THINK they will make.

And finally…..

More on Manchester United and, reportedly, José Mourinho wants the club to buy Harry Maguire.

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Harry Maguire breaks into spontaneous applause on hearing the news that Manchester United wish to acquire his services

Maguire would cost around the £50 million mark and, as we have said for many a year, had United’s scouts been any good, they would have bought him from Hull for peanuts before he ever went anywhere near Leicester. However, as they were all busy scouting Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo, that didn’t happen.

Having recently bought Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof and having Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris “Donkey” Smalling already in their ranks something, no doubt, will have to give.

We just hope that if anybody is to be shown the door it is Smalling, followed by Jones and then Rojo. Smalling would be a good start. So, Smalling it is then. Good. So long Chris.

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