International Ramblings and the Unlucky Giroud
Happy times are back again as the Gunners are bracing themselves to switch from the splendour of the Champions League to the gruelling Premier League campaign with Sam Allardyce’s West Ham in their sights. Big Sam and Arsene Wenger have their fair share of history and there was a period when Wenger came out fruitless in his encounters against the gum-eating Walrus.
Bullies like Ivan Campo, Radhi Jaidi, Bruno N’Gotty and the rest of the Bolton crew tormented Arsenal on a regular basis with a certain Stelios Giannakopoulous scoring the goal that resigns the Gunners to defeat. While Wenger remained steadfast at his dear Arsenal, Allardyce had jumped ship to Newcastle and Blackburn before guiding West Ham from npower Championship mediocrity to the Promised Land.
West Ham’s James Collins believes that the Hammers are going to get maximum points against Arsene Wenger’s Army but the talking will certainly be done on the pitch, and the match is just around the corner. Shortly after the West Ham game, there’ll be an international break as national teams will be playing sets of fixtures to book a ticket for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Starting with Arsenal’s contingent that will be donning the colors of their motherland, the red-hot Kieran Gibbs has been called up to the Three Lions squad, alongside Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A call up is no less than Gibbs deserves for his consistent displays on the left flank this season but he’ll have the threat of Ca$hley Cuntly Cole and Leighton Baines to contend with.
The young lad was happy to be called up by Wily Ol’ Woy Hodgson and he has stated that Arsenal has recovered from that blow against Chelsea, and have set their sights on getting three points against West Ham.
Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey has been on the news as well, but this time no figurehead was killed after his impudent chip that sealed the game for his team against Olympiakos. The Welsh captain has declared that he’s rediscovering his best form but the Daily Mail reports that he’s going to be stripped off his captaincy by Chris Coleman with Swansea’s Ashley Williams touted as his successor.
According to the tabloid, Ramsey and Coleman don’t have the best of relationships and a lot of fuss was made when the former Fulham boss considered inviting Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross to the Welsh national team, as the Rugby goon was also responsible for snapping Ramsey’s leg like a twig in February 2010. However, Shawcross is part of the England squad now.
I don’t know how Ramsey intends to react if he’s eventually stripped off the captaincy of Wales but the world as we know will certainly not come to an end. I can remember when Thomas Vermaelen captained the Belgian national team for a while but the armband was handed over to Vincent Kompany and life went on.
Another Gunner that captains his nation could find his place in his team under threat as well, as whispers were emanating that Tomas Rosicky was set to quit international football to focus on the twilight years of his Arsenal career. The Czech national team’s general manager, Vladimir Smicer, was quick to deny these claims, stating that Rosicky has plans of leading his team to the 2014 World Cup, were he’ll be 34 years old.
Rosicky was a revelation last season as his resurgence among other factors (RvP’s goals, Song’s assists etc.) helped Arsenal to that coveted third place in the Premier League. With the presence of Santi Cazorla and the imminent return of Jack Wilshere, Rosicky’s place in the team is threatened but Wenger knows what’s best for his squad.
The Czech captain is still recuperating from his Achilles tendon operation and it’s believed that he could be in contention for a return against Norwich after the international break.
Finally on the international front, France’s gaffer, Didier Deschamps, has told Wenger that he’ll decide whether he wants to call the injury-plagued Abou Diaby or not, as Les Bleus are going to play a crunch match against rivals, Spain, in a 2014 World Cup qualifier. These comments are in the wake of Wenger’s request for Diaby to be left out of the squad, so that he can get some deserved rest.
With Wenger not willing to let Diaby go due to his newly-found importance to Arsenal, we’ll cross our fingers and see how things pan out. For those that actually give two fledgling fucks, $amir Na$ri was left out of the squad.
There’s a Gunner that would be called up to the French squad and could also get some playing time as well. In 11 games for Les Bleus, Olivier Giroud has managed to score one solitary goal and that strike came in his French debut against Germany. The celebration of the goal caused a stir as Giroud defined the meaning of the word, French kiss, through a practical, with LOSC Lille Metropole’s Matt Debuchy on the receiving end of it.
Giroud arrived at the Emirates on the back of a very successful campaign for Montpellier where his 21 goals and nine assists played a vital role in the club winning its maiden Ligue 1 title. Since his £12m move from the French outfit, Giroud has made nine appearances for the Gunners and he has only one goal to show for it – a very good goal against Coventry in the Capital One cup.
With the red-hot forms of Gervinho and Lukas Podolski, Giroud has been relegated to the dugout, but many pundits are tipping him for a starting berth against West Ham, as his physique could play a role for Arsenal, offensively and defensively.
“I think I’m a little unlucky. I’ll keep going and continue to work hard in training. People say to me, ‘the goal is coming soon, don’t worry, we trust you’ and it’s very important for me to feel the support of people and my team-mates.”
Even Arsenal’s vice-skipper, Mikel Arteta, has come out to back Giroud up. Yes, he has had some glaring misses this season and one can look no further than his clear-cut misses against Sunderland, Liverpool and most recently, Chelsea. However, Giroud’s attitude on the pitch cannot be faulted as he always tries to put himself in good positions to receive that killer pass, even if he hasn’t converted them all.
I’ll also like to point out that Giroud’s off the ball movement is a constant thorn in the flesh to opposition defenders. For those that really pay attention to details when watching a football match, you can attest to the fact that Giroud was actually responsible for Lukas Podolski’s goal against Liverpool.
The illustration below paints a better picture,
After Vermaelen won the ball from Gerrard, he fed Podolski that gave Cazorla the ball and ran the length of the pitch to receive the assist for the goal. However, Giroud’s movement deceived Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger as they moved away from the line of fire to track Giroud’s movement, allowing Podolski to pick his spot and place it past Reina.
Despite being fruitless in front of goal for Arsenal, Giroud has three assists to his name already with the last being that carefully-weighted header to Ramsey for the third goal against Olympiakos.
Robin van Judas Iscariot’s boots are probably to big to fill but I’m happy with Giroud’s contributions to the team thus far.
As everyone has stated, the floodgates will soon open and the goals will start flowing in for Giroud.
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