Keep your fingers crossed for a few more days

By Walter Broeckx

I think we can say that we have survived the first round of international matches.

And the best thing is that all you out there crossing your fingers, praying, hoping, wishing for no injuries to Arsenal players have done a good job so far. Because as far as I could find I could nowhere find a sign of an Arsenal player being out for the rest of the season.

In the match England – Slovinia we had a few Arsenal players giving a good account of themselves. I heard that Jack Wilshere got the man of the match award and that is no small thing if you consider another Arsenal player scoring two goals. Was he really that good? Jack I mean. Good on him.

Gibbs also played I noticed and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on towards the end. But the most important thing is that we heard nothing of any casualties.  Chambers and Walcott didn’t feature and I wouldn’t be sad if this also would be the case when England play Scotland.

I suggest that Roy Hodgson gives all the Arsenal player a rest against Scotland.  But I doubt it will happen. So no letting go of those crossed fingers yet.

Wojciech Szczesny kept a clean sheet in the  Euro 2016 qualifier between Poland and Georgia. A match Poland won with 4-0 if I can remember it well. I suggest to whoever is the Polish manager to give Wojciech a good rest for their friendly (a friendly FFS) against Switzerland. Manchester United knows how quick an injury to a keeper can happen.

Lukas Podolski played for 90 minutes for Germany in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar. A match that was only won by 4-0.  Podolski getting one assist and forcing a Gibraltar player to an own goal so for me that is 2 assists. I have seen a few spells of that match (while writing the PGMOL articles) but is it just me our is the fact that they are missing Mesut ‘nicking a living’ Özil has a little bit of a negative effect on their team? Of course this can’t be as the English media declared that Özil is rubbish anyhow so this cannot be the reason for the world champions not being good. Of do they miss Per Mertesacker at the back?

Anyway the Germans will now play Spain in a friendly. The last two world champions against each other. With two Arsenal players possibly in the team. But I really wouldn’t mind Low giving Podolski a rest. Or let him play 45 minutes. To give him some more game time and to win some rhythm.

Santi Cazorla played for some 70 minutes for Spain in their 3-0 win against Belarus.  Will Santi play against Germany and Podolski? Not if it was down to me. But alas I have no say in such things.

Yesterday all my focus was on Wales. Who played against Belgium. Ramsey playing the whole 90 minutes in a box to box role. He had to defend a lot but they could keep Belgium in a rather easy way away from their goal. Chances were few in this match and the 0-0 was probably a fair result. But in this match one serious head injury to Mertens from Belgium just showing that these internationals are very risky.  Wales can go home after a party not far from my town in a famous venue for after match parties by football teams.  But Aaron back to Arsenal now and do your best like you did last Sunday.

Alexis Sanchez has played in the 5-0 win from Chile against Venezuela. And he scored the opening goal. I heard no news of him being injured so that is also good news. They will play another friendly (again friendly FFS) against Uruguay. Just stay away from the vampire Alexis. Don’t want you to get infected by any strange diseases. That match is played on November 19 Wednesday. So it will once again be a quick comeback to London and very short preparation time for the match against Manchester United. Oh I love them international friendlies…. (sarcastic mode)


Joel Campbell has played almost an entire match for Costa Rica when they played Uruguay.  I didn’t hear anything of him being injured but the again I have to admit that as he hasn’t been on the bench in the last match I don’t know if we will use him next Saturday.

Tomas Rosicky has also played 90 minutes for the Czech Republic squad for their match against Iceland. Czech Republic won with 2-1 and are firm in the leading position in their group that also contains the Netherlands. And again I heard nothing of him being injured.

Oh and before I forget it we can mention that Yaya Sanogo had a match for the French U21 and he played in their 1-1 draw. Sanogo was even captain for this match. So it seems that not only Wenger is rating Sanogo but also in France they do seem to give credit for his potential. Sanogo will (or has played depending on when this will be published) against England on Monday.

So a few players will fly over today or tomorrow back to London and hopefully completely fit and ready when needed.

The players who are still at risk are: Chambers, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck and Wilshere. Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Szczesny, Sanogo  and Alexis.  So that is still 11 players out there in corrupt Fifa land.

So don’t you even dare thinking about relaxing your fingers. No, you keep them crossed until they are all back home and safe in London. Not one second earlier. I only loosen them to write an article. And as this article now has reached the end I will go back to the crossing of my fingers.


17 Replies to “Keep your fingers crossed for a few more days”

  1. Walter, I think we all need to keep our fingers crossed a little longer than you say in the article – as you correctly predicted Dean on Saturday!

  2. Roll up roll up, the PGMO Circus is coming to town this Saturday.

    Mike Dean commissioned as the ringmaster.

    Roll up roll up.

  3. Up to 6 English Arsenal players could be involved in the so-called tribal battle against the Scots tomorrow evening (I won’t call it a friendly).
    Not only fingers but EVERYTHING should be crossed until after the warm-up on Saturday afternoon.

  4. I wonder how Alexis will be flying back from South America? Fit and able with all the jet lag?

    Come to that, I’m flying back from Oz for the Man U game, so if the cameras pan in on the twirp in the utter tier who has fallen asleep during the game – you’ll know who it is and why.

  5. France U21 v England U21

    Half time 2-2

    Yaya Sanogo captains France and he’s looking Very good. Scored twice already.

