By Walter Broeckx
I don’t know why but this international break in the football season seemed to take longer than ever before. I really couldn’t be bothered about the results of any team to be honest. Football organised by crooks just isn’t my thing.
The only thing that I did worry about was the well being of our players. And then to find out that Welbeck got injured in the first England match was for me enough to dislike those matches even more. So Danny will be a doubt for tomorrow’s match. This is always a risky thing of course. Do you risk Welbeck in this important match with making the injury possibly worse? Knees are important body parts for footballers as it them that make people turn around and certainly for footballers having a knee working fine as should be is of the highest importance.
And any knee injury usually takes a while before you get recovered. Look at Walcott who still is not the player he was just before his injury now more than 1 year and 3 months ago. A few flashes but never consistent since his return. Just imagine if we lost Welbeck now for the rest of the season if his knee gets severely injured. I sure wouldn’t like that. I think that if we give Wenger another season we will see a completely different Welbeck by the way. Wenger has turned ‘he doesn’t score enough’ strikers in to ‘Oh my god what a finisher this is’ before.
The other scare was Ramsey. Ramsey injured his groin as the saying goes. But there is no talk about him in the pre match conference or in the who is fit to play article at Arsenal.com so I hope (and pray) that he will be just fine. Because any injury now can mean the end of the season for a player. And now is the time to have most players fit and not see them injured in international matches.
The most important thing now is how will the team perform after this very unwelcome break. The team was on a very nice run with 6 wins in a row in the PL. But now with this break it will be the question if we can pick up where we left it. In my mother language the expression is ‘picking up the wire where you left it’. But such a break can result in the wire being broken and that would be bad. [In English Walter it’s just “picking up where you left off”. Why does Flemish always add the extra noun? Anyway why would you want to pick up a wire – that can be painful. Besides wires normally are cut or snapped. – Tony]
Another thing that is bad has already been mentioned by Tony in many articles: the almighty power of the TV companies. As things were standing the supporters’ club of which I am the chairman (Arsenal Belgium) had ordered tickets for the match Arsenal – Swansea. We had our tickets ordered and confirmed. We had our bus ordered but couldn’t complete the order as the date was still out there and could change. And yesterday evening the bad news came out. Our planned Saturday match was moved to Monday evening.
I can assure you that when I got the news I have used every swear word in Dutch, English, German, French, and even the few I know in Spanish. There goes our last planned groups travel to London. Flushed down the drain by Sky Sports. For most working people this is impossible to do. Most people in Belgium have 20 days of holiday they can choose but to give up 2 of them to be able to see Arsenal play is simply not done. People use these days mostly to go on a holiday with their family and so most people had to cancel their tickets.
We now have to cancel the bus and contact Arsenal and tell them that apart from a family that had planned a few days in London and who will be in London on Monday evening we cannot take the tickets anymore. Lots of inconvenience for lots of people all over the world because the TV companies decided to shift this match to a Monday. In order to keep this site readable even for young kids I will not really say what I think of that decision and what I think of those TV companies.
But that is the way it goes these days. As Tony has pointed out before the supporters who want to see the matches are just “quantité negligible” to say it as Arsène would say it in French. Decoration that’s what we are for them. Needed a bit but not that much. We are still allowed in the ground but if they could, they would replace us with “Football manager playstation crowd imitations”.
The only good thing about it is that I do know now that our sports channel will give the matches live on TV as they always show the Monday evening match. So that is a little bit of good news that I don’t have to stream the matches. But I would have preferred to come to London with all the early getting out of bed and getting back to bed very late in the night stuff than now sitting in front of my TV. Because nothing beats the experience inside the stadium.
And for our supporters club this is a double blow because if the match would have gone as planned we would have achieved our goal in being able to have a ticket available for every member of our club. Now we can’t realise that dream. Any chance of getting tickets for the cup final for our supporters club will be close to impossible. So that finishes our season on a low. We now can only hope that Arsenal does a live screening for the cup final if we reach the final as they did last year. Then we will be there just as we were last season. So there is still a bit of hope to come to the Emirates this season.
Surely they wouldn’t dare to move the cup final to a Monday evening…. would they?
[PS Re the picking up the wire… In English Walter it’s just “picking up where you left off”. Why does Flemish always add the extra noun? Anyway why would you want to pick up a wire – that can be painful. Besides wires normally are cut or snapped. Mind you English has “right to the wire” – meaning to the end, which I always thought was the most ludicrous expression, for much the same reason – Tony]
Two old time anniversaries
3 April 1897: Arsenal 0 Newton Heath 2. Gavin Crawford became first player to play 100 league games for Woolwich Arsenal. He played 83 times for Royal Arsenal and 122 league games in total.
3 April 1899: David Jack born. He scored the first ever FA Cup final goal at Wembley and was the first Arsenal player to captain England.
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