Gibraltar 0 – 7 Germany
my match page for the final Euro qualifier of the season

In the immediate aftermath of any game, it isn’t hard to guess what the main talking points will be. So perhaps after the Gibraltar game on Saturday night we might have thought it would be Andre Schürrle’s hat trick? Mesut Ozil’s three assists – taking him within touching distance of a record? Germany now lying second in the toughest group in qualifying? Their second highest-ever margin of victory under Joachim Low as Bundestrainer?

But no. How foolish of us to think that.

The main talking point was a four-second clip of Jogi – shown just after the fourth goal – seemingly filing his nails in the dug-out. Such was the interest and even furore that it did leave one to possibly question whether some had ever suffered a torn nail themselves – or even the state of their own basic hygiene routines in the way they appeared to think that those indulging in such behaviour should be made the subject of ridicule. Jogi said the action was not meant to be disrespectful “But the nail was torn”  A fact born out quite clearly in photographs showing that the nail was indeed bothering him.

So you clip it off, file it down.  And an amusing and harmless piece of footage gets treated as precisely that.

Doesn’t it?

Not a chance.  There was immediately a queue of the usual desperate hacks fighting over themselves to use the incident as an excuse to write an article questioning Jogi’s lack of respect to his opponents. Yes, let me repeat that, lack of respect. Compared to the attitude of some in the game, Jogi gives every impression of being one of the most respectful coaches, make that men, in football. Sincere, dignified under criticism and gracious to his opponents, not to mention his incredibly admirable standing up personally against intolerance and extremism in his recent Deutscher Medienpreis speech.  Far more important issues to judge a man on, I would have thought.

Lack of respect?  How about the lack of respect shown to someone who has made his country admired and envied throughout the world, by inferring a cracked nail somehow indicates a hidden defect in his character.

Naturally someone who continues to conduct himself in such an exemplary fashion as Joachim Low will always have to be pulled up for something small in those eager to seek fault, and if the worse they can find to berate him for is such trivia as filing a nail or forgetting a name, I am sure Jogi won’t be too worried. Indeed he showed himself to be as humourous as he is well-manicured at the Sami Khedira charity event the next day, laughing about the incident when asked.

Ah well, at least social media has a new gif with which to amuse itself!!!

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