Is it me, or does this particular interlull, feel a little bit more tedious than the last couple that have preceded it?
I don’t know what it is, but it already just seems like it’s going on a little longer than usual, yet we’re only at the first Thursday and we have at least another week of its ‘lulliness’.
I suspect it’s because we got Eng-Ger-Land news shoved down our throats at least a couple of weeks prior to the actual game, because of all of the Sam Alkardyce hoo-ha that went on around him losing his job, which has meant that the media have been talking about England longer than they really should. If I had my way, there’d be rules around it, you know. Even with all of the news on Fat Sam, the rules would be no talking about Eng-Ger-Land until we get to an international break.
“Screw yer freedom of speech, you journos, this is my country and I’ll rule it with an iron fist when it comes to the national team”.
Still, at least a couple of our players will be over the moon that they’re fully back in the fold. Theo made an appearance in the last game for England as a sub, but his form should mean that he should be looking at a starting spot for the game this weekend, which will give him another boost and hopefully provide him with more motivation to keep doing what he’s doing. If he does start, then it will be welcome reward for his efforts and hopefully mean we get more of this Walcott upgrade when we play Swansea in just over a week’s time.
The other chap who will be rather pleased with life because of the call from Gareth Southgate, will be the Ox, who has been talking about the wake up call being out of the squad in the last game and the Euro’s had been. It’s nice to hear that he’s driven to trying to get the best out of his time, but for the Ox, he still has a lot more rehab to go. Physically he looks ok, but mentally he still has some challenges he has to overcome. His form has dipped drastically this season and you could see in his last few games, that he has been suffering from a crisis of confidence. Even last weekend he didn’t look like his old self. I appreciate that Burnley were very resolute defensively, but I still saw an Ox that didn’t look 100% confident in his own ability to beat a man. That drive in his game is one of the key assets to his game, so if he isn’t get the ball at his feet and driving at people, then he often cuts a forlorn figure and sometimes there’s a few fans in the stand that get frustrated.
I’m just hoping that a few more goals, perhaps an appearance for England this weekend and a good game, can all contribute towards him being the player that we saw when he first arrived. I don’t know any Arsenal fan who doesn’t just want to see him at the top of his game, so I’ll certainly be routing for him this weekend, if he plays.
As for the rest of the players on international duty, well, this is the time when we’re all fondling rosary beads, praying to respective gods, hoping that no evil shall befall any of our players. The last couple of interlulls have been OK for us, so I’m fully expecting Mesut Özil to spontaneously combust in the middle of his game, then Mustafi to try to put him out, only to catch fire himself. I expect some random Bulgarian to drop kick Koscielny right on the knee, whilst Xhaka to be smothered by a Hungarian. All of which will mean we miss half of our team until Christmas, because the Interlull has decreed that Arsenal have had quite enough quiet Interlulls and now it’s time we were punished.
Of course non of this happens to any of our rivals, all of whom’s international team coaches put players through meat grinders and they still manage to come out a-ok and without a scratch.
Perhaps I’m engaging in a little hyperbole at the moment, but if we can just have everyone available when Arsène takes to the stage to deliver his presser on Friday next week, that would just. E grand.
Anyway, we wait, which is all we can do.
Catch you tomorrow.