Last night as Wales’ World Cup Qualifying campaign drew to a close I spared a thought for poor ol’ Aaron Ramsey. A good player who should probably be somebody who gets to showcase his skills at a World Cup finals, was denied victory by the reprobate that is James McClean, a player who I think few could argue his corner as ‘not that type of player’. He’s exactly that type of player and having watched him get booked and then avoided which looked like a pretty obvious yellow card to me, we were then treated to him celebrating wildly, as Ireland reached the playoffs instead of their Welsh neighbours.
Still, as much as I’d love to feel sorry for the Welsh, they are the ones that for some reason seem to hate the English the most. I’m now nationalistic ‘Eng-Ger-Land’ fan, but it is the country of my birth and so to see another country ridicule that from which it made, I can’t feel too much sorrow.
And the fact I’ve just wasted two paragraphs talking about international football just shows how desperate times are right now fellow Gooners. Man, I bet we’re all quite desperate to see the Premier start back up again. Not least because football can start to mean something after what feels like a brief hiatus.
I think there are still some games to be played tonight before the players return home for training with Arsenal and so I doubt we’ll have any true idea about who’s alive and who’s broken. We know about Mustafi, we know that Monreal played the full 90 yesterday evening, as well as the fact that Koscielny misses out through his injury tonight. we know that Xhaka will be playing for the Swiss tonight and so the fingers must be crossed for the safe return of those representatives from Arsenal who are yet to play.
Defensively will be an interesting conundrum for Wenger if all is to be believed. He’s got a player in Koscielny who looks like his leg muscles could explode at any time. We already know about Mustafi. Chambers is returning from fitness and having not watched the Spanish game I don’t know how battered and bruised he is.
If you think about it – it’s not unfeasible to think that the back three might be completely different to the usual three that start league games – so come 5.30pm on Saturday it could be a scary time for us. Because let’s be honest the back ‘midweek’ three have hardly been solid as a rock, have they?
And I think they’re all good players on their day. Chambers, Holding and Mertesacker are great options to have in your squad but as you’d expect, they haven’t been getting as many minutes as a collective as would be ideal for them to come in and minimise the disruption and the feel of the team being fully match fit all over the park.
Even with the games in midweek I’m still not sure how ready they’d be. Mertesacker looked rusty against BATE and Chambers has hardly had any game time. Holding is the one that has had the most game time but as you’d expect with young players, he seems to be going through his dip, which was always going to happen. It just doesn’t help that at Arsenal players seem to always breakdown in the same position at the same time. It’s the curse of the Arsenal treatment room I tells ya. They go in, catch something off each other and then all start twanging hammy’s left, right and centre.
Guess we just have to deal with it. At least there’ll be one new face to look at though, if the rumours of Marc Overmars are true. Apparently he’ll be on his way to The Arsenal at some stage in the season and that’ll keep plenty of Arsenal fans happy. It’s always nice to see a returning general at the club. Whether or not he can actually have any impact or change things however, I’m not so sure, but at least we get to see a hero return to the flock.
Personally, I’m never too bothered about returning old players into official positions at the club, probably because I’m too short-sighted to look beyond what happens on the pitch. If he can be more effective than what we’ve already got though, hey, I’m all for it. I’m just not sure how much we’d see of it.
Anyway, it’s time for me to be offski for another day, so I’ll take my leave and leave you with the same crossed fingers as me for no Arsenal-related injuries.