Friday, May 24, 2024

Interlull: Saturday international round-up + Chamakh

Morning all and *boilk*

Last night I was at the Ireland v Germany game in Dublin, not much fun from an Irish perspective as we got battered 6-1 by a very, very good German side. Their qualities were more than offset by the Irish side which was the opposite of very, very good, and they weren’t helped by being managed by a man who really ought not to be the manager anymore.

Somebody really should have taught Trapattoni the word ‘backwards’ when he first arrived because his team looked to have an extreme aversion to keeping the ball. A couple of passes at the back, get vaguely close to halfway, then clump it somewhere in the general direction of the striker (last night Stoke’s Jonathan Walters). He was up against Per Mertesacker most of the night and the BFG handled him with ease.

That’s not to say Walters didn’t try, he ploughed a lonely furrow up-field but even if he did win the odd header it went straight back to Germany as, for some reason, the Irish players stood still as soon as they’d clumped it up to him. Strikes me Trapattoni needed to learn the word ‘support’ too.

The German goals were excellent and they even had the most cast-iron pelanty you’ll ever seen turned down. John O’Shea, who is to football what Milli Vanilli are to singing live, dallied on the ball in his own area, got caught, then hauled down Reus only for the ref to hilariously book the German for diving. He got his revenge a few minutes later when he scored the first and opened the floodgates.

Lukas Podolski came on and slotted in nicely and I did worry for a couple of moments as Shane Long looked to be getting the rage as Germany passed it around nonchalantly in midfield. He twice bumped Podolski from behind and I was just waiting for him to lose it altogether and give him a good kick but thankfully that didn’t happen.

It reminds you just how lucky we are to see a team like Arsenal every week. Top quality players (for the most part) and a manager who knows exactly what he’s doing and how he wants his team to play. I know Ireland aren’t exactly blessed with much in the way of talent – Aidan McGeady is a lab created version of Theo Walcott on his worst day that shouldn’t have been released to the public – but it was fairly pitiful to see them torn apart that like without even a bit of fight.

There are managers out there who can take a bunch of players like that and make them greater than the sum of their parts. Trapattoni is not one of them and surely it’s time Ireland found a man who can. Joe Kinnear! I kid, but honestly, it was woeful last night. A word too for the German fans around town who were really friendly and full of beer. I guess they would be after such an easy win but still.

Elsewhere Theo Walcott got brought to hospital after an incident with the San Marino goalkeeper (haven’t seen it) while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first goal as England beat San Marino by the same margin Germany beat Ireland. As for the rest of the games I don’t have a clue who did what and if they’re still alive but I’m assuming so as my hangover precludes me from scouring the web too much.

There’s not a great deal going on in terms of Arsenal news, as you’d expect, bar the story that Bordeaux would welcome back Marouane Chamakh if he had a mind to leave London. Which, according to their president, he doesn’t:

Chamakh knows he can return to Bordeaux whenever he wants. But he is happy in London. In December last year, I sent a message to him and told him if it’s shit in London, he can come back. That message still stands.

I guess he’s got another two seasons left on his deal (including this one), and having moved on a Bosman he’s got a nice wage + a signing on fee paid over the course of his contract. The fact that we’re a club with one recognised striker and that he’s failed to even make the bench for most of our games this season tells you exactly where he stands in the pecking order.

Whether he’s working as hard as he can and being as dedicated as he can in order to get back into the team I can’t say, but clearly he’s a long way from the manager’s thoughts. Thus we’re left in a situation where his package (fnarr) is such that he’d be quite mad to go elsewhere and it’s hard to escape the feeling he’s happy enough to plod along and not play. Maybe I’m doing him a disservice but it’s a transfer deal that will have go down in the annals as a failure.

Right, that’s that, have yourselves a good Saturday. More exciting Interlull fun tomorrow.

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