A pointless, pathetic, idiotic, unnecessary, stupid, lunatic, evil match. Holland 0 Italy 0, it meant nothing, told no one anything, and Robin Van Persie is now out for about 3 months – possibly longer.
Tearing ligaments is a bastard of an injury – and I can tell you that from experience. My extremely minor and utterly insignificant footballing career was ended when I tore the ligaments at the base of my spine – I have never been in so much pain and it took me a month before I could hobble 20 paces down the road to visit a neighbour.
So, we have no Robin, and no Saint Nic. What now for the forward line?
The contenders are
- Arshavin (but he still has one more international to play)
- Carlos Vela (should be back from injury by the Sunderland game, but certainly not fit to play a whole game)
- Samir Nasri (not playing for France thank goodness)
- Eduardo (did Croatia play yesterday?)
- Rosicky (played centre forward in some pre-season games)
- Diaby (well he did it in Turkey although has been playing midfield since, but when Denilson comes back maybe he could move forward)
- Eboue (but will be out for about 7 weeks for African Cup of Nations – one week before event, the event, and 3 weeks acclimatisation afterwards)
- Theo Walcott (fit again in a few weeks)
A combination of Arshavin, Vela and Eduardo looks interesting.
- Or Arshavin, Eduardo and Eboue – at least until January 1.
If Theo can get fit
- Theo, Eduardo, Vela – how about that for speed, guile and skill
The issue is we have a lot of wide players who can come in, but we have just lost our two centre forwards – which just leaves Eduardo, who is magnificent, but not at the moment seemingly ready to play every game.
There”s two more alternatives:
First who can we bring in from the reserves? JET or Simpson? It feels a bit early – but you never know.
Second, could we change the format and just play two up front? Maybe but it still doesn’t seem to solve the crisis if Eduardo can’t play every game.
Of course the real solution is for the EPL clubs to take control of their own destinies and refuse to release players for more than five internationals per season per player. I can’t see it happening, but it would be a step in the right direction.
The one overwhelming advantage we have is that the Lord Wenger is able to pull all sorts of tricks out of his sleeve – goodness knows how long that sleeve must be the number of ideas he keeps up it.
- Vela, Theo, Nasri
for the matches when Eduardo can’t play.
That would at least take the opposition (not to say 58,000 Arsenal fans in the stadium) by surprise.
There used to be a thing on the Prime Minister’s web site where you could go and set up a petition. I don’t know if it is still there, but if it is I am going to set up a “Just Say No” petition, to restrict the use of players in internationals. Actually I would love to ban all internationals, but that is a bit like saying, “let’s ban the Mafia”. Since the Mafia run FIFA and UEFA my chances of survival would be slim.
Anyway, let us lighten the mood a little to conclude. ESPN have the audacity and nerve to put out their own list of top international teams. So here is my list of top footballing broadcasters.
1. Eurosport – because although they only get little games, they do bother to get them, and it is the one place you can see the under 18s and the like.
2. Sky on saturday afternoons because that Jeff Spelling is funny, and Charlie Nic talks a lot of sense
3. Sky for covering all European games and not just Manchester United
4. ITV – pathetic – division 5
5. BBC – equal to ITV… they have not even put the news of Van Persie on their teletext news site, and have adopted the view that if they don’t cover a match it does not exist – a childish game Sky play, but you’d expect more the BBC.
6. ESPN. So utterly laughable I didn’t even know it was a sports channel. For Everton v Arsenal brought on a totally Everton team of commentators and ended up talking to 80 year olds about their memories.
And here’s the newspaper news… (I have added their political position, so if you are outside the UK and not familiar with the publication you can put it into context)
- Liverpool will buy Eduardo in January (News of World, fanatical right wing))
- Arsenal will buy Maicosuel in January (ditto)
- Arsenal will buy Adam Matthews from Cardiff (Sunday Excess, neo-Nazi)
- Arsenal or someone else will be Connor Wickham from Ipswich (Mail on Sunday – thinks the Excess is a dangerous left wing radical scandal sheet that should be shot down and that all foreigners should be shot)
Oh and the BBC having seen this site have put up the Robin VP news.
PS: If you have read MAKING THE ARSENAL and enjoyed it, pop along to Amazon, type in the book name and do a review. It is not that I need you to tell me how clever I am in writing it (although that’s nice) it is that good reviews do help sales, sales mean I get a bit of the money back that I invested in publishing the book.) There’s more news on football in fiction on www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk and you can also buy MAKING THE ARSENAL at www.emiratesstadium.info
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
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