Saturday, February 4, 2023

Gnabry thankful for under-21 call | Ozil eyes gong

Serge Gnabry says he’s looking forward to getting his international career back on track after a recall to Germany’s under-21s by coach Horst Hrubesch.

Just over a year ago Arsene Wenger played up the winger’s chances of featuring at the World Cup only for a knee problem, sustained in March, to sideline him for 12 months.

Eager to sharpen his match fitness in games against England and Italy, Gnabry told that he’s honoured to get the call from his country.

“I was very happy to get the call from Horst Hrubesch. It’s a great honour to be included in the squad, all the more so when you look at the fantastic footballers we’ve got.

“I know half of the players from previous national team call-ups and club matches and I’m really looking forward to the week with them.

“The contact with Horst Hrubesch has been there for years. And with [DFB sporting director] Hansi Flick as well, he just recently visited me in England. It’s a small gesture, but it shows that you’re being observed and that they care about you.

“It’s not been easy [being sidelined]. Long injuries are not fun. As a footballer you want to play football. You have to fight back. I’ve been back in training for a month and a half and I’m on the right track. I’m still missing match practice though.

“There’s a big tournament this summer [under-21 European Championships] and this team has what it takes to win it. I want to impose myself and I hope that I can quickly get up to 100% fitness.”

Elsewhere, Gnabry’s compatriot Mesut Ozil has told Sport Bild that he harbours hopes of one day being crowned Ballon d’Or winner.

The World Cup winner didn’t make the shortlist in 2014, but insists he’s on the way up and hopes an improvement for club and country will stand him in good stead.

“Should I continue to improve myself and stay healthy, I want to get my hands on the Ballon d’Or in the upcoming years. I am convinced that it can work out. I am headed in the right direction.

“I am a world champion and play at a top club in the Premier League. It’s far more physical here [England] than in Spain or in the Bundesliga. I constantly have bruises, but it only makes me stronger, and physically I feel better than ever before.”

We admire Mesut’s optimism and certainly feel like he’s improving, however, we suspect for all his qualities, he still has some way to go before being crowned the world’s best player.

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Gotta love the positivity. The media are going to have a field day with this one though. Dicks.


I get the feeling for anyone to challenge for the Ballon D’or they will need to win the treble and outscore Messi and ronaldo in the same calender year. As much as I love Ozil I’m not sure anyone in world football atm can achieve that.


I don’t think a type of player like Özil could ever get his hands on the Ballon d’Or, unfortunately. Özil is one of the best in the world at what he does, but he’s not as exciting to watch as Messi, Ronaldo or some of the other contenders. That said, I don’t think Özil has played up to his capability so far in his Arsenal career, a lot of it has to do with injuries though, but it’s nice to see that he’s confident and determined to improve. All this shite about him not being happy at Arsenal is just… Read more »


Ronaldo is exciting to watch?


Personally, I’d rather watch Özil, but I don’t think the people who decide the Ballon d’Or winners think like me.


zidane was never the most exciting, just a tad more elegant. I don’t see why Ozil cant win. the problem is people have got in their heads that hes not good enough mostly the English media.

I wonder perhaps if its not a case of envy…

Rozza the samourai

Zidane not exciting to watch ? He got the ballon d’or exactly for being exciting to watch. He even got one, a year where Henry was on fire and absolutely dominant and he had a normal year. Zidane used to recognize that he doesn’t score enough goals. If exciting to watch was that important for getting the Ballon d’Or then Gervinho should have been shortlisted for it.


I agree. Saying Zidane was not exciting to watch is blasphemy.

chippy's chip

Well ozils eyes certainly deserve a gong.


At his best at Real Madrid he was certainly among the top 5 players in the world. Even Ronaldo praised his ability and called him the best number 10 in the world. Allthough thay could in part be because of a certain other number 10, Ronaldos nemesis at Barcelona. Hehe

But if you take Özil’s top level you see he was among the best in the world at only 23-24 yrs old. So if he were to improve upon that it is not so improbable. But with Messi and Ronaldo around, still unlikely.


