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Latest Transfer Gossip: Mesut Ozil to Manchester United?

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This has been quite an interesting campaign for Mesut Ozil. Like Alexis Sanchez, he has refused to sign a new contract with the club, even though the manager, Arsene Wenger, remains hopeful that he would remain at the club. The German maestro has really struggled with fitness and form this season, and was on the end of some vitriol and abuse last weekend following his glaring miss against Watford, which sadly led to an equalizer on the other end of the field.

When Ozil signed a five-year deal in 2013, many were hopeful that he would remain in the club for years to come as Arsene Wenger did his bit to build the team around him. Prior to his arrival, the Spanish diminutive magician, Santi Cazorla, played the #10 position in the 2012/13 season, scoring 12 goals and providing 12 assists to his teammates, including that four-assist masterclass against Wigan Athletic. With Mikel Arteta taking the holding role following Alex Song’s departure and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey in the box-to-box role, Cazorla was shoved to the wings to accommodate Ozil and his football somewhat waned. It was when Arteta left and he moved to central midfield alongside Francis Coquelin that we saw the best of Cazorla, but Ozil remained in his #10 position.

Arsene Wenger’s switch to 3-4-2-1 has seen Ozil play behind the main striker with Alexis Sanchez but he drifts to the right wing and hasn’t been at his best. He has actually been in and out of the team and for some reason, the manager hasn’t been playing him, claiming he’s ‘injured’, but I was surprised to see Ozil playing some qualifiers for Germany when he was meant to be in a treatment table at London Colney.

The latest transfer gossip dominating the back pages is the report from the Mirror stating that Ozil has informed his teammates in training that he’s planning to join Manchester United. You know you don’t have to necessarily believe any thing you see with these media vultures, but what if it’s actually true? I remember when news surfaced that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain told the manager to his face that he wanted to leave. Many thought it was just some rumor and when we saw the Ox in the early season games we thought everything was all well and good. Then he rejected a massive 180,000 quid-per-week contract and the rumors of his departure took center stage and we know how that has panned out.

Wenger would have to handle this situation with wisdom and it can cause friction in the team. If Ozil’s mind is made up and he really wants to leave, it will certainly affect his performances on the pitch. We have Jack Wilshere itching to make up for lost time and maybe it’s time to give him the football he wants, provided he remains fit. Alex Iwobi is another player on the fringes that’s trying to stake a claim for a permanent shirt and with Ozil’s situation hovering around, he can do his own bit to impress his manager.

Sayonara.

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Ozil Advances and Petr Cech Knocked Out of the Euros

The group stages is slowly creeping away from the Euros as teams continue to advance to the Round of 16.

The day began with Germany locking horns against Northern Ireland while Poland took on the disappointing Ukraine. Joachim Low made some changes to the team that shared the spoils with Poland as Joshua Kimmich replaced Benedickt Howedes in defense while Mario Gomez replaced Julian Draxler, moving Mario Gotze away from his false 9 position to a more favored attacking midfield role. In a game the Northern Irish were on the back foot from start to finish, Mesut Ozil turned up the style and had an awesome game by his amazing standards.

The German schemer made seven crosses, created six chances, fired four shots and he had an astonishing passing accuracy of 99 percent. Yes, 99 percent. Sadly, the German forwards unleashed their inner Girouds and missed a boat load of Ozil’s amazing chances.

In the other Group C game, Poland edged Ukraine out and sent them packing with a goal from Jakub Blaszczykowski, or Kuba, as he’s well known in his Dortmund days. Ex Gunner, Lukasz Fabianski, kept another clean sheet as the Ukrainians offered little or no threat from an attacking perspective.

There was excitement in the late night games as Spain played against Croatia with the right to be in the group’s leader as a potential clash against Italy awaited the loser. Then there was the Czech Republic vs Turkey game where the winner had a chance of qualification. As expected, my eyes were on the Croatia vs Spain game but I kept some tabs with the other match of the night.

The opening goal had Barcelona’s tika taka written all over it as David Silva and Cesc Fabregas split the Croatian defense open to allow Alvaro Morata tap the ball in for his third goal of the Championships. Morata was heavily linked with a move to North London but it has been confirmed that Real Madrid has activated their buy-back clause on the player’s contract, bringing him back to the Santiago Bernabeu for roughly 23 million quid.

Croatia turned up the style with a very impressive performance against the Spaniards and they got a well-deserved equalizer from Nikola Kalinic. It was an exquisite finish from a Perisic cut back. Late on, there was heartbreak for the Spanish side as they were hit on the break by Perisic and he finished the ball on David de Gea’s near post. For a quality of his immense quality, that was an aberration.

In the second game, Turkey sent the Czech Republic parking with goals from Burak Yilmaz and Ozan Tufan. The sad part about the goals were their shocking similarity as Petr Cech was beaten on his near post twice. This turned out to be his Kryptonite last season and it’s a concern seeing it happen in the national team as well.

Wish the Czech Republic out, he becomes the first Gunner to exit from the competition and his pre-season break starts early.

Sayonara

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Arsenal Euro 2016 Update: Ozil Provides Assist and Szczesny Keeps Clean Sheet

Euro 2016 began with a rather pulsating encounter between Turkey and Croatia. Anything I think about the Croatian national team, my mind takes me back to the 1998 World Cup in France when Davor Suker had such a great tournament with support from Robert Prosinecki, Zvonimir Boban and Mario Stannis Baratheon, or Stanic, as he’s known in Croatia.

The new generation of Croatian football stars juggernauts like Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Milan Badelj and of course, the golden boy of Croatian football, Luka Modric, that scored a wonder goal that settled the match. There were a lot of close shaves in the game but Croatia deserved to leave the pitch with three points in the bag.

Three hours after the Croatia win, Poland kicked off their tournament with a clash against Northern Ireland. There were some familiar Premier League faces in the Northern Ireland squad with West Brom duo, Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley, Watford’s Craig Eric Cartman Cathcart. Southampton’s Steven Davis (can you remember his double against Spurs?) and that young Manchester United  bloke that almost snapped Jack Wilshere’s ankle in half, Paddy Power McNair.

Wojceich Szczesny showed his aerial dominance and put up a matured performance in goal for his country. His resolve will be tested in his next game against Germany but Poland can take some solace from the fact that they beat the Germans in the qualifiers. The qualifying top scorer and talisman, Robert Lewandowski, fired blanks but the Poles had Arkadiusz Milik to thank, as his goal from Kuba’s assist was enough to give the team three points.

Finally, Germany played the last game of the night against Ukraine. Joachim Loew made up for Mats Hummels injury by replacing the Bayern-bound defender with Shkodran Mustafi and that faith was repaid as the Valencia center back nodded Toni Kroos inswinger to give the world champions the lead. Germany sealed the game late on when Mesut Ozil threaded an inch-perfect pass to Bastian Schweinsteiger who finished aplomb.

More on the players as the competition progresses.

Sayonara

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