Archive for the ‘International Tedium’ Category

Arsenal: Squad Fitness, International Fallout, Frimpong Allegiance, Arsenal Take Over England

In Arsenal, Frimpong, International Tedium on September 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Squad Fitness:

Two things seemingly occupying the minds of Arsenal fans at the moment – How many of the squad are fit and what was the impact of the recent round of international games? The two are intertwined but we wait to hear how the latter has impacted the former.

However, the injury topic seems to have hit the headlines again following announcements this week that both Jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen are both out for a number of months due to dodgy ankles.

For some reason Vermaelen’s injury announcement came after he’d had a secret operation in Sweden. I’m not so sure why this was a secret? Has the Verminator been to Cyberdyne Systems to be upgrade from a T-101 to a T-1000?  Who knows but it’s certainly a knockback for the new Vermersacker model that Cyberdyne were looking to release.

If the reports are to be believed, we can expect to see Vermaelen back for Sunderland in the middle of October whereas Jack Wilshere will not be likely to return until mid-November for the game against Norwich.

Who out of the squad is fit? Well, if you look at who is available for selection then things aren’t so bad:

GK: Szczesny, Fabianski 

DEF: Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Santos, Djourou, Gibbs

MID: Arteta, Ramsey, Frimpong, Benayoun, Arshavin, Rosicky

FWD: Park, RvP, Walcott, AOC, Gervinho, Chamakh


International Fallout:

We wait to see how the bumps and bruises of the international break have impacted the players so we’ll look at a potential starting XI for the Swansea game closer to the time.

Talking of which, we had quite a number of players on duty. Whilst the results are inconsequential to Arsenal you have to have a look to see how many minutes were played by each player and how the travel may potentially contribute to player fatigue at the weekend:


There were some highlights for some even though the quality of the competition is debatable but the potential front line for Saturday’s game will be high on confidence after hitting the back of the net 9 times in 5 games.

In terms of other players, there was the obvious match-up of Theo Walcott vs. Aaron Ramsey in the England/Wales games. This never came to fruition as Theo was withdrawn from the game with a suspected tight hamstring but Aaron put in a sterling Man of the Match Performance.

I’ll admit it, the England games passed me by due mainly to my apathy for the English FA in their treatment of young players being picked for too many teams (e.g. both Theo and Jack being impacted in recent time by playing for both the U21 and Senior squads during the summer breaks), lack of Arsenal involvement as well as their inability to show any kind of consistency in overseeing the game.


Frimpong Allegiance

So why choose England when you can choose Ghana? Emmanuel Frimpong has confirmed today that his international allegiance will lie with the his country of birth rather than the country he has represented as a youth and will be joining the contingent of Arsenal players who we will lose each time the African Cup of Nations comes around.

Whilst Frimpong has made an impact in his initial displays this season it was the future that could have made watching England more exciting again. Could you imagine an England line-up that included Gibbs, Wilshere, Walcott, Frimpong and Lansbury? Assuming that Lansbury doesn’t return from his loan to West Ham, it looks like England fans will have to make do with first three only.

Arsenal Take Over England

However, it would have been interesting to have seen a line-up that boasted similar Arsenal numbers that were last seen back in 1999. This was when England played the then world champions, France where starting line-up comprised of Seaman, Dixon, Adams and Keown.  The only blemish on the landscape was Le Saux starting instead of Winterburn. The result was 2-0 but you can hardly apportion blame when the French team where on a high and compromised of Nickolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and pre-Arsenal Wiltord, Pires.

 Thankfully the tedium of international football is over and the anticipation of the PL can continue. Arsenal haven’t had the greatest of start but now that this silly pre-season is over and the squad has been finalised let’s hope we get an appropriate response with 3 points against Swansea on Saturday.

Only 4 more sleeps to the next game!!