One round of international completed and we’re safe. Safe in the sense that there are no reports of any of our players look to have suffered any injuries. In fact, it was a successful night of football for some of our players. Getting on the scoresheet and so on. Though, not all had a good night. Summary as follows.
Santi Cazorla – Played 60 minutes for Spain v Saudi Arabia. Scored 1, assist 1
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Played 58 minutes for England v Moldova. Assist 1
Theo Walcott – Played 32 minutes for England v Moldova. Assist 1
Per Mertesacker – Played 90 minutes for Germany v Faroe Islands
Lukas Podolski – Played 15 minutes for Germany v Faroe Islands
Aaron Ramsey – Played 90 minutes for Wales v Belgium
Thomas Vermaelen – Played 90 minutes for Belgium v Wales
Johan Djourou – Played 90 minutes for Switzerland v Slovenia
Abou Diaby – Played 90 minutes for France v Finland. Scored 1
Francis Coquelin – Played 75 minutes for France U21 v Slovakia U21. Red card
Diaby coming good with his words. Another full game played without any injury concern. Scoring the only goal for France to cap off a wonderful week for the returning midfielder. If it’s a sign of things to come, I’m sure we are all very excited to see how this season pans out for him. Djourou’s appearance probably went unnoticed but helped Switzerland keep a clean sheet. The game will do him well, now that we have a clean bill of health with regards to our centre backs and he’s not getting any game time.
The only match that I saw was the Germany v Faroe Islands where Mertesacker started. It is not a match in the normal sense as it was a training exercise for Joachim Loew’s side. Germany spent most of their game camped inside of their opponent’s penalty box. They left Mertesacker and one of Badstuber or Hummels at the back and the most that our centre back did was to pick up lose pass. Podolski came on late in the game but by then the result was never in doubt. He had a chance to score but a heavy touch ended that hope after Ozil had put him through.
Coming back to the status of our squad, there’s one more who is leaving the club, albeit for one month only. Chuks Aneke will spend the next month with Crewe in League One. If we go according to specific date that the loan deal is announced, Aneke have 7 league games in which he can feature in. For such a short term loan, that is a high number of games he could play. Hopefully he gets to play in most of the games, if not all. His physique will get him labelled as Yaya Toure MKII and going forward, there’s a lot of similarity. Let’s see how he gets on at Crewe.
One player who is not going out is Andrey Arshavin. Apparently the deal has been agreed between us and Zenit St Petersburg but it collapsed at the last minute. The collapse was all down to Arshavin himself. It is strange that a player decides to stay even after knowing that the club is willing to sell him. Of course, Arsene Wenger or whoever talked to Arshavin would only mention something along the lines of “we would love for you to stay but the decision is yours”.
Arshavin himself is a baffling player. One capable of industry and genius on the field but doesn’t show those skills often enough. There’s no doubt that he is still able to come into any game and be able to influence the game. Someone who’s creativity could help to break the duck if we are tied on scores or if we are chasing for the equaliser. However, given the way the team has responded and played in recent weeks, we can’t afford any passengers in our team.
Everyone has to contribute to the cause and work ethic is high on the priority list. Shame, it is something which Arshavin so rarely provides. He might get a few minutes here and there from now till January but I’ll be really surprised if I don’t see him being moved on when the next transfer window comes around. That said, I’ll gladly be proven wrong if Arshavin does what is required and expected of him, every time that he plays.
The case with another player is one which is the reverse with Arshavin. The case with Nicklas Bendtner is one which he says he wants out from Arsenal but Arsene Wenger is not so willing to accept that fact. That the Dane wants a permanent move out is no real surprise. One thing we do know is that Wenger is more forthcoming and open with foreign press than the British ones, so perhaps there is an element of truth somewhere in that statement. Juventus does have an option to buy (according to reports last week) so perhaps the final outcome does not lie with us.
Today we’ll worry about Gervinho. Well, maybe not all of you.