What’s going wrong with Liverpool?

After coming so close to winning the Premier League last season, you could be forgiven for wondering just what has happened to Liverpool this year. With the campaign nearing its halfway point, Brendan Rodgers’ men currently find themselves all-but-out of the title race as well as facing the prospect of an early exit from the Champions League.

While the loss of Luis Suarez was always going to have a negative impact on Liverpool’s chances this season, Liverpool fans probably won’t have expected their team to look so far off the pace at this stage of the year. (more…)

Is Cabaye heading back to England?

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye has admitted he could be tempted back to the Premier League after struggling to nail down a starting spot with the French champions. Cabaye returned to Ligue 1 in January after PSG agreed a reported £10million deal to sign the midfielder from Newcastle.

The 28-year old’s time in the French capital hasn’t gone exactly to plan, however, and the former Lille star has now admitted he is far from happy with his current situation and missing playing in England. (more…)

Ozil Crucial For Germany

Mesut Ozil has so far been one of the important players for the German national team at the World Cup 2014. He has played a crucial role in the opening two matches against Portugal and Ghana. Germany managed a thumping 4-0 win over Portugal, which was followed by a disappointing 2-2 draw against Ghana. Despite this, they go into the final group match against United States needing just a point to qualify for the knockout stages. Depending upon the results, they could even do with a defeat and still qualify.

The have been suggestions prior to the match that Germany may adopt a defensive approach to the game against United States. The Germans are level on points with US, but they are top of the table because of a superior goal difference. Ozil, who came in for criticism towards the end of the campaign with Arsenal, says that Germany will not be going with the attitude of just getting a point. The German defence has also been criticised of late, as they have been conceding a lot of goals in the last 12 months.

The US national team will be coached by former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann and there is a lot of split love in both camps. Klinsmann decided to call up a number of German born players who were eligible to play for the US national team.

“I believe that as a player we do not play for a draw. We play 90 minutes to score. Our purpose is to do our utmost to win, and that is what we will do. We want to finish top of the group. Nowadays it does not mean anything to this squad. Most of the players had not been born then. They would not have an opinion about that, they never watched it,” said Ozil.

Ozil comes Under Fire From Supporters

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil recently came under fire from sections of this own supporters when he was playing for Germany in the warmup friendly against Cameroon. The last 12 months has been an up-and-down time for the German star. After his £ 42 million move from Real Madrid, he became one of the finest players in the Premier league with a range of passing that made him hugely popular. However, his performance started dipping to alarming levels in the second half of the season. This led to manager Arsene Wenger taking him out of the firing line for several weeks.

Towards the end of the season, he once again appealed to find his form and this was largely seen as the result of the best he had in the last few weeks. The criticism from the Premier league has transformed into the national team level as well. The 24-year-old found himself being booed by some of the German fans when he played in the warmup friendly against Cameroon. Despite being one of the important players the team, it was surprising to see the former Real Madrid man suffer this abuse. After the match, Ozil stated that he wants more respect from the fans as he is giving his 100% to the cause.

“I am no longer a talent but an experienced player who has played in three countries. I take responsibility. The FA Cup win means that I have won three finals. I was voted Germany player of the year three times running and in the team of the year in England – always by the fans – and that is also important to me. I feel that I have the trust of Joachim Low and Arsene Wenger and that I have earned it. I am now 25 years old and at that age every footballer in the world plays in a different way,” said Ozil.

Pires Expects Ozil To Become A Major Player

Former Arsenal legend Robert Pires has stated that he expects the club record signing Mesut Ozil to become a major player for the club from next season onwards. After having a great start to his Arsenal career for the first few months in the Premier league, the standards of Ozil slipped down in alarming fashion. Towards the end of the campaign, the German international was so poor that there have been rumours that he could be dropped from the first team. Having cost an incredible £ 42 million from Real Madrid on the final day of last summer’s transfer window, this would represent an incredible loss for the team.

Frenchman Pires, though, have recalled that he took a long time to adapt to the pace of the Premier league. He has recalled that it took him as much as six or seven months in order to play at the level he has been doing in his previous clubs. Pires’ words will provide a lot of confidence to Arsenal fans, who have grown disillusioned with the recent performances of the German international – especially in the big matches. Pires was speaking ahead of the FA Cup final with Hull city, which provides Arsenal with a great opportunity to lift the first major trophy in nine years.

“I like Ozil. He is a very good player, with quality. My first game was at Sunderland and when you come to the UK it’s very difficult because the football is completely different. For me, it was very difficult for six or seven months. When I see Mesut, I say he has had a good first Premier League season. Next season, he will be much better. After six or seven months, it gets easier. It’s totally different in the UK and now Mesut knows!” said Pires.

