The most important thing for Arsenal last night was that none of the players on international duty around Europe picked up any injuries. That is great news for Arsene Wenger who has a fully fit squad to choose from, apart from Wilshere and Walcott who will be back very soon.
Szczesny didn’t get a game, but the transfer target Victor Valdes of Barcelona got the nod ahead of Reina and produced some fine stops for Spain. Cazorla was rested, as was Giroud, while Monreal and Koscielny played the full game as Spain beat France 1-0. It was a cross from the Arsenal left back, finished by Pedro, that earned all three points.
Vermaelen for Belgium, and Mertesacker for Germany also played the whole 90 minutes as both of their teams won and stayed at the top of their qualifying groups. Podolski didn’t feature for Germany, but he was on the bench so it wasn’t because of a reaction to Friday’s game, so he should be fit and ready to play against Reading on Saturday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can count himself unlucky not to feature for England against Montenegro after his great showing last week, and England really missed his directness and energy. Cleverley looked lost in the middle and proved why England place so much value on Jack Wilshere. The Ox will be fresh for Saturday, and I think he should start in place of Walcott on the right.
One Gunner who probably needed a run out was Rosicky, and he played the whole game for the Czech Republic as they eases to a 3-0 victory over Armenia. I still think Rosicky could have a big part to play until the end of the season for Arsenal, just as he did last year. Unfortunately for him, he has got the brilliant Cazorla in his way.
The player in all the papers, Stevan Jovetic, was fairly anonymous in the first half against England, but then so were the whole Montenegro team. They were much better in the second, but England allowed them to be. Jovetic worked hard and showed he has got great close control and strength, as well as a good shot. He didn’t do enough to convince me he is worth upwards of £20 million though. What do you think Gooners?