A brief review on Arsenal’s ambassadors on international duty this weekend
I guess that I’ll have to start by apologizing for some of the content in my last post. I wrote that I was probably going to get some stick by putting Eduardo and Carlos Vela in a list that had Pascal Cygan, Denilson and Mikael Silvestre and boy, did I get some stick or what. Many gooners expected names like Francis Jeffers and Sebastien Squillaci to be in the list but as I wrote in that same post, the list is endless..
Moving on from that minor setback, this weekend turned out to be a boring affair because I was forced to watch some countries bore me to tears with 0-0 draws as well as a 1-0 England win in a game that I anticipated to have a boatload of goals at least. From a neutral point of view, it was an interesting match between two football heavyweights but Vicente del Bosque had to succumb to just his sixth loss as Spain’s manager which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
The most important fixtures from a European perspective where the European Championships playoffs that took place between eight teams with only four joining the remaining 12 that have already qualified. In other parts of the globe, Arsenal sent 16 ambassadors to represent their national teams and here’s a full list of the Gunners in action:
The Welsh captain led his fellow dragons as they breathed a baptism of fire past Norway in a resounding 4-1 victory. The world’s best left-footed Chimpanzee opened the deadlock before the fastest hobbit currently playing in Liverpool made it two. Wolves Sam Vokes completed the rout with a brace.
The Kosinator has been in inspired form this season and it was only a matter of time before he was going to be called up by Laurent Blanc. He finally made his first cap for France in their 1-0 victory over the United States. Fulham’s Clint Dempsey was ubiquitous on the pitch and Everton’s Tim Howard made an unbelievable save from Karim Benzema’s free kick. Marseille’s Loic Remy scored what proved to be the winner with a placed effort from an over the top pass.
Little Mozart captained his side to put one foot in the European Championships after a 2-0 win against surprise package Montenegro. Rosicky was voted as the Man of the Match as he pulled all the strings in the midfield.
The pacey winger played 45 minutes in England’s 1-0 victory over Spain. As expected, the Spaniards dominated possession but the Lampback of NotreDame bellied his years and came up with the goods again.
There was so much talk at the start of the season that the Lampback was past his prime but he has been impressive in the Premier League since AVB handed him another chance. He even got a goal and gave an assist when Chelsea played Arsenal but the pick of the bunch was the performance of Captain Van-tastic.
The fore-headed one was in action when the Elephants took on last summer’s World Cup hosts in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at Port Elizabeth but it ended in a 1-1 draw. Sibuniso Gaxa scored an embarrassing own goal to put Gervinho’s side ahead but a Katlego Mphela free kick leveled the contest.
I will never forget Mphela’s free kick against Spain in the 2010 Confederations Cup. It left me screaming so hard that my mum came out of her room to check if anything had happened to her beloved son. I would like you all to scream like me so I’ve decided to put the video of the goal in this post.
Russia’s football czar led his country to a 1-1 draw against Euro 2004 winners Greece. Roman Shirokov gave the visitors a quick lead in just two minutes but the experienced Kostas Katsouranis leveled the tie. Arshavin played all 90 minutes.
Robin van Persie and Johan Djourou
This lethal forward got injured for five months in a fixture against Italy last year so Arsene Wenger took out time to talk Bert van Marwijk about the striker’s availability in the friendly game against Switzerland. He played the entire match and shot blanks in a 0-0 draw but he was sent back home on a Red Ribbon as Holland is set to play Germany tomorrow without the Flying Dutchman.
Johan Djourou was on the other end of the pitch for 90 minutes and he was among the players that made sure that van Persie and the rest of the Dutch attack remained quiet throughout the game.
Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski
Both goalies were called up by Poland’s coach but Wojciech Szczesny got the nod when Poland took on Italy. Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini scored for Italy in the 2-0 win but Szczesny can be happy with his performance because he kept the Italians at bay several times.
Lukasz Fabianski will probably get the nod when Poland plays Hungary on Tuesday.
The Verminator enjoyed some good time out at the dugout as Belgium defeated Romania by a 2-1 scoreline. The man-mountain Daniel van Buyten put the Belgians ahead and an own goal from Rasvan Cocis but Vermaelen’s side two up. Romanian veteran Daniel Niculae reduced the deficit for the visitors but it wasn’t enough as the game ended like that.
Vermaelen has followed the Belgium side that will play France in Paris and I’m pretty sure that Vermaelen will want to get him some French fries on the pitch on Tuesday.
Alex Song was in the starting lineup when Cameroon brushed Sudan aside in the LG Friendly Cup. The game ended at 3-1 in favor of Cameroon.
Arsenal’s beanpole defender spent time on the bench like his defensive counterpart Thomas Vermaelen. However, it was a free scoring contest as Ukraine and Germany ended the game with three goals apiece.
Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring for the hosts and Yevgen Konoplyanka made it two. Bayern’s Toni Kroos pulled one back for the Germans but Serhiy Nazarenko brought Ukraine back to their comfort zone as the first half ended with a two-goal advantage for the Andriy Shevchenko captained side.
Joachim Loew probably went haywire in the dressing room as the Germans came back strongly in the second half. Bayer Leverkusen’s Simon Rolfes made it 3-2 before Bayern Munich’s Young Money singer turned footballer, Young Mueller Baby scored what proved to be the final goal of the fiesty encounter.
Everybody expected Park Chu-Young to score again when Korea Republic visited United Arab Emirates and he duly delivered. Park has been a goal scoring machine for his nation this season and his goal against Bolton was a thing of beauty.
With the present form of van Persie, Park and Marouane Chamakh will have to be content with a place on the bench and they’ll have to strut their stuff when deployed in Cup matches.
As for the Under-21 level, youngsters like Francis Coquelin and Alex the Chambered Ox continued their fledgling careers.
We have one more week before we go back to civilization n the form of club football.
Posted on November 14, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Match Report and tagged Alex Song, Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal, Football, Gervinho, Johan Djourou, Laurent Koscielny, Lukasz Fabianski, Park CY, Per Mertesacker, Ramsey, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen, Tomas Rosicky, Wojciech Szczesny. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.