Wednesday Kickoff: Ozil suffers hamstring injury; Wenger hits out at Robben; and more

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal shows a look of dejection

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Arsenal’s midfield took another hit on Tuesday evening with the loss of Mesut Özil.

The German international was substituted at halftime of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich and following the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stated that Özil had suffered a serious hamstring injury. After being substituted, Özil was examined by Bayern Munich and German National Team physician Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.

“We have to make a scan (on Wednesday) to see how bad it is but he is out for at least a few weeks,” Wenger told the BBC.

Özil joins teammates Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Yaya Sanogo, Kieran Gibbs, Niklas Bendtner, and Nacho Monreal on the short-term injury list, with Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott out for the long term for Arsenal.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

WENGER HITS OUT AT ROBBEN, CALLS HIM A “VERY GOOD DIVER”

Following Arsenal’s 3-1 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday evening, Arsene Wenger went on the offensive when facing the media.

The Arsenal boss stated that the tie was decided in the first half of the first leg, when Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny was sent off for taking out Arjen Robben in the box and Bayern Munich were awarded a penalty kick. Robben again won another penalty kick on Tuesday, a decision that lead Wenger to call Robben a “very good diver.”

“What made the difference was the decision to send our goalkeeper off in the first game,” Wenger told reporters at the Allianz Arena. “That decision had a huge impact. It was on the same player who got the penalty again tonight and that’s a regret. Robben is very good at getting the maximum of nothing. He’s a great player as well a very good diver but it’s part of him.”

Robben was asked to respond following the match and this is what he had to say.

“I always say if you are a big manager, then take your loss … if you win, be happy, enjoy but, if you lose, don’t complain about silly things,” Robben said. “It was two penalties. From a big manager you expect a little bit more.”

BRAZILIAN CHAMPIONS FALL, ATLETICO NACIONAL FIGHT BACK FOR DRAW

A wild night of the Copa Libertadores included defending Brazilian league champions Cruzeiro falling on the road while Atletico Nacional of Colombia played more than 89 minutes of their match with ten men.

Visiting Defensor Sporting of Uruguay, Cruzeiro fell, 2-0, for their second loss of the group stage. Adding insult to injury, Defensor’s lone Brazilian starter Felipe Gedoz scored twice in the second half to earn the victory. Gedoz’s first goal came via a beautiful free kick from just outside the box. In the 69th minute, Dagoberto took a penalty kick for Cruzeiro but his shot went well wide of the left post.

In Medellin, Colombia, Atletico Nacional were reduced to ten men by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez after just 25 seconds when Alejandro Bernal was judged to have stamped on the foot of Nacional (Uruguay) midfielder Maximiliano Calzada.

Within 20 minutes, Nacional were up two goals and a man after goals from Carlos de Pena and Santiago Garcia, but the hosts fought back. In the second half, Daniel Bocanegra cut the deficit in half with a header in the 71st minute and then scored a looping drive in stoppage time to earn a thrilling draw.

Elsewhere in Copa Libertadores action, Bolivian club The Strongest defeated Argentine side Velez Sarsfield, 2-0, Venezuela’s Deportivo Anzoategui played Mexico’s Santos Laguna to a 1-1 draw, and Club Leon of Mexico suffered a 2-1 defeat against Ecuador’s Club Emelec.

QUICK KICKS

Both Manchester United and Inter Milan are interested in signing Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata. (REPORT)

Borussia Mönchengladbach have extended the contract of head coach Lucien Favre until June 2017. (REPORT)

Real Madrid defender Pepe has hit out at Jose Mourinho after the Chelsea manager’s comments about his Real Madrid team, with Pepe backing current coach Carlo Ancelotti. (REPORT)

Heading into a key Europa League matchup with Fiorentina, Juventus manager Antonio Conte has admitted that rotating his starters is necessary to compete in Serie A and the Europa League. (REPORT)

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What do you think of this news? Do you think Ozil’s injury could keep him out for the long term? Could he use the break to recover mentally? Do you agree with Wenger’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Ozil suffers hamstring injury; Wenger hits out at Robben; and more

  1. dave says:

    Based on the game I saw yesterday, Wenger is spot on re his observations on Robben. Great player; great diver.

    • DCGooner says:

      Correction: Great player, HORRIBLE diver.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He got the kick, didn’t he?

        He plays with a mean streak and is not afraid to embellish, but if you look at his CV he basically wins whereever he goes.

        • arsenal says:

          Its not too hard when you have played on stacked teams like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and now Bayern. I’m not saying he is a bad player, but when you play for teams with immense talent your CV will always look good.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            He won the eredivise at PSV. He’s earned his way up the ladder and won even while at lower rungs.

            Also, considering many Super Teams don’t quite come off, I think it’s too easy to dismiss his work as merely the work of talented teams. He goes to x and wins, moves to y and wins, moves to z and wins. That suggests to me he has attributes which contribute to team success.

            He also has enough individual accolades paralleling the team awards where he can’t be dismissed as free riding on grander success.

            He’s a good winger both athletically and technically who can finish and has a mean streak. I see it the opposite, he’s in demand by the best teams who want to win.

          • GW says:

            “played on stacked teams like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and now Bayern.”

            Now why do you think those teams brought Robben in instead of , for example, Justin Mapp?

            Maybe he can play at their level, possibly?

          • slowleftarm says:

            Part of the reason those teams were stacked was because Robben was in them.

    • Increase0 says:

      Wasn’t a dive at all. See left achilles tendon getting stomped on.

      link to gfycat.com

  2. David M says:

    There are reports in Russian media that Spartak Moscow, who are looking for a new coach, are interested in Klinsmann. According to one report, Spartak’s president is in the USA right now negotiating personal terms with JK. Supposedly, he would become Spartak’s coach right after the World Cup.

