Report on Gunners on International Duty

Nothing much really happens during an international break, except when a Fantasy Football Manager like me is in anguish because five of my ‘players’ got injured during the break, and with me wisely making my transfers before the break, I’m the ‘f’ in the word f*cked. Enough about me and my FPL shenanigans for a minute. As an Arsenal fan, it was good seeing the lads do well for their respective nations and most importantly, stay fit, because there have been a couple of high-profile casualties during this window.

Here’s a detailed report on the Gunners that featured for their respective nations.

Olivier Giroud

Giroud has found himself on the fringes at Arsenal lately, no thanks to Theo Walcott’s blistering form but he would be proud to have notched up his 11th and 12th goal for France in their 2-1 win over Denmark. Both goals were close range finishes that was bread and butter stuff for the big Frenchman but we have seen him miss them too you know. He also featured in France’s whitewash of Armenia but he made a late substitute appearance.

Mesut Ozil

It was good seeing Ozil get back on the scoring act in Arsenal’s emphatic win over Manchester United but he played 180 minutes in Germany’s games this window. He was part of the German team that narrowly lost to the Republic of Ireland and he managed to claim an assist for Max Kruse in the 2-1 win over Georgia.

Wojciech Szczesny

Szczesny spent the entire time at the dugout as Poland grabbed a draw against Scotland in their first game before defeating the Republic of Ireland thanks to the red-hot Robert Lewandowski. That guy is in the form of his life at the moment and it can only get better. To think we are facing him soon :(

Alex Iwobi

Iwobi played in the last 11 minutes of Nigeria’s impressive 3-0 win over rivals, Cameroon. Goals from Efe Ambrose, Simon Moses and Watford’s Odion Ighalo settled the contest.

Santi Cazorla

The diminutive magician was on the bench in Spain’s slender win over Ukraine but he got in on the scoring act in the demolition of Luxembourg. It’s been a while since Cazorla scored, especially with his new withdrawn role in the club so it must have been nice for the Spaniard to get the opportunity to kiss those his tattoos again, as it has become his tradition when he finds the back of the net.

Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Walcott and the Ox featured in the win over Estonia with Walcott even getting a goal to continue his good run of form. However, Walcott remained on the bench as the Three Lions defeated Lithuania yesterday. The Ox managed to get a goal and Gibbs got 90 minutes under his belt. Games have been hard to come by for the defender, with Nacho Monreal in such fine form.

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean hotshot is back to his scintillating best with six goals in his last three games but he suffered a groin injury that was meant to have prevented him for featuring for his beloved Chile. However, there’s no stopping Alexis, as he played all 90 minutes in Chile’s win over Brazil and he even scored the match clincher. Alexis is odds on to feature in Chile’s match against Peru tonight.

David Ospina

Since his horror show against Olympiakos, one wonders when Ospina would get some game time for the Gunners again but I have a hunch that he would be in goal when the Gunners visit Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup fourth round. However, Ospina kept a clean sheet in Colombia’s 2-0 win over Peru and will be in goal again when they visit Uruguay for what would be a daunting fixture for Jose Pekerman’s men.

Joel Campbell

Campbell featured in his country’s disappointing loss to South Africa and he would play a crest-fallen USA that recently lost their Conferederation Cup playoff spot to Mexico in a pulsating encounter.

Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey can beat his chest that he was part of the Welsh team that made history by qualifying for the European Championships for the first time in 57 years. Despite their 2-0 loss to Bosnia, Wales had done enough to secure qualification to this summer’s show piece in France. Ramsey will be part of the Welsh side that hosts minnows, Andorra, tonight.

Petr Cech

Cech watched in anguish from the bench as his team lost at home to Turkey. He will return in goal when the Czech visit the Dutch in what would be one hell of a match.


It’s good to know that most of the players have returned to North London unscathed and I certainly hope that Alexis and Ramsey would be free of any injuries after their matches tonight.


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Quick Roundup of Gunners Called up for International Duty

Can he continue his good form for England?

The international break is here again as various players would be leaving their respective clubs to feature for their countries in some qualifiers and pointless friendly matches. Here is a full breakdown of the Arsenal players that have been called up to represent their nations in the international fixtures this weekend.

England: Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Gibbs has found first team football hard to come by this season thanks to the form of Nacho Monreal but he was called up nonetheless as England is set to face Estonia and Lithuania in their remaining Euro 2016 qualifiers. With Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines out injured, Gibbs might use this opportunity to show what he’s made of for his nation. The Ox has had a hot and cold campaign thus far and if the cross bar was a few inches higher, he would have scored Arsenal’s fourth goal against Manchester United. Everyone’s eyes would be on Theo Walcott that has finally come of age at Arsenal, and his recent performances have been exceptional to say the least.

Germany: Mesut Ozil and Serge Gnabry

With Per Mertesacker now retired and Lukas Podolski flushed out to Galatasaray, Arsenal’s only German contingent is Mesut Ozil and it was good to see the schemer finally get off the mark for the season with a beautiful finish against Manchester United. Serge Gnabry is also a German playing for the Gunners but he hasn’t come of age yet. Sadly, he hardly features for the Baggies since he was loaned out. Gnabry is set to feature for the Germany U-21s in their qualifiers against Finland U-21s and Faroe Islands U-21s.

