Sunday, 14 October 2012
Arsenal's international casualties
Hello again Gooners! Been busy times at my end, but I never take my eye off the ball. No, never! Not like that San Marino keeper who crocked Theo Walcott. Never mind waist height, his challenge was chest height. Hence, Theo's hospitalisation with a chest injury. When will Fifa stop allowing tiny states like San Marino, no disrespect intended, competing without qualification with heavier weight countries like England. It makes no sense at all. It's always likely to lead to injuries top internationals and, although we are called 'lucky 'Arsenal, Theo was an accident waiting to happen. He'll be out for two weeks, probably. The only good news from that game, as far as I was concerned, was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring his first England goal. Aside from that the game was a waste of space in the fixture calendar. A so-called 'competitive' fixture offering no real competition. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey seem to be suffering from a lack of form and confidence, rather than bad luck. I really felt for him when he missed the chance in a one-on-one situation for Wales against Scotland. And I felt for him once again, when he put the ball on the spot take a penalty only to have the ball stolen from him by Tottenham's Gareth Bale. Of course, Bale scored and the incident will be forgotten by most fans. But for Ramsey, it may have seemed like insult to injury, as earlier in the week he had been stripped of the captaincy by Wales boss Chris Coleman. The other Arsenal man I feel for is Andrey Arshavin, left out in the international cold by Russia. But maybe that's a good thing as Arsenal may need to call on him before the season's end, if more about players get crocked on international duty. When our internationals return from their trips to various places, they'll need to prepare swiftly for a trip to Norwich. It will be 5:30 PM kick-off as the game will be televised. West Ham was a late kick-off and we coped admirably with that in her last league match, so let's hope for the same again. I had similar worries, about the possible physical and mental tiredness of the squad, before the Hammers clash. After a Champions League game, we are usually slow out of the traps. And going down 1-0 seem to confirm my fears. But the way we bounced back was admirable. Olivier Giroud's first league goal for the club will live long in the memory, as well Santi Cazorla's strike. No one seems to know which foot is Cazorla's favourite, he's that two footed! British players should take a leaf out of his book and practice their weaker foot. But they won't do it because, sadly, a lot of our stars of the future are too arrogant to believe they can improve and end up falling by the wayside as foreign imports come in to fill the talent gap. Personally, I haven't got a problem with that. I just want Arsenal to field the best possible team they can and, despite not winning trophies, we've not done a bad job in that respect.