|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Arsenal FC|
2019 11 27 Retrieve
[Former Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant believes that some of the Gunners’ first-team squad are letting their manager down and even trying to get him sacked] The players have got to look at themselves because there is only so much that the manager can do. He can give instructions and pick the team, but he can’t pass the ball for you. Some of the goals they are conceding is not due to the manager. That comes down to application. That comes down to knowing how to defend properly. It’s the fundamentals like seeing the correct pass and knowing where to be and where not to be. That’s down to the players. They need to look at themselves and be more energetic. Defend like every game is a cup final. Instead they’re half-hearted like they’re trying to get Emery sacked
At the end of the day, he didn’t ask to leave. He got sacked by Spurs, so he’s got every right if he wants to stay in north London where his family has probably settled. Arsenal is a big club and bigger than Tottenham as a whole. Poch has said his goodbyes and he has shown how much he cares about Spurs but if Arsenal come calling it’s Spurs who are the ones who have missed out for sacking him. I don’t think there would be any disrespect. It’s a job and we all have to work.
It’s such a great club and the fans expect so much. To drop points the way they are to the likes of Southampton - no disrespect to them but this is a team who recently lost 9-0 at home. They then go to Arsenal and get a draw. Obviously they’ve had a kick up the backside with their manager telling them careers are at stake here, but Arsenal shouldn’t be drawing at the Emirates to Southampton with Southampton having 21 shots on their goal. I don’t know if the players have lost faith or it’s the noise surrounding whether the manager should stay or go. But seeing the team selections and what is happening with Xhaka and the performances on the pitch, I don’t think even the players know what their best formation is. It does need a shake up and they should really be putting in a phone call to Poch
2019 11 28 Retrieve
[Jermaine Pennant says Liverpool are well placed to win their first Premier League title and complete a full season unbeaten] For Liverpool to only lose once last season and not win the league; that was unheard of and will never be replicated again. This season they are more prepared and have more experience of being in that situation and that is showing through now. They’re picking up late goals where last season they were holding out for the draw. They’re learning from past experience. They are better equipped this season to go unbeaten and have all the fundamentals there to go one better than last season
You have to go on form and although Salah has been top goal-scorer for the past two seasons, Mane has started off on fire, not just with goals but assists. His work-rate is phenomenal and that shows what kind of character he is: when you’re the top goal-scorer and you work as hard as he does that speaks volumes in itself
2019 12 28 Retrieve
[Jermaine Pennant says Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta should build his team around Mesut Ozil] They should build it [the team] around Ozil - he’s got a new lease of life. When he first came he was a fantastic player; he was getting assists, scoring goals and everyone was raving about him. Then Arsene [Wenger] left and Emery came in and things went a little downhill for him. So now he’s got a new lease of life and hopefully, Arsenal fans will see the Ozil from when he first came to the club
I saw him putting tackles in, I saw him chasing back and it was a different Ozil, a happy Ozil. He’s not going to be a player who will put in massive 50/50 tackles and win them, your Roy Keanes, or anyone like that. Ozil is going to get the ball, spread play and open up the defence and slip the ball through for attacking players. You’ve got players like Lucas Torreira who will do the sitting, the holding and the tackling. He’s a luxurious player and Arteta is getting something out of him that Unai Emery didn’t get out of him
2020 01 06 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant says he was close to leaving the Merseyside club for Real Madrid 11 years ago, but the deal collapsed and he ended up at Portsmouth instead] When I was at Liverpool, Real Madrid came to sign me in my last year of contract. (agent) Sky Andrew held negotiations with the president and he gave the green light to the agreement for about €4 million (£3m/$4m). But Juande Ramos was not aware of that agreement. So when he found out he decided to knock the deal down. I went from Madrid to Portsmouth. A big change
I was free. I had offers in England but when Sky told me there was an option to go to Spain I said ‘wow, that’s very cool’. I thought my style of play would fit well in La Liga. I knew about Zaragoza. I had that memory of watching Nayim’s goal against Arsenal in the (1995 Cup Winners’) Cup Final on TV. It was one of those clubs that you remember at the time when you talk about Spanish football. So it was an option that I found very attractive. I was treated like a star. I had not experienced something like when I was introduced. It was an experience I did not imagine. In England you go out, they take a picture of you with the scarf and that’s it. There were a lot of people there in Real Zaragoza […] I don’t know, maybe 2,000 people? It was a shock. Zaragoza fans were very excited about my arrival
[He made just two La Liga appearances before returning to the Premier League with Stoke in the summer of 2010] My Spanish was very bad, really. I made the effort to try to learn, but it was impossible. I managed to say a few words about football, I remember ‘two beers, please’. My translator, whose name was Fernando, helped me a lot.
It was a difficult culture to adapt to - especially siestas. I remember going to look for a restaurant to eat and everything was closed. They would be napping. So I ended up eating at the Burger King. Then I got used to the traditions and the city. It was beautiful, very traditional and cultural, although I didn’t like the nightlife much.
I knew [team-mate Frank Songo’o] from his time at Portsmouth, so it was easy to understand me because he was one of the few who knew English. We didn’t play much, so we caught a train to Madrid or Barcelona to have a good time. Together with him I had one of the craziest nights in Spain, a terrible trip to Barcelona. We went because we had some girls and we took the train back at 6.30 in the morning. But it was delayed and we were in trouble.
[Zaragoza club doctor] Dr. Villanueva kept calling me to see where I was. I did not answer. My translator told me that he had been around my house and saw that there was no one in. When I arrived I made him believe that I was asleep and could not answer the door. He was a lovely person and I feel bad about it now.
