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.
As one of the superpowers of European and world football, Arsenal is among the clubs that has a lot of players that are essential pieces of their jigsaw puzzle. Arsenal had a good number of ambassadors in last summer’s World Cup but Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner were the only Gunners that got on the score sheet.
Interlulls are always scheduled to come in between club fixtures and this one was no different. There are times you wish that the international break shouldn’t come by especially when you’re in great form while their other times when you want it to come soon enough.
Arsenal is currently going through a bad spell and the international break has provided Arsene Wenger with enough time to go back to his drawing board to cook up new tactics as well as to inject a new approach to his side because this present Arsenal squad is in dire need of change.
Change can come in form of a new formation such as the reliable 4-4-2 that almost propelled Arsenal to the Premier League title in the 2007/08 season before William Gallas’ antics coupled with those hopeless draws closed the curtain on Arsenal’s Premier League hopes. Tomas Rosicky and Aliaksandr Hleb provided wit on the flanks while Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini the Flanimal forged an extremely good understanding in the middle of the park.
Arsenal has wingers that can do with Rosicky and Hleb did back in the days but leaving Alex Song and any other creative midfielder like Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta or Yossi Benayoun would mean that Robin van Persie will play with a strike partner and I’m pretty sure that it would be welcomed by the Arsenal faithful.
Change can also come in form an injection of a defensive coach to the club’s current staff because it’s fair to say that there are many men in Arsenal that defend like toddlers. I was very impressed with the six-man defensive outlook Arsenal used in their box when defending corners when they played Newcastle in August but Wenger failed to stick with that tactic and his team has been duly punished.
A change in Arsenal’s fortunes is something that everyone has been praying for because the way the injuries, suspensions and ill-luck pile up can only be likened from the hands of Loki himself.
Arsenal sent some ambassadors to represent their nations last weekend as well as tonight while some will get the final piece of international action tomorrow before returning to London to play Sunderland on Saturday.
Park Chu-Young proved again that he could be a beast in front of goal and he’s one player that deserves a run out in the club. We also know that Park CY has told everyone that he has only two years to spend with Arsenal before representing the Korean Army and he says that he wants to end his stay in Europe with a flourish so employing the 4-4-2 tactic with him and RVP could bring devastating results for Arsenal.
Aaron Ramsey has shown the world how he can lead by example and he has always been vocal about his high hopes for Wales. Gary Speed’s present side has some household names and the future is bright for that footballing nation with the likes of Ramsey and Bale the Chimp spearheading its football affairs.
Robin van Persie has shown the gooners that it’s not every time he represents Holland that he ends up with a mysterious injury. He also showed his adeptness on the right wing and his sleek and deft touches were vital for Holland but it wasn’t enough as their 100% record with shattered to bits by Sweden in Rasunda.
Laurent Koscielny’s continuous wait for his French debut should have sent a clear message to him that there’s still hope for the bloke to join Poland but the decision still rests with him. He really showed everyone last season that Arsene Wenger knows a bargain when he sees one. He still has a thing or two to learn though.
Johan Djourou missed out on his nation’s qualifier against Wales through suspension but it’s funny to see how he has gone back to the number four slot in Arsenal’s defense after showing so much promise last season. He had a stinker against Blackburn but I’m sure that he won’t dwell on it.
Per Mertesacker used his enormous height to great effect when Germany played Turkey but I was disappointed that it wasn’t exploited in White Hart Lane despite Wenger’s attempt to give him that Samba-esque role but I’ll point my finger at the remaining 10 teammates that were tasked with floating the ball up for him.
Arshavin wasn’t really a peripheral figure when Russia beat Slovakia but Arshavin is a player that really needs to step up for Arsenal because his place is seriously under threat. Gervinho has usurped him from a starting berth on the left wing and he also has the potential threat of Ryo Miyaichi to contend with.
Lukasz Fabianski showed signs of rustiness when Poland played Korea Republic but he’ll get another bite on the cherry when Poland play Belarus. It’s really interesting to know that Fabianski and Szczesny are fighting for a place in both club and country but I tend to wonder what happened to Artur Boruc because he was the next best thing after the great Jerzy Dudek.
Tomas Rosicky showed off the moves that made people call him the Little Mozart and I certainly hope that the trend will continue in Arsenal. Tomas used to command a first team shirt for Arsenal when he arrived from Dortmund but his hamstring injury paved the way for others and he has really struggled to get his place. It’s more shocking to know that he can’t still get a place even after Francesca and Samantha left the club.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Wenger a lot to think about following his brilliant hattrick but it’s also heartwarming to know that he can offer Arsenal some hope from the bench when the chips are down.
Marouane Chamakh scored for Morocco to seal their qualification to the African Cup of Nations after a four-year absence but he hasn’t been able to recapture the form of his first five months at Arsenal where he scored 10 goals in 21 appearances. I hope he gets his act right soon enough.
Gervinho was suspect for being very selfish in his recent Arsenal matches but he provided an assist for a former Gunner/junkie Kolo Toure. Yao Kouassi has been a big hit at Arsenal and I hope that Sunderland will be on the end of his trickery and hopefully goals.
Theo Walcott’s assist for Young showed how massively he has improved over the turn of the year. It’s really awkward to know that Fabio Hitler selected the One-Dimensional Lennon and the winger whose name is taller than him, Short Wright-Philips above Theo but England’s loss was Arsenal’s gain because it unleashed the beast within. Nasri also unleashed the post-World Cup beast and he’s presently earning the big greens at Etihad Stadium.
Finally, it’s refreshing to know that the Gunners are returning back to London unscathed and they’ll be ready to rediscover their form with a victory against Sunderland.
