It is always a bit of a balancing act being an Arsenal fan when there is a big internatyional football tournament on during the summer. On the one hand, you are proud of the Arsenal players when they are selected to play for their country and you want them to do well, while on the other hand you want them back in great shape for the start of the next season.
Arsene Wenger has got a great and well deserved reputation in the world of football for his commitment to bringing young players through. And of course it is a big part of the game, because the stars of the future have to come from somewhere, but the shine has come off a bit recently and the recent retirement of David Bentley has brought the Arsenal academy under the microscope once again.
I know that not all Arsenal fans are also England fans, despite the fact that the Gunners actually play in the English Premier League. Football is a global enterprise these days, which is clearly highlighted in the comments section of this website and from the amazing pre-season tours that Arsenal go on.
There is no more global football event that the World Cup though, so we thought we would share this very useful infographic guide, at the bottom of this artixcle, made by Hertz, the car rental people. For any of you readers lucky enough to be heading out to Brazil at any point, the travelling is likely to be as much of a test as England face getting out of their tight group (I hesitate to call it the group of death but it is pretty tricky).
We do not know for sure whether the Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will start for England against Italy on Saturday night, but most football pundits think it is highly unlikely. The way that the England boss, Roy Hodgson, has used his squad in the warm up games strongly suggests that it is Liverpool man Jordan Henderson who will get the nod.
And the way Hodgson set up England to face Italy in the quarter-finals of the last international tournament, Euro 2012, suggests that he will try to nullify their attacking threat rather than trying to make the most of England’s own. That is where he is missing a trick, in my opinion.
Although Arsenal Football Club will be well represented at the FIFA football extravaganza that is the World Cup finals, the Gunners are a bit thin on the ground when it comes to England. Theo Walcott was already ruled out through injury, of course, but it looks like we might not see too much of Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain either.
It was not the best of nights for the two Arsenal players in the England national team. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played no part whatsoever, and didn’t look too chuffed as he watched from the stands. And Jack Wilshere only got on for the last 25 minutes, so should the two young Gunners be worried about their chances of seeing much action at the Brazil World Cup.
I don’t think so, because if England’s flat performance, despite a decent 3-0 scoreline, showed anything, it was that they are crying out for some inspiration going forward. Wilshere did some decent stuff when he came on, showing some good tigerish tackling when defending as well as nearly sparking off some goal threats, but there were mass changes going on by then and the game was done and dusted.
I think Paul Scholes would be happy if not a single Arsenal player featured in the World Cup finals this summer. JUst like Michael Owen, he has ripped into the Gunners this season and seems desperate for his own biased predictions to come true.
Since his infamous TV rant, many have pointed out the several flaws in the former United man’s argument, and we heard recently that Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere had personally got in touch to have it out with Scholes. Wilshere seems to think the chat went well and he is using it to spur him on, but Scholes has not changed his mind, it seems.
The voting is underway for the Arsenal Player of the Season. I do not make any claims to clairvoyancy, but I can confidently predict the future on this one. Aaron Ramsey has been a revelation for the Gunners this season, after a huge percentage of fans, including the embarrassment that is Piers Morgan, thought that he was a complete disaster.
Ha ha ha! I remember people writing that they thought Ramsey was a curse and if he started a game it meant that Arsenal had already lost. But that was then, and I am not trying to put anyone down, even though I wrote articles praising the young Welshman and received Dog’s abuse at the time.
Both of Arsenal’s England World Cup players found out today a little bit more about how much action they can expect to see in Brazil. The England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed what squad numbers the players will wear at the World Cup and it looks good for Jack Wilshere.
Nothing is certain, of course, but the players with numbers 1-11 will feel that this is a good indication that they are in Hodgson’s thoughts to start, with the first game in the tournament coming against Italy in the hot and humid conditions of Manaus on June 14th. Jack has been handed the number 7 shirt, while his Arsenal team mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will wear number 15.
I still think that there should be three Arsenal players in the England World Cup squad picked by Roy Hodgson. Luke Shaw may have been very impressive as he burst on to the scene with Southampton this season, but Kieran Gibbs has also been brilliant for Arsenal and has more experience, especially at the top level.
There is little doubt that England have got a tough group, maybe the toughest, and the adverse weather conditions are not going to do them any favours either, so Hodgson needs all the help he can get. And the Arsenal duo of Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are ready to provide it after giving the England boss a fitness boost yesterday.
Before I get to the biggest moment of the season which was on the 17th of May, a day which I think will never be forgotten because of its significance, I will take you through six of my favourite Arsenal moments last season. by Lloyd S.
1. Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham,1 Sep 2013
I don’t even want to think about what will happen if Hull City repeat the feat of Birmingham City in 2011 by denying Arsenal against all odds and beating us in a Wembley final. We know it could happen though and, according to vatious reports in the media, it could have big repercussions.
Some people are saying that Arsene Wenger will decide to call it a day if he fails to end Arsenal’s nine year wait for a trophy, while others claim the opposite and think the Frenchman will be happy to quit while he is ahead and has some of his reputation restored. There could also be a number of Arsenal players who consider their futures if we fail again, while it could make it harder to persuade potential signings to come to the Emirates stadium.