Another time I had told the club that I had to go back to my house with my family to solve some personal matters. They gave me permission, but instead I went with all my friends from England to Marbella. They were amazing nights. But I missed the flight back, did not attend training and the press learned that I had been there. The nightclub where I was published on its website some pictures of me partying, it was bad.
The club found out and hit me a tremendous fine. The general manager came and told me that that was not acceptable and I was fined €150k - my salary for a month. The night was fine, but I think I got a little expensive. I deserved it. The truth is that my life in Zaragoza was absolute madness
2020 01 23 Retrieve
[Jermaine Pennant warns Birmingham youngster Jude Bellingham against hitting ‘brick wall’ with Man Utd move] It’s difficult, it will be so hard for Jude to turn down a move to Manchester United. But is it going to halt his career, at 16? Ole is not going to be throwing him into the starting line-up, he will be in the squad but he won’t be starting. How many games is he going to play? Now he is a regular at Birmingham. Birmingham is in the Championship, not League One, not League Two, the Championship, it’s good football
The Championship is a very difficult league, more demanding than the Premier League - and he’s 16 and he’s holding his weight, he is putting in tackles, he’s strong. When I saw him, I was thinking ‘No way is he 16, what has he been taking, can I have some of that?’. He is skilful, he is box to box, he puts in challenges. You have either got one or the other, skilful players don’t want to tackle, I didn’t tackle. He is 16, he is diving in, he is putting his foot in and he’s not scared - and he’s got skill as well. He has got ability as well, he is both footed, scoring goals, creating goals, he is a fantastic talent and he’s only going to get bigger. He is tall now but he has still got to grow to 21 so he is going to get bigger, wiser, quicker, stronger, he is a fantastic talent
I am surprised that no other teams are looking at him as well. My advice would be to stay at Birmingham for a season, at least for the rest of this season, continue playing, learning more, the trade of demanding first-team football in the Championship and it will do wonders for his career moving forward. Rather than going to Man Utd and hitting a brick wall, going from ‘I have been playing every week being a young starlet, to now just floating about training - when am I going to play?
2020 02 13 Retrieve
[Jermaine Pennant says Jude Bellingham is a player in the Steven Gerrard mould] He’s a fantastic player. He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard. He throws himself about, he can get up and down the pitch, he can score goals and assist goals, he’s got trickery. He’s a fantastic young player. And at 16 years of age he’s doing this week in, week out in the Championship
The Championship is a very, very strong, demanding and physical league, and he’s throwing his body about; he’s strong and he’s only going to get stronger. I’m surprised there are not more teams interested in him than just Chelsea and Manchester United because he is a really special talent. What he can achieve in his career is frightening
I feel if a move does happen, for his potential ability to get better he should really stay at Birmingham. Sign a deal with one of the massive clubs, great, but hopefully they can discuss a deal where he goes back to Birmingham to further progress in his career
2020 03 02 Retrieve
[Jermaine Pennant says Liverpool will not be disheartened after losing their unbeaten record] It’s more the media and the public wanting to see if they can beat the Invincibles. They’re not going out there thinking, ‘let’s not lose this so we can get this record’. They’re not really worried about records; they’re worried about lifting this Premier League trophy, which they haven’t done for 30 years. They’re not going to lose sleep over it. Obviously they’re going to be annoyed about not taking another three points and not closing the Premier League off earlier, but they’ll have to pick themselves up and go again
Liverpool just weren’t at the races, but they’re allowed to lose a game. When I’m watching Liverpool now and the way teams play against them, I’m starting to get frustrated for them. They’re not coming up against a four-man defence and trying to break them down, they’re coming up against ten players almost in the box. It’s frustrating for them, so they have to attack and they’re showing vulnerability on the counter-attack. What Watford did was a great game plan and it worked wonders, and it was the same at Atletico Madrid. Liverpool are finding it difficult against teams because they are being so compact with every man behind the ball because of how powerful Liverpool are going forward
That shows they’re still feared. They’ve just lost one game, they’re 22 points clear, they’re going to win the league and they’re the best team in the world, they’ve won the Club World Cup, so they are feared. So regardless of them losing to Watford, teams will still fear them and they’ll still have that aura about them when they come to play Liverpool
2020 03 14 Retrieve
[Jermain Pennant urged teenage sensation Jude Bellingham to ignore interest from Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund] It’s difficult, it will be so hard for Jude to turn down a move to Manchester United. But is it going to halt his career, at 16? Ole is not going to be throwing him into the starting line-up, he will be in the squad but he won’t be starting. How many games is he going to play?
Now he is a regular at Birmingham. Birmingham is in the Championship, not League One, not League Two, the Championship, it’s good football. The Championship is a very difficult league, more demanding than the Premier League - and he’s 16 and he’s holding his weight, he is putting in tackles, he’s strong.
When I saw him, I was thinking: ‘No way is he 16, what has he been taking, can I have some of that?’ He is skilful, he is box to box, he puts in challenges. You have either got one or the other, skilful players don’t want to tackle, I didn’t tackle. He is 16, he is diving in, he is putting his foot in and he’s not scared - and he’s got skill as well. He has got ability as well, he is both footed, scoring goals, creating goals, he is a fantastic talent and he’s only going to get bigger. He is tall now but he has still got to grow to 21 so he is going to get bigger, wiser, quicker, stronger, he is a fantastic talent.
My advice would be to stay at Birmingham for a season, at least for the rest of this season, continue playing, learning more, the trade of demanding first-team football in the Championship and it will do wonders for his career moving forward. Rather than going to Man Utd and hitting a brick wall, going from ‘I have been playing every week being a young starlet, to now just floating about training - when am I going to play?