I forgot to add the world’s best striker’s name to the list. His goal against Portugal sent Morten Olson’s men to the Group Stages of the Euros while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal are going to the play-offs but they could qualify from the Best Placed runners up category.
Ronaldo’s free kick was a thing of beauty but Ricardo Quaresma needs to be flogged though.
We know that he’s the king of the outside of the boot technique but I’m sure that God knew what he was doing when he gave us TWO FEET.
A new week has begun in earnest but there’s still one more round of international games to go. The Super Chickens of Nigeria will face the Black Stars of Ghana in a friendly match that will do nothing to ease the self inflicted wound that occurred on Saturday.
My only cause for concern will be the health of all the Gunners on international duty and I truly hope that they’ll go through their matches unscathed because Arsene Wenger can’t afford any more injuries to the players in his squad. I’ll give a detailed report of the Gunners in action as the days go by.
Arsenal signed Korea Republic’s captain, Park Chu-Young from Monaco and there were tales emerging that he was going to serve in the Army but it seems as if these claims are true because the Korean has confirmed it himself:
“It isn’t really possible to be excused. That can’t and won’t happen, which is another reason I chose to come here.
“I’ll have to leave Europe in two years’ time and I thought this would be an incredible place to finish. My national service is inevitable and there is no point in thinking anything else.
“I’ll still be playing games, but for an army club. I think it’ll be difficult to return to Europe after that, although if something interesting comes up, you never know.”
Well, he didn’t cost a fortune but it’s just awkward to know that his Arsenal career will be short-lived under such a circumstance. I’m in no position to make any comment how a nation makes its laws and creeds so I wish park the best in his future endeavors and I hope that he wouldn’t get hurt serving his fatherland.
The only thing that bewilders me is the idea of a footballer serving in the Army. Korea is a country that’s inhabited by millions of able-bodied men so why will the nation have a law that makes all men (footballers included) serve with or without their consent. Isn’t the fact that he’s Korea’s captain good enough for them?
Davor Suker is a player that came into the limelight in the World Cup that was held in France in 1998. He was the highest goal scorer of that tourney with six goals and he’s still Croatia’s all-time highest goal scorer with 45 goals to his name.
He had an illustrious career that saw him play in football juggernauts like Sevilla, Real Madrid and of course Arsenal. He joined Arsenal in the 1999/00 season and scored eight goals in 22 league appearances. His largest haul of trophies was amassed in his Real Madrid days but Suker had a shitload of individual honors.
He was the top scorer in the Yugoslav league (89), European Under-21 Champs MVP (90), Euro 96 Team of the Tournament (96), Real Madrid top scorer (97), World Cup Golden Boot (98), World Cup Silver Ball (98), World Cup Team of the Tournament (98), European Footballer of the Year 2nd (98), FIFA World Player of the Year 3rd (98), Croatian Sportsman of the Year (98), World Soccer 100 Greatest Players of the 20th century (99) and Croatian Player of the Year (92, 94, 95, 96, 97 and 98).
Suker was the H in honored in his football days but he has been in hot soup following his latest shenanigans in a British Airways flight from Milan to London. Davor Suker has been fined for taking valuable antique coins that was forgotten by another passenger on the flight.
Passengers were asked about the whereabouts of the coins but Dakor decided to lock up before giving to a friend. The friend in quote decided to inquire for the price of the antique coins but was reported to the police. At least he was fined and everybody went home happy.
I wonder what the penalty might have been in Korea, maybe extra years in service. 😀
In other Arsenal related news, the Chambered Ox has revealed that Southampton prevented him from playing Rugby. The Ox is as fast as South Africa’s Bryan Habana and I’m pretty sure that he would have been a fine winger for the Roses of England.
English rugby’s loss is Arsenal’s present gain. 😛
Feel free to check out this brilliant article by Micheal Celentano tagged “5 reasons why Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should start playing regularly”
Trust me, it’s worth a read.
To wrap it all up, Per Mertesacker has revealed that he has been having some communication problems, Q.P.R.’s Joey Hitler has opened his Nazi trapdoor to say that Peter Hill-Wood is clueless while FC Lorient’s boss, Christian Gourcuff has told the media Vultures that Arsenal’s loanee Joel Campbell will have a great future.
The media Vultures are back with a big bang with transfer news involving their favorite subject, Arsenal FC. Starting with possible departures, they’ve reported that the moneybags from the capital of France are gearing up a £10m bid for the frustrated Marouane Chamakh.
Chamakh hasn’t been getting enough playing time in recent times but he hasn’t voiced his frustrations yet. He’s a player that adds dynamism to Arsenal’s play so I hope that Wenger won’t want to activate his business mode on the bloke because we can’t rely on RVP to stay fit all season long.
With Bendtner out of the way and Vela enjoying the warm sunlight of Spain, Arsenal has to hold on to players like Chamakh because he’ll add healthy competition to Park CY.
The media Vultures derived more pleasure in linking player to Arsenal from the Milky Way and today is no different. They started by reporting that Wenger has admitted his interest in signing Yoan Gourcuff. Other names like Schalke’s captain Benedikt Howedes have been mentioned.
They say that Arsenal and AC Milan are fighting for Riccardo Montolivo but they’ve also reported that Arsenal is going to miss out on the BioHazard of Eden because a £30m deal has been agreed between both Lille and Real Madrid.
Salomon Kalou and Lucas Biglia have also been linked with the club, Hulk’s agent denies a move for the forward but the shocker of them all is that Arsenal is gearing up a £20m bid for the baddest Dracula in the block, Carlos Tevez.
One tends to wonder were the media Vultures come up with such fallacies.
You’ll find the link between both teams quite interesting.
That’s a wrap folks.
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