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.
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