Daily Archives: March 26, 2013

Thoughts on Szczesny and One Grumpy Ox

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores against San Marino

The inetrlull is upon us yet again with several nations battling to secure a place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The major highlight of tonight will surely be the crunch encounter bewteen France and Spain, and we can only hope to see a good game of football as two of Europe’s finest lock horns.

A keen eye will be placed on Gunners representing their nations as Arsene Wenger would want his players to return to North London unscathed for the crucial tie against relegation-threatened Reading.

Aaron Ramsey is be among the healthier pack as his red card against Scotland has ensured that he’ll play no part in their match against Eduardo da Silva’s Croatia. There were also concerns over the fitness of Gareth Bale but it seems as if the star player for Wales will be fit in time for the Croats.

Elsewhere, Wojciech Szczesny might enjoy some more time in the dugout for Poland’s upcoming fixture and his chances of starting against Reading are probably slim to none. The Polish goalkeeper booked a place in the back pages when his old man went all ballistic on Arsene Wenger, stating that Arsenal’s gaffer was responsible for his dip in form.

Szczesny has vowed to repay his debt to Arsenal and he pledged his allegiance to the Red and White Army,

“My contract runs out in 2015. I have played my 100th game for Arsenal and I hope to play hundreds more. Physically, I can imagine myself at a different club, yes, but mentally, absolutely no. I’m too happy here.

What guarantee do I have that I will win trophies somewhere else? Arsenal will win things again, I trust the club’s philosophy, I have a debt here.”

You have to admire Szczesny’s attitude and hope that he’ll do a lot better when he returns to the field of play. Bleacher Report’s James Dudko published an article giving five reasons why Szczesny is Arsenal’s most disappointing player and it’s fair to say that it caused a stir.

At the young age of 22, Szczesny is bound to make some mistakes and he can only learn from them. When he was battling hard to cement a place in the first team in the 2010/11 campaign, he put up a lot of commanding performances that earned him plaudits despite Arsenal’s erratic defending that saw them concede a boatload of goals.

Competition brings out the best in football players and we all know that Arsenal’s young goalie is going through a phase, which will surely pass. We all want the old Szczesny back and the sooner he rediscovers his form, the better for Arsene Wenger, his team and most importantly, the fans.

After a dominant performance against minnows, San Marino, England visits Montenegro for another World Cup qualifier. Unlike San Marino, England shouldn’t expect the Montenegrins to roll over and play dead. The hosts have a few household names and you can look no further than Blackburn’s Simon Vukcevic, Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic and Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic.

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be odds on to build on his performance against San Marino marauding the wings for his nation. However, the Ox has expressed his disappointment with his lack of first-team appearances this season.

The speedster had his breakthrough last season at the young age of 18 and the media waxed lyrical about his performances. To tope it all off, the youngster was called up by Wily Ol’ Woy Hodgson to the European Championships but he featured sparingly for his nation. With Theo Walcott out injured, the Ox was drafted into his place and performed admirably against San Marino.

Many are also tipping the Ox to take Walcott’s place in the team against Reading but he’ll have to work hard to cement a place in the team, even if it seems like a tough ask. This season, Ox has tried to “over impress” by showing off his dribbling skills but there have been periods when he went a la Diaby to dwell on the ball far too long when a simple pass to a teammate close by would have been a better alternative.

He still has age on his side and he’s highly favored by Wenger so he has to rest assured that under the manager’s tutelage, he could be a world beater. A good performance against Montenegro coupled with another confidence-boosting performance against Reading will go a long way in bringing the Ox to the fan’s good books.

It’s not as if Walcott has been superb recently as well. If Arsene Wenger had the big balls to bench Szczesny and his captain, Thomas Vermaelen, I don’t think Walcott would be any different. #Justsaying.

To wrap things up, the Young Guns of the NextGen Series are through to the semis after a win over CSKA Moscow at the Emirates and Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars defender, Godfrey Oboabona, has been handed a trial at Arsenal. The lad was one of Nigeria’s standout performers in the last AFCON and I wish him the best of luck.

Let’s hope for a clean bill of health for every Gunner tonight.