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July 2021

What ‘ze Germans’ are saying about Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

Sometimes you couldn’t make it up. One of my favourite comical series of all time was the ‘Allo, allo’  And one of the most funny characters for me was Herr Flick, the leader of the Gestapo in Nouvion. People who know the series will know who I mean and as it was a rather big hit I think most people will have seen it. Not that the Gestapo was that funny but the way the makers portrayed the Gestapo was really funny. Well at least that was what I found

Now what on earth has Herr Flick from the Gestapo to do with football and Arsenal you might ask? Well not that much I must admit. But the thing is that there is a Herr Flick who has something to do with some Arsenal players for the moment. He even sat in the stadium last Sunday. But he doesn’t do a funny walk with his walking stick as Herr Otto Flick does, this Herr Flick is named Hansi Flick and he is the assistant manager of Joachim Low the manager of the German national team.

And on the website of the German national team we could read an interview of what he saw in London as Low and Flick were visiting London to have a look at some German internationals. And this brought them to West Ham United – Everton, Chelsea v Fulham and of course Arsenal – Stoke. So what did Her Flick have to say about the Germans playing for Arsenal? I will translate this from the article that appeared on the website of the DFB.

As I think it is always interesting to read what some people with some real and good understanding of the game think and say about Arsenal and some of our players and of course our manager. On Sunday in the game between Arsenal and Stoke you have seen a lot of German players. What did you think of the game.

Flick:  It was great to see how Özil has been welcomed at Arsenal. It really was fantastic. When he was subbed late in the game he got a standing ovation from the fans. And with reason, Mesut has had a good game. But not just Mesut was convincing in his display. It was great to see the top concentration and top class performance from Per Mertesacker.  His goal was not a lucky one, as it came from a set piece that was trained and even practised before in the game. It didn’t work the first time but it worked the second time they tried it. It was almost the same against the Faroer when Germany played there when Mertesacker also scored after a corner from Özil and that brought him his third goal for Germany.  

Flick: Yes, but for that goal it was Boatent that headed the ball in the path of Mertesacker after the Özil corner. Per is slowly changing in to a top scorer. (laughter) Topscorer and captain in London….

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Flick: Yes, correct. People can see that Per really is turning in to a leader over there. He is very much loved by the fans and certainly within the team. It was visible to see how the whole team enjoyed the fact that he had scored the goal. Mesut Özil has now played 3 games for Arsenal and all of them have been great.  He is renowned for his playing skill but aren’t you surprised by the fact that he seems to had no real  problems adapting to his new teammates and a new league?

Flick:  The big strong thing of Arsenal is that they have great players. So in a way it is not really a surprise that Mesut fits in such a team. The football that Arsène Wenger is playing is based on quick combination and this is exactly what Mesut likes. And we don’t have to doubt his class. Of course it is enjoyable to see that his first weeks in London are starting very positive. On the field we had another German player for Arsenal and with Robert Huth of Stoke there even was a 4th German player.

Flick: Robert Huth had a good game. He played very concentrated and won a lot of duels. But we are of course very happy with the fact that Serge Gnaby is getting his chances. That is very important for the next generation in our national team. He has started his first game and he has done his job in a convincing way. He could cope with the level, he was composed and didn’t lose the ball. And for a 18 year old boy he is already on a high level. It really is good for him that he is working under a trainer like Arsène Wenger. Wenger likes to give them confidence and he develops players to improve them. I am certain that Serge Gnabry will profit from this later on in his career.

So this is what Hansi Flick had to say on the website of the German football federation DFB.

And another example on how highly Wenger is regarded in the football world outside England. Over there they treat the man with the respect he deserves and they can see what he is doing with players  and how he is developing players who were even finished products when he bought them. The way Mertesacker is changing and blossoming at Arsenal is a good example.

And I think the words of people who work for an organisation like the German football federation DFB are far more important than most rants on the internet by some average fan who cannot get any further than ‘Wenger out’ stuff.

Most players improve when Wenger has them in his hands. Just imagine that Wenger could even improve Özil and bring him to an even higher level. I think ‘ze Germans’ wouldn’t mind and I cannot imagine any real Gooner not getting excited just by the thought of it.

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26 comments to What ‘ze Germans’ are saying about Arsenal

  • Laitan Fawehinmi

    What a beautiful article !Just confirmed what I have always thought about some of this less informed arm-chair critics of Mr Wenger.!They cherry pick on perceived inadequacy of Mr Wenger without looking deeply at the circumstances surrounding his decisions. For instances this a Manager that has managed a club while a new stadium was being built ! A manager that has qualified for the the Champion League for a record 16 consecutive times !!!I guess the saying that “a prophet is never without honour except in his home ” is simply true !!

  • Frank Wilcox

    Excellent article,and not surprising,the Germans know quality and appreciate fantastic coaching!!thx for sharing this!!

  • i hope this will bring more german players at arsenal fc

  • Mick

    Mr Kroenke has now publicly declared that he wants Arsene to sign a new contract which is great news. I sincerely hope he commits to the club for a few more years and believe he will do so. Maybe in order to show Arsene that he has the support of

  • Mick

    Mr Kroenke has now publicly declared that he wants Arsene to sign a new contract which is great news. I sincerely hope he commits to the club for a few more years and believe he will do so. Maybe in order to show Arsene that he has the support of

  • Mick

    Woops hit the wrong key…. to continue from previous post….

