As I sit here drinking coffee made all the more delicious by my *boilk* mug, I am now utterly tired of the Interlull.
For all the fear and trepidation, the under performing, and the forthcoming and entirely inevitable collapse which sees us somehow finish 6th, I’d rather that than any more international football nonsense. There are some players involved in European Championship qualifiers, Rosicky for the Czech Republic and van Persie for Holland as far as I can make out, but the rest of our players will be taking part in utterly meaningless friendlies.
The only reason these friendlies exist is to make money for the respective national associations. Tonight England are playing Ghana and there are accusations of ‘disrespect’ being thrown around because Capello isn’t playing his best XI. Why would he? I’m bothered that he’ll probably play Wilshere for 90 minutes, and I’m bothered that he let players like Lampard, Rooney and Terry go, but why on earth would he choose the same team that beat Wales?
At this stage of the season if an international match is not competitive then clubs should be able to nix their players involvement on the basis that it’s fucking stupid for them to be playing when they could be at their club, training, uninjured. The international coaches don’t need a friendly to check out new players or anything, there’s no summer tournament which provides that pressing need. Tonight club managers across Europe will be holding their breath, hoping that important players don’t get injured in half-empty stadiums playing in games on crappy pitches that nobody cares about.
I mean, look at Russia going to Qatar. If running 30 yards down the wing tires Arshavin out, what the hell is a trip to the middle-east going to do? Sure, the Russian federation’s coffers will be fuller, but it’s hard to think of a fixture more worthless and pointless. Unless Qatar are going to use the game to try out their artificial clouds or something. Even then … pfff. And speaking of Arshavin, his star is fading even at a national level.
That said, at the end of last week’s Arsecast, after the recording had stopped, we spoke briefly about how ‘the hero’ might be and despite acknowledging the lack of fitness and effort and the plumpness of belly, a couple of us fingered Arshavin. If you get me. In terms of talent and ability, he’s got it, whether he’s physically capable of doing it is another matter entirely. Anyway, we shall see.
I suppose the one good thing is that the games are on a Tuesday night now which gives the club a bit more time with the players when they do come back. At this stage of the season the games are so important the more preparation we have the better. And given the importance of our final nine the sooner we get everyone back together and focused on what’s to come, the better.
Not much going on in the world of Arsenal really. There’s that reserve game today in which Jens Lehmann is expected to play, but that’s something we’ve gone over a fair bit in the last few days. As well as that Jeremie Aliadiere will play up front for us. He’s been training with the club for a month or so and according to Young Guns hopes to do enough to convince the manager to keep him for next season.
Erm, didn’t he have almost 10 years at the club to do that? I do think it’s nice that we allow former players to come back and get fit, it’s very Arsenal of us, but I’m struggling to see the benefit to us of him playing for the reserves. I know most of the young forwards are out on loan and all, but still. Knowing our luck, after tonight’s internationals, he’ll be our only fit striker.
Some transfer nonsense in the Daily Mail about us tracking German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Firstly, haven’t we had enough goalkeepers called Manuel? And secondly, they talk about him providing competition for Wojscez©® with a price tag of €22m. The idea that we might spend that much money is ludicrous in itself, but to spend that much for a second choice keeper is more stupid than Jamie Redknapp’s pants.
For something to wile away a little time today, Thierry Henry was interview by Sky Sports News and broadcast last night. I didn’t see it yet but you can find it in four different parts on the video page or on YouTube – 1 –2 – 3 – 4.
Stuart Pearce talks about the summer and the U21 European Championships and makes it fairly clear that he’s going to select Jack Wilshere. I think we’re just going to have to accept the inevitable with this one and manage Jack properly when he gets back to Arsenal. Yet another international football annoyance.
Finally for today, thanks to everyone who emailed/tweeted me this video. Whatever you think about our ability to do what Pacino says, it’s really well put together.
And that’s about that. Have a good one, here’s to a clean bill of health and the return of proper football.