Ozil is set to be involved in Germany’s qualifiers against Ireland and Georgia.

France: Olivier Giroud

With Laurent Koscielny suffering from a hamstring injury, Didier Deschamps has called up Olivier Giroud for France’s friendlies against Armenia and Lord Nicklas Bendtner’s Denmark. Deschamps has recently spoken about Giroud’s confidence and he’s hoping his striker can get more playing time at Arsenal but with Walcott in such good form, it would take some stuffing from the French forward to displace him. Giroud ended a personal drought with his goal against Leicester but he had a fairly good chance to get on the score sheet against Manchester United. Sadly, he missed it.

Colombia: David Ospina

Ospina is a man short of confidence following his blunder against Olympiakos. I’d expect him to feature in the Capital One Cup clash with Sheffield Wednesday but he has joined his teammates for the qualifiers against Peru and Uruguay. I hope he keeps a clean sheet or two.

Wales: Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal’s tireless workhorse has had a shitty spell in front of goal this season and he’d be hoping to be on the score sheet when Wales takes on Bosnia and Andorra. Andorra has always been traditional whopping boys like San Marino and I really hope that Ramsey scores a goal or two there.

Chile: Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean hotshot is back to his very best at Arsenal with his goal tally of six goals in three games but he sustained a groin injury towards the end of the game. However, he was been called up by Chile for the qualifiers against Brazil and Peru.

Spain: Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin

Cazorla’s new role in the team will not see him grab the back pages for scoring goals or creating assists but his importance to the team is unrivaled. However, at Spain, Cazorla has been on the fringes for as long as I can remember. I hope he gets a good run out in the qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine. Bellerin has been called up by the Under-21s for their qualifiers against Georgia U-21s and Sweden U-21s.

Costa Rica: Joel Campbell

Campbell hasn’t lighted any fireworks since he returned back to the club and he has featured sparingly as you’d expect from a player that isn’t trusted fully by the manager. However, he’s a mainstay in the Costa Rica squad and he’s set to feature in the friendlies against South Africa and U.S.A.

Czech Republic: Petr Cech

Petr Cech returned in goal against Manchester United and kept another clean sheet, which brings him ever closer to the clean sheet record held by David James. He has been called up by his nation for the qualifiers against Turkey and the Netherlands.

Nigeria: Alex Iwobi

It’s pleasing to know that a fellow Nigerian, Alex Iwobi, who’s also the legendary Jay Jay Okocha’s nephew, has been called up by Sunday Oliseh for the friendlies against Congo and Cameroon. I’m looking forward to seeing the lad in action.

I hope our players come back unscathed.


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Alexis Continues his Hot Streak as Arsenal Thrash the Red Devils

Alexis Sanchez

Arsenal 3 (Alexis 6′, 20′, Ozil 7′) – Manchester United 0

Match ReportMatch HighlightsPost-Match Press Conference (via

We needed a response from that horror show against Olympiakos and it couldn’t come any bigger than Manchester United, a side that simply knows how to best Arsenal. They play good, they beat us, we play better, they beat us, in their shitetest of days, they somehow beat us. But this time, we were not taking any prisoners.

Nacho Monreal knew that a strong start was vital and boy, did the Gunners have the strongest of starts. Theo Walcott has been a revelation since he made the center forward role his for the taking and on the back of this display, Olivier Giroud is set to spend quite some time on the fringes to the English speedster. Walcott created two assists in the space on one minute for Alexis Sanchez that sent the ball home with the cheekiest of finishes you’d ever see and Mesut Ozil that left David de Gea rooted to the spot. Alexis completed the blitz with another trademark sensational strike that smashed the top corner of de Gea’s net. The commentator even went ahead to see that two goalies wouldn’t have saved that effort.

That was some mesmerizing attacking display from the Gunners and Alexis almost created a fourth goal for Aaron Ramsey but the Welshman’s finish was pathetic to say the least. If it was the Ramsey of the 2013/14 season, the net would have rippled. Ramsey is one player that has divided opinion this season with his deployment on the right flank but when you consider that his real replacement in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is quite inconsistent, as well as the ‘work’ Ramsey puts in, you’d feel he’s more or less a better option there. Credit to Hector Bellerin as well, that marauds the flank with such consummate ease.

Despite Arsenal’s virtuoso performances in attack, the defense must be equally lauded for their contributions. Petr Cech proved his worth with some splendid saves as the game progressed and I can’t think of any better save than Cech’s effort to stop Anthony Martial’s shot from hitting the back of the net. The stats boys even tell us that the Gunners have failed to concede a goal in any Premier League game Gabriel Paulista has featured and there’s no doubting those stats people. They take their shit quite serious.

The only downside though was seeing Alexis hold his groin like he had twanged something. With the international break coming up, one would think that the Chilean would stay back in London to get some rest but Wenger has already confirmed that the hotshot would travel to Chile to join up with his teammates. Sanchez likes him some Arsenal but he loves him some Chile. Just when the critics were out for the Chilean, he hits six goals in three games.

I’m starting to feel really sad for Watford because the Alexis Sanchez juggernaut has started running, and with this form, it can only get better.

I just hope that we won’t suffer any injuries in the break.


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