    According to Spartak’s source, Klinsmann “is ready to consider the continuation of his coaching career in Russia immediately after the World Cup in Brazil”.

    Here is the link to the original story: link to izvestia.ru

    • VMan says:

      Klinsmann just extended his contract through 2018. Sounds like a bullshit story to me.

      • David M says:

        You’re a firm believer in the sanctity of a contract, aren’t you?

        • Eurosnob says:

          Why would he break an existing contract and move his family to Russia? It’s not like he was offered to coach Real Madrid or Bayern.

    • reiter says:

      Russian media is notoriously unreliable.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Lot of random, unsourced supposition right there.

      Also… Russian media? Might as well read tea leaves.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      He just signed an extension here and there are political (Ukraine) and sporting (Brazil) reasons you might want to mess with our heads right now. It doesn’t make logical sense.

    • Expat4455 says:

      No kidding. This report in Izvestia is very interesting. I can see it happening.

    • chuck says:

      This is revenge for those politicians asking for Russia to be removed from the world cup.

      cold war baby!

    • biff says:

      Possible that Spartak Moscow would like to bring in a big name like Klinsmann but not a snowball’s chance in heck that Klinsmann will leave sunny California for Russia. Plus, Klinsmann won’t need the big Spartak money after the USMNT wins the World Cup this summer and he collects his 10m victory bonus :-)

    • slowleftarm says:

      They can have him if it means I don’t have to watch Beasley and Castillo at left-back for the USMNT any more.

    • bryan says:

      it’s total BS man, come on.

  3. RobsterCraw says:

    This English outrage circle-jerk about Robben’s “dive” is pretty shameful. I’m not a fan of Robben or anything like that, but the replay is stone cold definitive: The back of Robben’s ankle on his left leg gets raked pretty hard. I’ve been playing this game long enough to know what that feels like. Robben probably could have avoided going to ground if he tried. If you really must, you can call it embellishment for the theatrics of the fall, but it isn’t an actual dive when there is an actual foul. The fact that the English media hasn’t taken a moment to check whether their knee-jerk reaction was correct before they carried on with their standard foreign [club/team/player/country] hate that surfaces anytime it is a case of English vs. other-than-English is a sign of really poor form on their part.

    • Raymon says:

      “The fact that the English media hasn’t taken a moment to check whether their knee-jerk reaction was correct before they carried on with their standard foreign [club/team/player/country] hate that surfaces anytime it is a case of English vs. other-than-English is a sign of really poor form on their part.”

      Last night’s PK was a foul, but it was also theatrical. Robben had at least 2 other dives last night, including an egregious one on the right side vs. Vermaelen. Certainly enough to nominate him for an Emmy, he even had the “I’m gonna sit here til you call it” routine. You need a narrower brush if you’re going to criticize some people of jigoism, and you need to watch closer if you missed the fact that Robben tries to make the most out of the slightest touch. He is an embarrassment to his club, his country and the game.

    • Increase0 says:

      He got kicked in the back of the leg like 3 times. He thought to himself. Why not fall if this guy is gunna hack at me.

      Oh, it was a dive in that he didn’t have fall over. But he was kicked multiple times.

      Both time he was clipped. 1st time wasn’t even close to falling but went down. I think this was something of a dive. He might have gotten that ball.

      But honestly the English act like he wasn’t touched. Quite frankly. People said he dived in the first game too. How do these people define dives?

      • Increase0 says:

        BTW I take it back. First “dive” wasn’t a dive either. Nasty foul really.
        Watch Robben’s left achilles tendon. Carzola owns the (moderated word) out of it.

        link to gfycat.com

        Moderated. I gotta stop using casual profanity.

  4. scweeb says:

    That’s funny cause JK was already given another 4 years after the world cup as head coach,

  5. Gerard D. says:

    Arjen Robben is a joke. Dives constantly.

  6. Raymon says:

    Right now, each of Rosicky, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain > Ozil, on a consistently reliable look. Sad to admit it, but it’s true. How often does the German fanbase boo their own national team player in a meaningless game? Maybe his “dip in form” of the last couple of months can be explained by a nagging hamstring problem that finally came to a head last night. I hope he does feel better soon as an in-form Ozil is a game changer and plays beautifully.

    • Expat4455 says:

      At the friendly against Chili in Stuttgart the German fans booed throughout the match, starting early in the game. They did not single Özil out in this regard. In fact, Özil was one of the few bright spots, he went though defenders and made a great pass to Götze for the only goal scored in the match.

  7. Raymon says:

    2 US senators write a letter to FIFA (always effective) arguing that Russia be banned from 2014 WC and stripped of 2018 hosting privilege for their invasion of Ukraine/Crimea. Ah, the intersection of politics and sport. It’s more symbolic than anything, but maybe Putin needs more “symbols”.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Anything that can take the sting off the fact that he’s dangerously close to losing G8 support and more importantly that his little fun time incursion has decimated the Russian stock market and lost 100s of billions in wealth already.

    • bryan says:

      and then Russia sent the same letter to the FIFA asking to ban the US from Brazil due to Iraq and our drone policies.

  8. biff says:

    Ozil’s days at Arsenal appear to be numbered, most likely will be leaving this summer.

    • Expat4455 says:

      We can only hope. Send him back to Germany where he belongs. Like Dortmund maybe?

      • Increase0 says:

        You have run and run and run at Dortmund. Then again… if Goetze can make it at Dortmund Ozil should be able to.

  9. Expat4455 says:

    Podi’s pushing Lahm in the back and knocking him down, when Lahm had position on the ball, should have been called, resulting in no goal.