Happy Monday folks. Hope you’re all fine and dandy given the international break boredom we are all collectively enduring right now. I mean it really is a snooze fest, eh? I’m not sure how anyone can claim to have any interest in it at this time of the year.
Especially if you’re an Arsenal fan. We’re riding high at the moment and with Leicester City at home on the horizon it’s an opportunity to get that winning streak to double figures in a week’s time. Yet we have to contend with international glorified friendlies that so many people literally couldn’t give a sh*t about.
It’s probably why Koscielny has thrown the towel in on his international career. He’s probably as bored as the rest of us.
Of course we all know the real reason is likely to be to prolong his career and at 33 you can hardly blame him. He’d have to do all that travelling for France right now if he was fit, but the next tournament won’t be until he’s 35 and by then he might find himself out of the team.
That’s a bit of a kick in the nuts really. Imagine baking yourself a cake, taking the time to perfect it, buying all the ingredients, then having someone else come along and say “cheers mate, I’ll be eating this now”. That’s where his mind is at with this international retirement and so I say fair play to one of our 12million captains we have at The Arsenal.
Hopefully from a selfish point of view it enables him a bit more rest time but more than anything else I’m hopeful that we can see him recapture some form. At his age and with an injury like he’s had it’s unlikely that he’ll ever get back to his best but he can still be such a valuable asset for Arsenal this season.
It’s something we spoke about on The Gooner Ramble that I was on yesterday. It’s an interesting one because in my head I keep thinking back to ‘Prime Kocienly’ and his importance in our defence just after Mertesacker fell away from being a first team regular but he, much like many players last season, had his faults and to expect a 33-year-old to jump back in the saddle and demonstrate his ability, recovery pace and tackles, will be a real challenge.
His experience as an older pro – like we talked about on the pod yesterday with Mertesacker – is more likely to have a role to play and having already spent time praising how Lichsteiner will be good for Hector in more than just competition but also as an older head to provide advice, it’s easy to see how Koscielny can still make his mark this season.
Personally I suspect we don’t see him in anything like regular action until Christmas at the earliest. Coming back from an injury like he’s had and being able to recapture his pre-injury form feels almost impossible. You never know though. Stranger things have happened.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got today. Let’s hope from a footballing perspective this week can whizz through. Sometimes these breaks feel like they go quicker but this one has felt like it’s taken an age.
Roll on real football next weekend I say.
Catch you all tomorrow.