All in the Game: Glowing tributes few and far between for departing Özil

Keeper keeps cool over €340k car write-off . . . the best quotes of the week

Mesut Özil  could be on the way from Arsenal to Fenerbahce on a free transfer. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Mesut Özil could be on the way from Arsenal to Fenerbahce on a free transfer. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

 

It looks like Mesut Özil’s Arsenal adventure is finally coming to an end, reports suggesting that he’s on his way to Fenerbahce on a free transfer after agreeing to waive part of the £7 million salary due to him for the remainder of his contract at the club.

Some of the tributes paid to the fella have been touching, like this one from Piers Morgan. “I can’t wait to see the back of the lazy manipulative £350,000-a-week wastrel. You could have been a club legend, Mesut – but you just couldn’t be bothered. Bye.”

And then there was this warm salute from Jose Mourinho when he was told that Özil said he’d prefer to retire than join Spurs. “Who told him that Tottenham would be interested in signing him?”

The most chilled former Italian goalkeeper of the week

That’d be 37-year-old Federico Marchetti, currently at Genoa, who won just 11 caps for his country having had the misfortune to belong to the same generation as Gianluigi Buffon. But in the course of his lengthy career he surely never showed as much restraint as he did last week when he got word about the fate of his €340,000 Ferrari.

Marchetti dropped his car off for it to be professionally cleaned, but there was a bit of a mishap when a worker from the garage drove it back to the Genoa training ground – he lost control of the machine and . . . . hit five (five!) parked cars.

The upshot? The car ended up embedded in a barrier and is a write-off.

How chilled was Marchetti? Very.

“I am very sorry about what happened,” he said, “thank God no one was hurt, and that is the most important thing.”

Mind you, he might then have gone from nought to 60 in three seconds in pursuit of said worker to present him with a €340,000 bill.

Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso. Photograph: Cesare Abbate/EPA
Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso. Photograph: Cesare Abbate/EPA

Quotes of the week

“Napoli want to always be beautiful, but sometimes being a bit ugly is a good thing. You can’t always be Brad Pitt, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes you have to be a bit ugly, like me.”

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso urging his lads to learn how to win ugly rather than lose prettily.

“When you start to play it’s just football, there’s no sun, wind, rain or snow. When the ball moves, it’s football. When you play football you forget about everything, when the ball moves it’s total happiness.”

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone rather poetically dismissing the freezing temperatures that his side had to combat in their 2-0 win over Seville.

“We were frigging hopeless, we were absolutely shite.”

Steve Bruce paying tribute to his Newcastle players after their defeat by Sheffield United.

“If you climb Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest and you get to the top and you sit down and relax – what happens then? You’ll freeze to death.”

Ole Gunnar Solsjkær worrying that his lads might get double pneumonia after reaching the summit of the Premier League table.

“I never thought how it would have been at Manchester, not for one second because I am completely fine here. Even the weather is better in Liverpool than Manchester.”

Jürgen Klopp with no regrets about not becoming Old Trafford head honcho, largely because Merseyside has a superior climate.

“You can have an unhappy professional but he feels that his duty is to work, work, work and work. And there is the unhappy that believes that it’s not his job to fight and to work every minute for the club.”

Jose Mourinho not naming names, apart from Dele Alli.

“You want to stay here? Or go to Real Madrid and play no football?”

Jose again, this time caught on camera during Spurs training trying to encourage Gareth Bale to try a little harder.

“No hugging lads! No kissing!”

West Brom gaffer Sam Allardyce ordering his players to be less passionate and socially distance during their celebrations after beating Wolves on Saturday.

“Going from bad to worse.”

Spanish newspaper AS somewhat suggesting with their headline over a piece on Eden Hazard’s performance for Real Madrid in the cup defeat by Athletic Bilbao that his form isn’t, well, perfect.

Number of the week: 53

That’s how old Kazuyoshi Miura is – and he’s just signed a new contract with Japanese side Yokohama to play in the 36th season of his career. That’s a heck of an engine.

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