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July 2021

The in(ter)-jury(nationals) games from Fifa: boring as usual

By Walter Broeckx

Are you also so bored these days? Well then you are not alone.

I thought about going to see a local game of football myself and write a report and take some pictures like Tony and Drew do each time there is no Arsenal game to go to.

But it started raining on Saturday evening and didn’t stop till Monday morning. And although I am willing to do a lot for Untold getting drowned seems a step too far.  Maybe next week when I should get another  free Sunday afternoon I will entertain you with local football in Belgium.

So what do you do after a while? You even look at the international games. Of course not in full, as international football is completely lost on me. But I looked at some highlights and wanted to make a summary of the performances and the goals our players scored…and…shock horror…the possible injuries.

Let us just start with that. For now the counting stops at 1. Koscielny hardly got to France and their national team and he got some trouble in his calf. He was first ruled out of the friendly against Australia and was called a doubt for the next Arsenal game against Norwich this Saturday.

Now what would an international break be without an Arsenal player getting injured?….sigh. Let us hope that it is not too bad and that he will be back soon.

Let us move on to better things and as we are speaking of France let us have a look at our main striker Olivier Giroud. Who found the net twice in a 6-0 win over the soccerroos. At least that is what I think the Australian national team is called. If not sorry. And sorry for mentioning the defeat. But main point for Arsenal: Giroud keeps on scoring and one was a very nice curler over the keeper so that should mean that he will come back with lots of confidence.

But even if he had lost it, what to think about a player that now is saying that he didn’t say it (and I wouldn’t be surprised if he really didn’t say it) but only thought it….

Nicklas Bendtner surely did his name and fame no harml with scoring twice against the Italians. It would have been a big win for them and for Nicklas would have been a big triumph I can imagine but the Danes conceded a late goal in injury time and that cost them the win and a possible play off spot.

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So both our centre forwards scoring two goals. No bad thing.

Another player on the score sheet was Özil.   Mesut played for Germany in the 3-0 win against Ireland and that was the win needed to get the points to win their group. It was a fine run and a sweet lobbed finish over the keeper who went to the ground in the hope of getting the ball first.

One beautiful move with the foot from Özil was enough. And of course we had Per Mertesacker in the team also for 90 minutes.   Now with qualification sealed if I was Low the German coach I would rest  Özil. And Mertesacker.

Oh and by the way Podolski was brought in front of the camera as the game was in his home town Koln. And he said that he couldn’t wait to get back to full training and that could be the case in the next week. And he hoped to be ready one week later. I hope he is right about that. Would be great to have him back at the end of the month or thereabouts. With a few others.

I will not bore you about the England players but I thought nobody really played a lot apart from Wilshere in the last 10 minutes.  Just keep on doing it like that Mr. Hodgson. Not that I want the Arsenal players not to play if they want it that much, but the less game time, the less chance of an injury. If it is down to me: no need to take any risks.

I mentioned Kosciely as a possible doubt for this weekend so it will be important how Vermaelen comes out of the international break. At the end of last season he got his back injury when playing for Belgium so I was happy that he wasn’t picked for the Croatia match. But with Belgium now qualified the coach has already told the press that he will change his defence and Vermaelen will play against Wales on Tuesday.

So we will have Vermaelen on the field against Ramsey. I hope they are nice for each other. Ramsey was also rather nice on Macedonia when he missed a late penalty but as Wales won it will not have mattered too much apart for his personal feelings. It can happen to the best Aaron.

Nacho Monreal started for Spain in the game against Belarus. He was subbed at half time and the Spanish team brought on Iniesta. So I think it was a tactical change to break down the Belarus defence. If it was for a injury I think we would have heard it by now.

Other players that didn’t play were Szczesny and Fabianski and the Polish paid the price. Not that the keeper could do much about the well taken goal from the Ukraine I think. And as the Polish team flies over to London they will be close to home already.

Finally a last word about Jenkinson who played for the U21 at left back. Left back. Yes left back. Is there really no young and good enough left back to play there? I watched the game against San Marino for a while but the quality was rather poor from both sides and the game had a ref that joined in and made a few strange decisions.

So far we lost one player but we might have a replacement getting some valuable match time as we might need our captain back on the field next Saturday.

We are left with one day of nail biting and waiting anxiously for some possible bad news. And then we can really start focussing on Arsenal again. And is it true that in November there are again some international games? My god, do they never stop ruining our football?

Arsenal anniversaries for 15 October – from Arsenal’s most prolific scorer to Andy Cole

  • 15 October 1894: Henry Boyd, Arsenal’s most prolific goalscorer has his amazing run stopped by a broken ankle
  • 15 October 1932: George Male’s first appearance as a right back v Blackburn
  • 15 October 1963: Arsenal draw 4-4 with Tottenham at Highbury
  • 15 October 1966: Bob McNab debut v Leeds United in 1-3 defeat
  • 15 October 1971: Andrew Cole born

The books…

6 comments to The in(ter)-jury(nationals) games from Fifa: boring as usual

  • elkieno

    Walter good article and you are forgiven for mentioning Australia’s humping by France and Girooooouuud!!! He can score v Australia in a friendly as much as he wants! Oh and they are called the ‘Qantas Sooceroos’ man, comon fair go Qantas paid heaps for that hehe!
    Btw I hate the word ‘Socceroos’ it just doesn’t sound right.
    Just 3.5 days to go!!!

  • Mick

    I did read on LadyArse yesterday that Kos is back training and will be in contention for selection in France’s game tonight.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope everyone comes through unscathed for the fight ahead.
    God , these internationa breaks are a real pain ! Its as if time sits still .

  • nicky

    Slightly off topic but has Belgium developed a seasonal monsoon?
    You mentioned a weekend of continual rain. Last month my wife and party ventured across your border with France….. and hastily withdrew in the face of torrential downpours.
    Are you sinking in order to imitate the Netherlands?
    There is nothing worse than soggy chips, watered beer and moist chocolate.
    Come clean, Walter.

  • elkieno

    Mick i reckon that means that he is only just fit and so will play and aggravate it more.
    TV must be quietly confident yet torn, how can you not feel some kind of joy when the guy that is in front of you gets injured?

  • WalterBroeckx

    it seems that way. In 24 hours we had the same amount of rain as we usually have in a normal whole month in October. If Aaron loves a wet pitch he will find one today. And the pitch in the Heysel stadium is not that good when it rains so could turn out to be a heavy and bad pitch.