There are three Arsenal players, at least, that will return to north London after this international break a little disappointed about their lack of play for their respective countries. And it could work in the Gunners’ favour if it makes Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain realise that the best way to remedy the situation is to sparkle regularly at club level.
Cazorla and the Ox should already be back with Arsenal after Spain and England played their second qualifying games yesterday and our Spanish midfielder in particular will not be happy as he was an unused sub in their win over Luxembourg. The little maestro had become a regular for Del Bosque but he only played around 10 minutes at right back during this break and if he wants to feature more, he must make sure that he grabs the headlines at Arsenal, which the injury to Mesut Ozil gives him a great chance to do.
Many TV pundits think that Chamberlain should already be a starter for England and he did his chances no harm in their two games coming on from the bench. But again, if he wants to make that step up, he needs to show Hodgson that he cannot leave him out by starring for Arsenal on a regular basis.
And then there is the German striker, who is just three international goals shy of the magic 50 for Germany. He nearly added to his 47 goals against Poland, hitting the bar, but he only had a short spell as a sub anbd will be hoping for longer against Ireland tomorrow.
With Ozil and Giroud out of action, all three Gunners have a great chance to impress Arsene Wenger during training, force the manager to play them and then it is up to them to send the right message to their national team bosses. And if that helps Arsenal to win games and possibly a trophy or two, then everyone’s a winner.