A Quick Round-up of Gunners on International Duty
A Saturday actually went past us without any Premier League football and to be honest, it wasn’t fun. For the first time in ages, Arsenal had gone through a magnificent spell of three clean sheets in a row and we the fans, wanted more of the same.
We have been witnessing the defensive black magic by Lord Bouldimort and his defensive Death Eaters as Arsenal’s backline became rejuvenated under his influence. We also saw the new boys come to the party, as Arsenal’s new creative lynchpin, Santi Cazorla, orchestrated the midfield with a stand-out performance against Liverpool. The other goal scorer, Lukas Podolski, was pretty impressive as well.
The football actually started on Friday, and I used half an eye to watch the Netherlands host Turkey. Despite the fact that the Oranje had that bald left-footed cuntling that will never pass the ball even if his life depended on it, it also had Judas Iscariot leading its forward line.
And yes, Judas scored as well. (-_____-)
Moving over to the business of today’s post, I’ll start with the Finland vs. France game, where new French gaffer, Didier Deschamps invited Abou Diaby, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. Giroud was reported to have suffered a muscular injury and Koscielny hadn’t attained optimal fitness levels yet. However, Diaby stole the show with a well-taken goal after some tidy footwork from Karim Benzema. It also turned out to be the only goal of the game.
France will host Belarus in its second qualifying fixture and all three players will be deemed fit enough to feature. Concerns have been raised over Diaby’s fitness and I hope that he won’t break any limb as well.
Wily Ol’ Woy Hodgson went off to a great start as his young English charges as his side put five past minnows, Moldova. The Ox was also in action for the Three Lions and he played for the best part of one hour before he was replaced by Theo Walcott.
Walcott’s peripheral performance against Sunderland in Arsenal’s curtain raiser cost him his place in the first team sheet when the Gunners visited Stoke. His services were not also needed when the Gunners visited Anfield.
Many Gooners have already written Walcott off after his contract shenanigans but on his day, he’s a force to be reckoned with. He really needs to work on his decision-making and consistency. The season is quite young, so let’s see what Walcott has up his sleeves.
Ze German Machines also began their qualifying campaign with a routine win against the Faroe Islands, and there was space for Per Mertesacker, that went through the entire European Championships without amassing one minute. To be fair to Joachim Low, the Giant wasn’t fully fit and the Matts Hummels-Holger Badstuber pairing wasn’t bad either.
Lukas Podolski was given an opportunity to add another cap wen he came on as a substitute. To have over a century of appearances for Germany at just 26 is a true testament of Podolski’s abilities as a player. We can only hope that he builds on his performance in Anfield.
That’ll be one hell of a prospect.
Santi Cazorla was one of the Spanish aliens to make a difference in the resounding 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. The diminutive playmaker added another goal to his collection and it’s really good to see Cazorla get a deserved run-out in this Spanish side dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona players.
Cazorla is regarded as a “fringe” player for Spain but he’s closing in on 50 caps for his nation, which is a good milestone as well.
In the only fixture were two Gunners locked horns, Aaron Ramsey and his Welsh side were ousted by Thomas Vermaelen and the Golden Belgian side. Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany got the goals that put the Dragons to the squad but it was good to see the smiles Vermaelen and Ramsey exchanged before and after the game.
After all, they are part of one big Gunner family.
Arsenal’s forgotten center back, Johan Djourou, played all 90 minutes in Switzerland’s winner over Albania. With Koscielny struggling to get back into the squad, one should really ponder if Wenger still has plans for Djourou – at least, the boss still acknowledged that he has plans for the world’s best striker that was loaned to Juventus.
Djourou was Arsenal’s saving grace in the 2010/11 season but he had a shocker in the last campaign. He’s not a bad fourth choice defender to have around though, and Arsenal’s countless injury worries can give him a chance to strut his stuff yet again.
I’m not praying for that though.
Gervinho also put up an outstanding performance for the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire in their 4 – 2 victory over Senegal. There is a famous African saying that goes like this,
“No matter how big an Elephant is, it can’t cause an earthquake”
However, the Elephants caused a major earthquake for the Teranga Lions and Gervinho was a star performer. He notched up one assist, scored one and saw another disallowed.
It’s good to see Gervinho back to his best for his country, as his penalty miss against Zambia in the 2012 AFCON final was going to bring back sour memories.
Despite all the great performances from Arsenal’s ambassadors, it’s also worth noting that none of them picked up any strains, broken bones or little boys inside them.
Still nursing this bad hangover.
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