Top 5? A tad generous for a guy who was often subbed out due to poor stamina, or something. He’s only 26 so he can be one of the best, if that’s what he wants.


I love the fact that faced with all these cunts constantly taking armchair shots at him Ozil’s taking the high road. Total class. And I love that he’s continually looking to improve. Keepy-uppy Mesut! The difficulty Ozil faces is that much of his own club’s supporters are even incapable of recognizing what he brings to the pitch. It is his very now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t deceptiveness and smoothness qualities that leave him overlooked. They’re not the TV ready flair and piles of goals that always seem to win it. Manuel Neuer at least getting nominated was a good thing. They do need to… Read more »


Alexis hopefully …
or Suarez?much as that would be unpolitical.


Ozil – better aiming for the Ballon D’Or than not, I’m happy if he just misses out!

Gnabry – looking forward to seeing him take off, he is still so young but very talented. Needs games though, so U21 is a good start. He has good examples to learn from, Ozil (who he has known since 10), the Ox, Sanchez.


Those international games often provide columns of needy narrative ( mostly from players wanting to leave their current clubs etc) , and OŽIL bless him just gave the low breeds a platform for criticism with that positive dream speak of wining the highest accolade the Ballon D’or

But why shouldn’t he dream.
I’ll support him
Need to score more goals though xx


It’s strange a magician like Ozil, who is so precise in his passing having difficulty when it comes to scoring – in my simple mind the keeper is another defender and the goal is for Ozil’s ability, a vast area of space to ‘pass’ into. So he could easily be very clinical, which would then make him a much more obvious candidate for the Ballon d’Or


For many great footballers they pass to a target – they can see the route of the pass immediately and execute it with perfect pitch and speed. Great goalscorers don’t see targets they see space – Ronaldo (the fat one) had a phenomenal conversion rate for on target shots – basically if he shot and it was on target he scored – he converted twice as many of shots on target than most of his rivals. He would miss but when he did they would be wide or over. meaning that he saw the keeper and the space around the… Read more »


That makes sense, thanks.

Only problem is you have made my simple mind complex!


Hard to believe even with all the injuries we’ve had that Gnabry would have had many opportunities this year to play (even to be on the bench) with the first team. Definitely needs to get healthy and go out on loan and play regularly as Jenkinson has to either prove his value to Wenger or to increase his value if Wenger decides to sell.


For a start ozil will have to shoot from 12 yards out instead of an almost reverse cross to Theo. 🙂


“He’s mentioned Mesut Ozil in a news article.”
“It’s a brave strategy Bob, let’s see if it pays off.”


When Ozil gets tackled or mis-times/places a pass, he stops, throws his hands up and looks skyward. Meanwhile stuff is going on around him that he could influence, mostly by trying to win the ball back. I would fine him a gazzillion scrubles every time. (Giroud also has this habit)

If he fixed that and scored a few more, he has what it takes to at least get on the list.


Funny really Ronaldo has won it a few times and every time he loses the ball he throws his arms around and sulks


And classlessly screams at his own players…


Actually, he’s significantly reduced those gestures this season. In the FA cup match with Man U, he lost the ball, chased the man down and put in a slide tackle that won the ball back. Watch him closely and stop drinking the coolade.


I thought what it took to “win” that award was having your tongue up Blatters arse?

North Bank Gooner

Can see the headlines now ” Wenger must go as Mesut loses plot after drug binge in German nightclub, despite being ill ” yada yada yada……..


He needs to dream of winning the PFA awards first




Maybe he won’t win Ballon d’Or with presence of messi and ronaldo. But i want him to be in the team of year atleast. Which means Arsenal will have to go to distance in the Champions league for that to happen. Lets make this happen!!!

Petit's Handbag


Rozza the samourai

Why not ? Hat trick for TGSTEL against USA today !


No arsenal player will win it. If Thierry Henry didn’t win it then that just says to me unless you play for either madrid or barca you dont have a chance. But thats fine, we know Thierry WAS the best. The last player to win it and play for either, off the top of my head……..nedved, no he was european player. Fuck knows. Il go look it up. Coat on, bye

Me So Hornsey

The last non Barca/Real player to win it was Kaka won it while playing for Milan in 2007.

