With the friendly game to take place at Wembley tonight most probably being the centre of attention for most of the world and its media, it is perhaps inevitable that from an Arsenal perspective there is some involvement. I suspect we’ll see Giroud and Koscienly take their place in the team at some point, whilst Arsène will almost certainly be in the stands commentating for French TV. I have to say that although I am not a fan of international football and specifically friendlies like these, this is a game in which I think it is important it is played, to show the world (and specifically terrorists) that life will not be halted by unspeakable evil. It survives and thrives.
Perhaps we’ll also see Kieran Gibbs get a run out and after his equaliser against the Spuddites, he probably deserves it too, because I suspect we’ll be having Nacho’s again on Saturday.
With so many players not playing in this week’s set of friendlies, you can be forgiven for thinking that the ‘who are you most looking forward to see return?’ poll on the website could be a roll call of half the squad, but to be fair to the official site, they have just kept it to those out injured. Perhaps it’s running to remind all of the ‘changing-of-the-guardists’ that actually, despite a disappointing performance, the Spuds still only managed a draw against a depleted Arsenal side.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Ramsey back the most, because I think we’ve missed his energy and drive. It’s weird because I’ve never been an advocate of seeing him wide right, but with The Ox’s form being so patchy so far this season, the ‘square peg’ that is Rambo as a winger seems to be the best option. Joel Campbell came in and did OK, but by ‘OK’ I mean that he had one good game, one anonymous game and one average one. Perhaps it’s that he needs more time to build momentum and confidence, but when we have either Rambo or The Ox who are the more finished article in comparison, it doesn’t make sense to the Joel that run out.
I would have liked to have said Wilshere or Welbeck as my choices for those you’d like to see return, but like Rosicky, their injuries are so long-term that I can only think about the short-term need rather than long-term desire. So Filling that wide right position will be imperative if we want to keep touch with City.
Campbell may still get a chance, if the Chilean national team manager is to be believed. Jorge Sampell couldn’t give two of the proverbial brown bits about Arsenal and if Alexis is run into the ground for Chile so he spends six weeks out with a calf problem, that wouldn’t be his problem, as he’d still get him back in the new year when Chile play next. Alexis is starting to suffer. We see it with his form. He will never be somebody who won’t run through brick walls, but he is a player who shows it by just being a little off range, by giving the ball away a little bit more and often in our own half.
If Alexis comes back to Arsenal in boxes, we’ve lost one of our most potent threats, but can do nothing about it with his national team. That’s why I hate international matches. You get idiots who run players in to the ground and then hand back to their employers to try and repair, whilst paying them for sitting on the sidelines.
Still, hopefully we get some good news from Arsène in the shape of multiple players returning, with many of them having had time to recharge. That should mean that one of The Ox or Rambo could potentially fill in if Arsène decides to rest Alexis, potentially deploying him from the bench against West Brom, so hopefully that is a bit of a relief to an ailing team.
I think I’ll watch tonight’s England vs France game, for a change, because it will be good to see the world united against these morons who think death and destruction is acceptable.