    Maybe in order to show Arsene that he has the support of the majority of us fans an email from as many of us as possible urging him to sign on the dotted line would help to ensure his continued tenure as manager.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Danke schoen , Herr Broeckx . Eine wunderbare und interessante Artikel .
    Others far away value AW’s contribution to the game in general and Arsenal in particular ,but not those myopic, no brains local experts !
    He has blended players from so many countries and cultures so seemlessly .
    Was there also no mentioned made of those other dumkopfs
    ( or is it dumkopfen ?), the AAAA ?

    (Definition of DUMMKOPF – blockhead.
    a good-looking guy, but a dummkopf with the brains of a potato.)
    So here’s to blending potatos ( potatoes) with tomatos ( tomatoes ). What will they think of next ?

  • Sav from Australia

    Excellent article Walter. How many languages do you understand BTW?

    I for one think its a brilliant idea to highlight how the rest of Europe perceives Arsenal and Mr Wenger and this method of direct translations is powerful stuff.

    For the informed and positive Arsenal supporters it is a joy to see such worthy comments by real experts. For the genuinely uninformed it is illuminating and taking them away from British / English speaking media bias and ignorance and lies regarding Arsenal and Mr Wenger.

  • Sav from Australia

    And for the rest, the AAA and their cohorts. Well they are irrelevant if we ignore them and move on without them.

  • AL

    Loew & Klinsmann have come out too expressing their thoughts on how ‘lucky’ Ozil is to work under Wenger. Anybody worth their salt in the football world outside of England respects Wenger.

  • bjtgooner

    A super article and it is good to see that AW is highly respected in world football and that his present team and players are also respected.

    The contrast between Herr Flick, who knows what he is about and the pathetic punters from the UK media (aided by schweinhunds from the AAA, AST and BSM etc) who do not, is very marked. It again begs the question – what is the motivation behind the anti Arsenal agenda within the UK media?

    Lets hope AW stays as manager for a very long time and has the opportunity to take this very good, but probably not quite finished, team to the next level. On that point, it is encouraging to see Silent Stan come out so strongly in support of AW.

  • omar

    Wenger took an unknown GEORGE WEAH and made him the Greatest African Footballer. Weah won the following awards World Footballer, European Footballer and African Footballer all in 1995

  • jambug

    Even though we got through on Wednesday there was still an undercurrent of critisism from the media at Wenger for playing the kids.(What if they’d lost? No trophies. bla bla bla) Not least from Clarridge after the game. He gave Liverpool more praise and they lost !!!!

    Our media is sooooooo anti it is beyond a joke.

    I wonder if a great interview like that is picked up and re layed in our media such as SKY, The Sun, Takshite etc. as it would of been had it been negative ?

    Well done Walter, great read !!

  • gouresh

    Flick was asked about Huth, but he was more interested in serge. That was the best part.

  • WalterBroeckx

    to answer your question I’m rather good in Dutch/Flemish(the same and yet not completely), French (second most spoken language in Belgium), I do seem to know a bit of English it seems, and I can completely understand and can speak German (but not 100% in writing any more as I didn’t practice enough lately).
    Spanish is strict minimum to be honest (including some hands gesture and lots of pointing)

    so in short I’m not as brilliant in languages as Wenger is but I do know one language he doesn’t speak 😉

  • colario

    Hi Walter. Thanks for this blog and translation. The link only takes me to the site but not the article. Can you give a link to the page please? Thank you.

  • AL

    I think the anti Arsenal bias in the media, particularly the anti Wenger bias, has a lot to do with Ferguson. Ferguson enjoyed being the main man and Wenger arrived from nowhere to challenge him and he didn’t like that. And the spineless media would go with whatever Ferguson said or liked, so naturally that meant AW’s presence was unwelcome in England. Even when Arsenal were doing well they were concentrating on stuff like how many red cards his players totted up, how many British players were in his side, how he never saw any fouls his players committed, etc.

    You can see it again with Rafa, and conversely with Mourinho too. Rafa challenged Ferguson and he was ridiculed by the media all the way through. Mourinho sucked up to Ferguson and the media took him to their hearts. If the guys who work in the media had any balls we wouldn’t have half the problems affecting our game right now.

  • MoscowTrinta

    Even Adebayor won African player of the year because of Professor Arsene Wenger. Problem is We don’t appreciate enough.

  • Niyan

    All correct !!!

  • Unbelievable belief

    Fantastic post Walter.
    I think a lot of Arsenal fans don’t get how much of a big deal Poldi and Per are in Germany.
    These lads are megastars for the Germans.
    And as for Özil, even the dumbest Gööner gets how big a deal he is.

    Gnarby got a well deserved piece of luck having Low watch him in action at the Emirates – He’s certainly now on the radar for a call up to the national team. The Germans can afford to bring in a few lads with potential for the future, their World Cup group is nearly done and dusted.

  • Pat

    Very enjoyable article Walter.

    Good to know Arsene Wenger’s efforts are appreciated in Germany.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About languages: I bow my head for Arteta however…. from in this article :

    Spanish midfielder Arteta, who speaks a total of seven languages (Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan and Basque) believes that learning a foreign language can not only help to improve social skills but also provide a boost to potential career prospects,

  • Unbelievable belief

    Walter, none of those would have helped him in Glasgow.
    D’y’ken da?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Even my language skills are of no use I think 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What an articulate and classy man Arteta is and just the type to be an ambassador for the club .
    I too would like to know if there are classes teaching Scouser (to understand Carrager and ex-Liverpuddle pundits!) and Cockney of course ,to understand the local Arsenal fans and not be called muppets by Lord Tim Payton (as was mentioned by Mahdain in the AST , BSM article !).
    Geordie , I understand , having a close friend from Newcastle residing here for more than 20 years .