By Walter Broeckx
The world looks an awful place these days with all the wars, violence and hatred to other human beings. If only every individual human being would make sure that he would bring no harm to any other human being then the world would look like a different place. It’s up to each and every one of us to do this or not. My thoughts not only go to the civilians of Paris but to each and every civilian who has become the victim of terrible acts of violence in this world. No matter where they lived, the colour of their skin or their religion. Can we please stop this nonsense?
Ultimately there is only so much that our minds can take in about the actions of those who want to blow us up. And so to find distraction, we turn to our hobby, of following Arsenal. Not because we are insensitive to the losses others have suffered, but simply because much of the time there doesn’t seem to be much we, as individuals, can do.
And yet even there I can find no relief, for the football world from my personal perspective is rather dull for the moment. As I don’t care who will play in France next summer in the European Championship I don’t even know who plays in the knock out phase of this tournament. I think no Arsenal player is really involved in these games so I really don’t have to keep an eye on them.
But we have had a few players on the pitch in the friendlies or qualifying matches for their countries in the last days.
So my biggest Arsenal related worry is: did they all remain injury free? I do admit I typed survive at first but that seems not really appropriate for the moment to use that word.
A few players did rather well. Olivier Giroud just to name one. He scored another goal agains Neuer, the German and Bayern keeper when Franc beat Germany with 2-0. A rather weak German side one could say as Özil luckily was left out for these friendly matches. A time that has been well used by Özil if I can believe the pictures he posted on Instagram during the last days. Let us hope his rekindled feelings of love in private will make him even better on the field.
But still Giroud is getting a bit of an impressive run against Neuer one of the better keepers in the world.
Koscielny also played for France and he completed the whole match. Giroud came off after 68 minutes.
Another player that scored a goals was Santi Cazorla. But I think most English people will have noticed it. I’ve seen a video of the cool finish itself but was there an offside situation just before he scored? Well I don’t know to be honest as I only saw the shot itself in a short video clip.
Not that I would analyse it too much as well… wouldn’t it be nice to see England suffer from the fact that no video referee can be used when they could have used it to prove a wrong referee decision? A few more of these and who knows the FA would give the PGMO permission to use video refereeing????
But good to see Santi back to scoring and to have completely recovered from his dizziness against Tottenham. The only bad thing I notice was that he has played more than expected as he already came on after 27 minutes. Can’t have it all…
Looking at the stats of this match it sure seems to have been a rather dull event by the way. But this could be wrong of course as stats don’t say everything but not much shots in total. Well not to what we get from Arsenal most of the time.
In South America Alexis played the whole 90 minutes and that is of course no surprise as it is what they always do with him. Another match coming up tomorrow for Alexis and let us keep our fingers crossed he will not get injured or bitten (can Suarez already play for Uruguay – is his ban over?)
Another player playing 90 minutes was Ospina for Colombia against Chile and Alexis. Both Arsenal players being kind to each other in the way that Alexis didn’t score against Ospina.
Apart from Joel Campbell who played 74 minutes for Costa Rica the rest of the Arsenal players were most of the time on the bench. I wouldn’t mind them being there for another 90 minutes for the next round of matches that are played tomorrow.
Because there are still a few players out there. And I’m afraid that Giroud will certainly play for France against England in Wembley. What with that fool Benzema allegedly trying to get involved in some blackmailing of a team mate…. Get him out of jail for this match please and play him Monsieur… whoever is the manager of France…
Other players who had some time on the beach in the first useless matches are Gibbs, Gabriel and Cech. So some of them might get involved in the next round of friendlies….
We can only hope that the managers of the national teams see these matches as matches to test a few things but certainly not as career deciding matches.
The way the German manager LÖw has done with Özil this time is really great. LÖw knows that it is not today that the European Championship will be won in the meaningless friendlies. But it might be lost if one of his key players suffers an injury today. So being careful with his star performers is the smart way to go. Even at the cost of some lost matches. But I think that at the end of June next year they might look at it differently.
So another 48 hours before we can completely relax and see who came back in fine health after this round of annoying matches.
And then we can look forward and try to find out who of the injured is fit again. The Ox should be ready if all goes right. About Ramsey I get mixed signals. Some saying he should be back, others saying not completely.
But with a very important week coming up in which we must try to take as many points as possible I sure hope that both will be ready and be in full training again this week.
- 16 November 1996: Man U 1 Arsenal 0. Arsène Wenger’s first defeat at the end of a ten match unbeaten run. After the game he said, “Obviously, the way we lost was difficult to accept, but I’m happy with the way we played. Our organisation was excellent, we kept fighting and I am very optimistic for the future.” The following season he won the Double.
- 16 November 2013: Having signed a five year contract Wojciech Szczesny signed a new long term-contract with Arsenal. However some poor performances in 2014/15 and allegations that he had been smoking led to him being replaced first by David Ospina and then by Petr Cech.