Joachim Löw and Oliver Bierhoff have been in London this past week and it was reported in Bild yesterday (unsurprisingly behind their paywall) that they were refused a visit to meet with Mesut Özil at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground.
This has been denied by at least one Arsenal correspondent and therefore we currently have no real idea of what took place, although it is known they both had lunch with Per Mertesacker and met with Bernd Leno and Shkodran Mustafi.
However in a move of breathtaking hypocrisy Bild have seemingly taken up the mantle on Jogi’s behalf and now consider themselves his prime defender in the keyboard stakes (no, that’s me actually….), today publishing an article speaking of the ‘cowardly’ and ‘characterless’ behaviour of Mesut towards his former international coach.
While I feel it regrettable than Mesut does not wish to speak to Jogi at the present time, I understand and respect Mesut’s decision and refuse to condemn him for his actions, despite the obvious disappointment it has caused Jogi. I naturally dislike the opportunities it has given the midfielder’s supporters to, deliberately or otherwise, paint all from within Germany with the same proverbial brush, but nasty comments on social media are not, of course, of Mesut’s making.
But let’s just sit and think about Bild’s words for a moment. Mesut Özil’s behaviour towards the Bundestrainer, it would seem, has sent this upstanding organisation into a frenzy of moral tut-tutting. Bild have become the experts in etiquette, quick to condemn anyone who fails to live up to their own high standards. This is exemplified by Mesut’s weak behaviour, they tell us, so abhorred are they at his desire to, for the moment, concentrate solely on his club career
So shall we now discuss what is really cowardly and characterless?
How about photographing a man’s personal possessions dumped in a rubbish bin in a private hotel room to generate sensationalism following a failure in a football tournament?
Or ambushing him in an aeroplane gangway in front of his players and their families to demand his resignation?
How about the proof that positive comments posted by his supporters are deleted (ensuring the appearance is that he is totally disliked) and instead allowing the most appalling abuse to remain unchecked on your website?
Or indeed, as recently as this week, believing you have the right to follow and photograph a couple in the most intimate and private of moments simply because one of them coaches your national football team?
I think we are all getting the ‘picture’ here…
While opinions on the issue may continue to divide, I do hope we can all agree on one thing, and that is Bild have absolutely no right to adopt any moral high ground in how Joachim Löw is treated by others.
Really, believe me, they relinquished that right a long time ago.
Update later the same day:
Sky Sports have now revealed that Unai Emery did NOT block Joachim Löw from the Arsenal training ground. Mesut was not in attendance, and Jogi and Oliver Bierhoff were there at the invitation of Per Mertesacker. This was later confirmed by Unai Emery in a Sky Sports interview.
And to think there are still people out there that still doubt there was/is an agenda against Mesut in the German media.