Mesut Ozil’s announcement that he was resigning from playing for Germany has inevitably sparked plenty of debate in both sporting and political circles.
Ozil’s statement on Sunday was a major bombshell and the fall-out from the news could rumble on for months.
The Arsenal star was widely criticised in the run-up to this summer’s World Cup after he posed for photographs alongside the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in London.
His critics said the row contributed to his team’s early exit from the tournament, but German foreign minister Heiko Maas dimissed that idea emphatically on Monday.
“I don’t believe that the case of a multi-millionaire living and working in England will give us any information on the capacity to integrate in Germany,” he said, during a press conference with the visiting British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
“Anyway, what matters is what happens on the pitch. That the Germans got kicked out at such an early stage has very little to do with the fact that Mr Ozil allowed himself to be photographed with Mr Erdogan.”
Ozil’s decision to quit international football has certainly brought to light some important issues that will need resolving in Germany.
However, Maas is spot on when he says that Germany’s poor performance in Russia wasn’t linked to the Ozil/Erdogan photograph.
Poor form ahead of the tournament, strange selections by manager Joachim Low and a culture of over-confidence led to Germany’s downfall. It’s a major reach to try and pin their failure on Ozil’s off-field actions.
Former Everton boss Sam Allardyce warns Toffees about signing highly-rated youngster
Celtic submit improved offer for John McGinn
Jack Grealish set to push through his dream move to Tottenham
Rangers fans react to the signing of Ryan Kent
Everton are keen to keen hold of Jordan Pickford amid interest from rival club
TALES FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
As transfer headlines go, “Wolves agree fee for Joao Moutinho” is probably one that most fans didn’t think they would read this summer.
This fella thinks something’s dodgy.
Just a year till several Wolves officials are arrested for shady dealings. Remember this tweet.
— ? (@AnfieldAn) July 23, 2018
From Monaco to Wolverhampton; if the culture shock doesn’t kill him the language barrier will …
— Ali (@110Kismet) July 23, 2018
A slightly jealous West Brom fan.
It’s actually mad they’re getting him for £1m less than James McClean
— Ryan (@Ryan_wba1) July 23, 2018
— Aaron (@ad1877) July 23, 2018
Patience is not this guy’s strong point.
Just seen Joao Moutinho in ASDA with a keg of Dark Fruits, last seen heading to Tettenhall pool (Can’t believe it’s not been done yet) #wwfc
— Charleston (@Charleston_F_) July 23, 2018
You’re signing Moutinho for £5 million. Jealousy is absolutely necessary.
All the Wolves hatred and jealousy is unnecessary. If we do implode as ppl hope then I’d still have the memory of the best football the championship has seen, Ruben Neves scoring worldies and remembering seeing the notification that we’d signed Moutinho. ??? #coyw
— Paul Goodman (@MrPauloGoodman) July 23, 2018
TODAY’S TOP TUNE
Danny Dyer is 41 today. One of his favourite tunes is Columbia by Oasis. Decent choice.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Tottenham Hotspur have yet to add to their squad this summer. Did Daniel Levy miss the memo about the transfer window closing earlier?