SHERWOOD WANTS ROLE

Tim Sherwood replaced Andre Villas-Boas as the new head coach of Tottenham in December as he was appointed as the interim manager until the end of the current campaign but the 45 years old English coach wants to continue being in charge of Tottenham for the upcoming seasons as he does not want to give up his position anytime soon.

Sherwood has backed his record in the White Hart Lane club as he has the best record of victories in Tottenham than anyone else who has come before him. (more…)

ARSENAL BLOW

Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their hopes of reaching the final of the FA Cup with the news that star midfielder Mesut Ozil will be unavailable for the semi-final against Wigan athletic. The FA Cup now presents a great opportunity for Arsenal to end the trophy drought, as they are much better than the currently in the competition. The likes of Wigan are certainly capable of coming up with a surprise result on their day after all they managed to knock out the likes of Manchester city prior to this round. However, Arsenal are certainly the better team on paper.

Arsene Wenger, though, will not be able to field the £ 42 million signing Ozil for this match since he has not recovered sufficiently from the hamstring injury he suffered during the 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich a few weeks ago. Arsenal’s challenge in the Premier league has almost concluded after the 1-1 draw with Manchester city, but the team has the opportunity to win the FA Cup. Ozil has been criticised heavily for his poor performances of late, but he played a huge role in helping the club reach this stage. He was the star player in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Everton in the quarter-finals.

“The FA Cup will be too soon for him, but he will hopefully be back soon after that. He is still out. The earliest [he will be back] is next week, the latest is the week after. They are all right. They are doing well. It is still early for them. Of course, for Theo the season is finished, and Jack is progressing well,” said Wenger giving out the latest injury updates for the upcoming few weeks. Arsenal will face Everton on Sunday in a match that could decide their fate in the top four of the Premier league.

MISSED PENALTY HURTS

Arsene Wenger says that the missed penalty against Bayern Munich has affected the German star Mesut Ozil psychologically, but he is hoping that the club’s record signing can overcome the issue by performing exceptionally well in the second leg. Signed from Real Madrid for £ 42 million, Ozil has been one of the best players for Arsenal this campaign. However, his performances have dropped in recent weeks and the missed penalty against Bayern Munich drew a lot of criticism. A goal would have given Arsenal hope of recovering in the second leg.

As it is, they face a mountain to climb due to the 2-0 deficit on aggregate. Ozil has been looking tired in recent weeks and Wenger says that this tiredness is not just physical. Hence, he decided to leave out the 24-year-old from a couple of matches. This seems to have worked its magic after the midfielder returned to his best in the 4-1 win over Everton on Saturday. This helped the club reached the semifinals of the FA Cup after a long time. Ozil was the best player on the pitch against Everton and Wenger says that the player has benefited from the period of rest.

Up until now, the German international has been used to a winter break, but he has been playing without one for the first time this year.

“I think it [penalty miss] affected him mentally too much. It was not only physical, it was mental. He had the feeling he let the team down at a very important moment of the game. That affected his performance very much. Psychologically sometimes the wound is like a physical one. You can talk and talk and talk but it takes time. You just have to leave it to time. I think he is over it,” said Wenger.

PENALTY PRACTICE

While all England fans know it’s a case off when not if their side are dumped out of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil on penalties, just how might England go about winning a penalty shootout – which they DEFINITELY won’t.

As well as not handing David Batty the ball, just how should teams go about not having to suffer the unique heartache that comes with exiting the World Cup on penalties – one which England fans are as used to as heartburn. (more…)

UNDER PRESSURE

Arsenal’s club record signing Mesut Ozil has come under intense criticism in the last few weeks following a run of poor performances, which reached its peak in the 5-1 thumping at the hands of Liverpool. Ozil was brought to the club for a record £ 42.5 million from Real Madrid in the summer. He provided an instant lift to the club, which was reeling on the back of the opening day defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Arsenal managed to go through several months on the high of signing Ozil that they have been top of the table for most of the season.

The performances of the German, though, have dropped in recent weeks and he was at his worst in the defeat against Liverpool on Saturday. He was responsible for two of the five goals scored by Liverpool, as he lost the ball very carelessly in the middle of the park. Amidst a lot of criticism for the player, manager Arsene Wenger has defended him ahead of the match with Manchester United. He says that every Arsenal player was guilty of poor performance against Liverpool and it was wrong to condemn only Ozil for this defeat.

He expected the German to come back strongly when Arsenal take on United at the Emirates looking to go top of the table.

“It’s always a disappointment to lose a game but we’ve been very stable defensively; we’d just been on a 10-game unbeaten run so you can’t see one game as a trend. It’s down to the team to respond in a positive way. Mesut Ozil? He was like everybody on Saturday – he was not in a good day. There’s nobody really to ostracise from that game – we are just conscious we were not good enough,” said Wenger in the pre-match press conference.

1 2 3 4 5 842