  6. @Gord


    Not sure Gord. If you mean is it live on TV then yes.

    BT Sport are broadcasting it.

  7. @Tasos

    I found a commentary of the game at Daily Mail. There was nothing at I’m in Canada, and don’t get BT Sport. Heck, I hardly watch TV any more. 🙂

  8. I would prefer none of our players being involved against Scotland, but I am particularly anxious for Theo and Jack, who are likely to be targetted. The game is being hyped up as a gladitorial contest in a hostile atmosphere and Roy Hodgson even seems to be suggesting that it will be a good test of character for the players as a result.

    This is sheer madness.

  9. Chambers , Ox and Wilshere will probably start, Ox off at half time for Theo, Wilshere after an hour and Gibbs having had 90 minutes on Saturday will probably sit it out unless Shaw goes down and has to be replaced. I fear enough time for an injury to keep at least one of them away from United.

  10. Hodgson apparently thinks the game against Scotland will not be physical. The BBC must disagree, as this is the image they have put up for this description of an article:

    > ‘Battle lines are drawn – I’d love to be out there’

    > Ex-England captain and Rangers defender Terry Butcher says Roy Hodgson’s men can expect a hostile reception in Scotland.

    Now, what does wordpress do with a URL to a JPEG (at bbcimg)?

    I’m afraid. I think someone on Scotland is going to do their impression of Shawcross, and Arsenal are going to be without another player for a year (or more) with a compound fracture of the leg also dislocating the ankle.

  11. Chief Walter, my plenty of early good morning greetings to you Sir. I have been on your website for about 6 hours now. I took a break to have my prayers, but I didn’t log out as I still want to make an important comment . I initially fell into sleep as I logon to your site. And when I woke up, I noticed I am still logon on my handset. Thereby unecessarily losing some of my data bundles. It is now almost 01:00 am GMT as I am re-editing my article. I hope you will okay it this time. That’d aside, I want to re-encourage us not to loss our faith at all. 8 out of our 11 Gunners that you have listed are regular starters for Arsenal. And I want to believe God to protect all our players that are on International duty from picking up any injury. God has already protected them and they shall remain protected. Chief Walter, there is something the boss has forgotten to take care of it. It has being reported that he will get only a paltry £20m for his January transfers possibly to buy a center half back and a midfield enforcer. Yes, Arsenal certainly are in need to reinforce those weak areas at CB and CDM respectively with some top quality players. But hopefully they can afford the price of top quality. But there has been an un-noticed necessity to recruit another top goalkeeper to cover Szczesny and even give him a good run for his money. (surprisingly no one has mentioned this) I am saying this, because Ospina has been injured and no date has been set for his coming back to action. From the look of things, it may take a while for Ospina to be back and get back to the top level of the game. As Arsenal will be going into their winter games, it will amount to a big risk for Arsenal to depending solely on Szczesny to be manning our goal alone. God forbids, supposing he picked up an injury or was red-carded. We would become thin in goalkeeping. The young keeper that kept our goal for our UCL away game to Anderlecht FC will be the only goalkeeper that will be available. That young goalkeeper may not be able to efficiently cope with the rigoursness of Arsenal games for a long time. In this wise, it will be safer if the boss would be proactive by signing another top keeper during the January window to forestall any shortage of a top goalkeeper at Arsenal in their goalkeeping department. How about the boss scouting or re-scout the Nigerian goalkeeper-Vincent Enyeama, for this purpose? Enyeama is currently in terrific form and he is getting better and better with each game he has played. I am very positive Enyeama who may be on the cheap, could eventually become great for Arsenal. But there is a note of caution here! Enyeama may not agree to be sitting on the bench while Szczesny does all the goalkeeping for Arsenal. To be benching Enyeama could be to be killing his form. And he might even go for the Afcon games if Nigeria eventually qualified. So he will need to be playing to retain his present top form and even improve on it. I am not saying the boss has hinted he was going to sign Enyeama. But he won’t regret it if he does signed him. To give Enyeama and Szczesny eaqul game time, I will suggest to the boss to make Enyeama his goakeeper for Arsenal away games. While Szczesny will take charge of our home games. I think Szczesny is better at keeping in our home games than in our away games. And finally, there is this top CB at a big rival club which the boss had wanted to swapped with Vermaelen during the last summer transfer window. I don’t want to mention his name. So that the big rival club that owns him will not become soon aware of what the boss might be plotting. And thus later refused to oblige the boss bidding. I am sure the boss will know the player in question. Since Koscielny is often achilles injury prone and Mertesacker is getting slower with his paces. And the boss appears not yet ready to deploy his youthful Ajayi and Hayden to CB. For security reason, it has thus become very necessary for Arsenal to get another top CB. And this guy which I am referring to, will be great at CB for Arsenal. If the boss happened to read my article, I hope he will seriously think over what I have said. Let him please consider it.

  12. Mr Adebosin’s charming email is typical of the way our great Club is supported throughout the world. From probably far away, he takes the trouble to suggest players who would be of help to Arsene Wenger.
    So many Adebosins of our world may never see their heroes in the flesh, yet their loyalty never falters.
    A lesson to us all.

  13. Samuel – we need referees. Do you know enough to form a group so that they can compete against PGMO? Maybe Walter might set up a PGMO competitor in Belgium.

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