The last player to win it from the Prem is Michael Owen in 2001.

Which, for me, says it absolutely fucking all really.


They do score 50 goals a season, so its hard to force your way ahead of them

You are incorrect = Ronaldo won his first while at manure 2008

Michael Owen wasn’t even the best player in Liverpool in 2001

Me So Hornsey

Thanks for the correction. I completely ignored the Ronaldo/Messi monopolising blur 2008 onwards.

But you’re right, Owen winning it was absurd.

David C

how the hell did Thierry Henry not win this award, especially when France were riding high or when he led Arsenal on that little 49 game UNBEATEN run? I will always be puzzled by that.

Rozza the samourai

Henry never tried to please journalists when he was playing. That’s how Henry himself explained it.


Herr Flick is the director of the DFB these days?


How come no fuss was made of Ozil going clubbing after missing a match due to illness? Imagine if Wilshere or Szczesny had done that. Everyone on here would’ve wet themselves and wanted their contracts cancelled.


Ignore – see why below.


Would that username be short for Harry Kane 1?


Hard to believe not a troll but could be the owner of a misguided sense of humour based on the previous thread.

Either way best ignored.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Who was the last player based in England to win the Ballon D’or? Not that Ozil is not good enough but there is a bias against English based players. Henry should have won it. Ronaldo didn’t win until he left England. The whole award is bullshit

Rozza the samourai

Messi winning best player of world cup 2014 ahead of Germans tells you how rigged are these awards.


La Liga levels are very low apart from selected few teams.. so those players in those selected team look so freaking awesome going against poor opposition.. which inflate their statistic.

Hey if I play against kindergarten kids.. I look awesome too.


Think it’s worth noting that team success plays a large part in determining who wins the Ballon D’Or. For him to win, Arsenal would have to win the league title and reach the finals of the CL in the same season, at the very least, and only then would the best player in our team have a reasonable shot (be it Ozil or anyone else). Hope we can reach that stage with this bunch of players, we have multiple who are capable of hitting the heights if they perform consistently over a season and many whose contributions are go unnoticed… Read more »


If Henry couldn’t win it in the unbeaten season, a season in which he destroyed everyone that came up against the Arsenal with goals, assists, skills and swagger, then Özil or even Alexis don’t stand a chance.


There are but 2 professional footballers that I would consider originals. Messi and Ozil. There is no doubt in my mind that once Ozil really settles in over here in England that he will indeed win that which he covets.


I love Mesut Ozil, and I hope he’s right, but I suspect he’s playing “at the wrong time”. He’d have a good shot at being crowned the best player in the world during (almost) any other time period, but what Messi does is just out of this world. His consistency is staggering.


I don’t understand why people set limits to personal development unless they themselves feel they are stagnant. People always have the propensity to improve. Ozil has every right to feel he can improve himself and win the Balon D’Or. There is a current trend for players to peak later nowadays. Santi for example is still improving as a player past 30 and many top players are playing their best football later in career. Ozil has a long way to go and if he improves, has every chance to become a great player. Ditto there is this tendency to judge young… Read more »


Zelalem should follow Gnabry.

Don’t limit your potential. If Germany wants you, gun for the top.


Might add another player who has been impressive this season which SHOULD NOT be a surprise. Bellerin. He as been excellent over pre-season and U21 for two seasons plus. Again I mentioned start of season that we were short at the back one Cback but we did not have 6 defenders, we had 7 because Wenger rightly felt Bellerin is a better player than the outgoing Jenkinson. The young Spaniard adds pace and technicality to the position with good crosses whipped in with intent (where Jenkinson, also improving is hampered by technical skills and blind crosses) In addition the RB… Read more »


NO surprise Wenger has plenty of players around the 23yr age group.

Ox and Welbeck are also around that age group.

This is an exciting team with plenty of potential for improvement over next season.


It’s fantastic to hear a player actually talk about working hard and wanting to prove he’s the best in the world. Plus, he’s a not a prick about it.

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