Daily Archives: June 5, 2011
International football is a lot different from club football. Man Utd beat everybody that visited Old Trafford except West Brom this season. When they visited Wolves with their unbeaten record still intact, they expected another stroll in the park but they were undone by a resolute Wolves side that kept Arsenal’s existing bragging right still intact. Liverpool had one bragging right that they have held since 1990 but the newest Champ19ns of England has blown it to bits with their historic 19th title. In international football, qualifiers are a lot easier for teams like Spain, Germany, Netherlands and the rest of the international football’s heavyweights.
Some gunners were on international duty yesterday with the pick of the day being England’s match against Switzerland. Switzerland’s Tranquillo Barnetta stole the show in the first half with 2 free kicks that showed why Joe Hart’s eccentricity rating in Football Manager is 16/20. The first was the type of free kick that Gianfranco Zola scored David Seaman in the game that Kolo Toure scored his first goal for Arsenal in the 2002/03 season. The ball bounced in front of Hart and went in the net. Barnetta’s second goal was quite comical. A simple free kick from the right hand side hit Joe Hart’s legs before going into the net. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere waltzed into the box and was hacked down by his Arsenal teammate Johan Djourou. The Hunchback of Stamford Dame executed the penalty with the class he’s renowned for; a hard low drive that went under Benaglio’s body. Fabio Hitler had it all do in the interval so he brought on Ashley Young at the start of the second half and the Aston Villa winger made an immediate impact 6 minutes after coming in with a good goal after some nice team play involving the Flour Mill-ner and Leighton Baines. That was it for England because no other goal was scored but group rivals Montenegro failed to go 2 points clear off England by drawing 1-1 with Bulgaria.
Andrei Arshavin led his Motherland Russia to a 3-1 win against minnows Armenia. Against the run of play, Armenia drew first blood through a Brazilian that naturalized for them called Marcos. Brazilians not called football exports for nothing. There’s even one in Armenia. It’s just unfortunate to know that the one in Arsenal is an escort-in-chief. Tottenham’s Pavlychenchenchenko turned on the style with a superb hattrick. The first was a first time volley that was saved by the keeper over the line. The ball didn’t hit the net but the ref was on hand to award the goal to Russia. His second was also another first time volley that slammed the roof of the net while his third was a penalty kick he converted after Zhirkov was scythed down in the box.
Want away striker Nicklas Bendtner also started for Denmark in their 2-0 away victory against Scandinavian neighbours Iceland. Lasse Schone fired in a superb volley for the visitors before Ajax wonderkid Christian Eriksen sealed the tie with a placed effort from a Dennis Rommerdahl pass.
Robin van Persie was also in action when Brazil hosted Holland in a friendly encounter. The game was exciting but no goals were scored as the football juggernauts decided to share the spoils of battle. The only highlight that involved van Persie was a header from the striker that went wide. He also used his head to cushion the ball for Afellay but the young bloke missed the glorious chance to give Holland the lead from point blank range. Rosicky also led Czech Republic in their bore friendly draw against Peru which ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
The last Arsenal player on international duty was Marouane Chamakh and he got on the score sheet as Morocco trounced Algeria with four unreplied goals. Mehdi Benatia started the rout, Marouane Chamakh made it 2, Youssouf Hadji made it 3 while Ousama Assaidi finished off the game. The only dark cloud in a joyous day for the Atlas Lions of Morocco was the early retirement of QPR’s Adel Taarabt at the age of 22 because he was told that he wouldn’t start for them. That’s sheer stupidity if you ask me; Anelka retired from France because he said a few bad words to Domenech and received an 18-match ban at the age of 30. Emmanuel Greedybayor retired from Togo after his team was attacked by those goons in Congo that saw some members of the team’s staff and his his teammates get killed and injured. Taarabt retired from international football because he was told that he wouldn’t start. That’s his problem though.
I’ll end my international roundup with a piece of info that involves the Super Eagles of Nigeria. FIFA has decided to probe Nigeria in the wake of the country’s convincing 4-1 win against Argentina because they believe that the match was fixed. I’m not a big fan of football’s Gadhafi, Sepp Blatter. Why would he and his boys probe my country because we defeated Argentina’s team B? If you send Arsenal’s Reserves to play Tottenham, do you expect a draw?
To Arsenal news, I’ll give a quick roundup of all the transfer news that the media Vultures have fed me with today. Roma want to sign Gael Clichy from us so they have offered their French winger Jeremy Menez in a part exchange deal. We know that Clichy has one more year left on his contract and contract talks are imminent but I don’t know what AW might think about this deal. Menez is a versatile player that’s adept on the left wing, right wing and attacking midfield. He can also play as a center forward if needed. With AW facing a dilemma with his French duo that have a year left, we’ll have to wait and see how the events will unfold. They also say that Arsenal is linked with former Gunner Sebastian Larsson who just got relegated with Birmingham. Larsson was one of their bright sparks this concluded season so they may face a losing battle to keep that bloke because Sunderland, Newcastle and Blackburn are also interested with the Swede.
The last piece of transfer info involves African cult hero and Gooner Daily’s favorite Farmer, Emmanuel Eboue. QPR’s Neil Warnock wants to add some steel to his squad in his bid to stay up in the league so he has added Arsenal’s farmer to his summer wishlist. In as much as Eboue doesn’t play many games for us, I wouldn’t like to see him go because there’ll be no one else to teach the Gunners how to till the soil with their bodies. Besides, every team needs a diving farmer and we are happy to cling unto ours. Farmer Drogba does it in Chelsea while Dani Alves has been given the award of excellence for the art of diving.
Samir Nasri was Arsenal’s best player in the tail end of 2010 and did well enough to get 15 goals to his name. AW had December to the season’s end to give Nasri a contract but he decided to do it this summer now we are on the backfoot. If AW handed Nasri that £90,000 per week deal in January when Arsenal was still in 4 competitions, the Frenchman would’ve wasted no time in signing but now that he has seen how the club went trophyless again, he has started stalling. As expected, suitors Inter and Bayern have placed him under their radar so it’s now getting to his head. Nasri said today that “he doesn’t know if he’ll sign a new contract with Arsenal”. AW has however given the midfield maestro an ultimatum to sign a new contract this month or risked being sold in July because no one can be bigger than Arsenal. If AW could sell a living legend like Henry for £16m after saying no to £50m the previous summer, he can do ANYTHING.
The tweet of the day goes to my friend and fellow writer, Sounak Mukhajee.
“@Sounak: Half a good season and you want more wages? What of Eboue? He has entertained for 5 years, does he want more?”
In as much as I like greedy boy Nasri, I feel that he shouldn’t have pay parity with Cesc Fabregas. The only player that deserves pay parity with Arsenal’s captain is Arsenal’s vice-captain.
Robin van Persie.