Until monday lunchtime (when I’m writing this) it has been an utterly wonderful world cup for Arsenal.
First, while players from other teams were getting knocked about, or knocking themselves about, none of our players went down will anything much.
Then, amazingly, the French team played, and although Sagna got assaulted and could have been out of the game for months, he managed to get up and play on. Diaby played through without injury. As for Gallas, I’m told that he is no longer with us, so he doesn’t count, but just in case he does come back – he survived too.
The silly being that runs the French team so wonderfully didn’t take Nasri and that’s a relief and a half.
And with the tackle of the year being the foot up, studs showing, thump against the ankle, it is obvious that any fast running forwards and wingers are really going to get it badly. And that of course means Theo – but the great news is that although he clearly could have done a lot to sort out the mess of the USA game (by his sheer speed if nothing else) the manager hadn’t taken him – which is terrific news. Had he done Theo would have been on a plane home by now chopped to bits.
Carlos Vela made it though an hour or so of the Mexico match, and I don’t think he got hurt and looking to the future it looks like Alex Song isn’t going to be chosen for his match, so that’s another bit of relief.
Of course some people might argue that not selecting a player for an international match is a sign that the player is no good – but that assumes that international managers are competent – which I think is stretching it a bit.
And we have the great news that Belgium didn’t qualify, so Vermaelen is safe.
There is one bit of world cup magic that has come my way thus far – apart from the failure of anyone to cripple any of our players yet. The great Socrates of the 1982 Brazil world cup was asked about the current team. He described it as “bureaucratic” and “conservative”.
The reporter then said to him, “But isn’t Dunga simply being sensible?” to which he replied,
“Being sensible isn’t always the best thing. Who says that being sensible is a sign of quality? I don’t think so.”
My view of the universe in a nutshell.
Anyway, Bendtner and Van Persie have survived the first half hour, although the running commentary from the Guardian says
“29 min: Denmark are becoming more ambitious, and the match now has a pleasing end-to-end flow to it. At least it did until Bendtner went down for treatment following a crunching tackle by De Jong. He should have been booked for that.~”
Listen, manager of Denmark. The guy who sits two rows behind me at the Ems (or should I say used to sit two rows behind me – because as we now know 80% of season ticket holders have give up their tickets this year – official) says that Bendtner is rubbish, so get him off, let him recover from the injury he is still playing with, and let him be fit for next season.
- Arsenal v Leicester footnote: bad runs and past games
- Arsenal v Leicester; the injuries, the team, recent games, ludicrous predictions
- Arsenal v Leicester: comparing the form, and the goalscorers
- Arsenal v Leicester: how will the ref handle Leicester’s multiple tackling?
- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.