Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 11 Sep 2019 11:07 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link334Shares Advertisement Mesut Ozil was left on the bench for Arsenal’s north London derby clash against Spurs (Picture: Getty)Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker has labelled his former teammate Mesut Ozil a ‘genius’ but insisted it is up to him to take his game to another level.Ozil hasn’t featured for Unai Emery this season, missing the opening game against Newcastle due to concerns over his security, before illness ruled him out against Burnley and Liverpool.The 30-year-old was included in Arsenal’s matchday squad for the north London derby but failed to come on as Emery turned to fellow playmaker Dani Ceballos off the substitutes bench instead.Ozil has shown flashes of his undoubted quality during his six-year spell with Arsenal but he has been accused by supporters of not being consistent enough with his form.ADVERTISEMENT Per Mertesacker sends a message to ‘genius’ former Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil were Arsenal and Germany teammates (Picture: Getty)Asked whether he understands Arsenal fans frustrations with Ozil, Mertesacker replied: ‘Yeah because probably they don’t understand him.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I know how to take him and how to try to pinch him when needed. But ultimately it has to come from him if he wants to go to the next level. But he can deliver.‘He loves playing football, it doesn’t come across so often. He is a genius in terms of what he can produce with the ball and you can see that in every training session.‘He thinks he plays in the park, he can deliver that ball that no one else can deliver. He has got that magical sense.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityOzil was a virtual ever-present during Arsene Wenger’s time in charge but he found himself in and out of Emery’s plans during the Spaniard’s debut campaign in charge.Emery frequently benched Ozil last term and he only managed five goals and two assists from 24 Premier League matches, the latter statistic representing his worst return in English football.Mertesacker was a long-term teammate of Ozil’s both for Arsenal and at international level with Germany and he admitted that it took him time to understand his character. Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil were in the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup (Picture: Getty)He added: ‘He wants to be OK with everyone. He is not the kind of guy who approaches people and says: ‘You need to do this, that and that.’‘He’s a different character and sometimes I struggled with that.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Comment
The Latest: Pakistan cricketer Afridi positive for virus More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports June 13, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Pakistan cricket’s celebrated allrounder Shahid Afridi has tested positive for COVID-19. “I’ve been feeling unwell since Thursday; my body had been aching badly. I’ve been tested and unfortunately I’m covid positive. Need prayers for a speedy recovery, InshaAllah,” Afridi tweeted Saturday.Afridi quit international cricket in 2017 and has since played in Twenty20 leagues around the world.Former test opener Taufeeq Umar contracted the virus in May and has made a full recovery.A former Pakistan first-class cricketer, Zafar Sarfraz, died during the coronavirus outbreak.___ Associated Press
Fifa says it will not pay compensation to clubs and leagues unhappy about plans to play the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November and December.It also said no apology was necessary for the scheduling of the tournament, which will disrupt a number of leagues.A Fifa taskforce has recommended the 2022 World Cup take place in winter to avoid Qatar’s hot summer temperatures.”There will be no compensation,” said Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke. “There are seven years to reorganise.”Fifa’s executive committee will meet in Zurich next month to ratify the taskforce’s recommendation.Valcke also suggested that a 2022 World Cup final on 23 December was looking increasingly likely. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore says a final that close to Christmas will cause havoc with the traditional festive club programme, while Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce wants it played a week earlier.But Valcke says European governing body Uefa and other confederations are keen on Friday, 23 December, although 18 December is also a possibility.Valcke also confirmed the 2022 World Cup will be four days shorter as a “concession” to leagues and clubs – 28 days instead of the usual 31 or 32 – and that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will move to June from January.