Even by the standards of international breaks, this one is dull. And long may that remain the case, not wanting to tempt fate and all that. Yet even during this time, you can guarantee that someone will do something daft or stupid and today sees no sign of that abating.
First is pantomime villain Stuart Pearce, masquerading once more as England Under-21s manager. Fresh from another comedy fail in the advertising world, The Man Formerly Known As Psycho, or as I like to refer to him as, Idiot In Chief (IIC) wants to draft Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the junior England squad for their play-off next month. From an Arsenal perspective, such agendas do not matter in the short-term as the youngster will be away on international duty with the seniors if Pearce’s dastardly plot falters.
In the longer term, it does matter; it is the clearest indication that IIC is going to include Oxlade-Chamberlain in his final 23 should England qualify. That means a protracted season for the player following on from Euro2012 and immediately before Brazil 2014 (hopefully, he says with his England hat on); it means summers of continuous football without a break, particularly as I think he would still qualify for the Under-21s in 2015 as he will still be 21 when the season starts. There needs to be some commonsense instilled into the managerial set-up at the Football Association. With the new National Football Centre at Burton, they have the facilities which dragged English football into the 21st Century. Now we need Roy Hodgson to bury the neanderthal coaching mentality.
There is evidence of that happening, even at the lowest levels with number 2 son’s team coaches pushing the players to stop and look before passing rather than the stereotypical long ball launch. And yes since you ask, he did score the only goal of the club’s first ever League game and get voted Man of the Match, which is just as well really since he was wearing pink and white Nike boots; you’ve got to be good wearing them or strong enough to take a whole heap of ridicule.
Second candidate for the footballing equivalent of the Darwin awards was Francis Coquelin. Having been sent off in the recent French Under-21 match, you would have thought a period of silent contrition would ensue but no, not our Franny. Far from it. Ebullient would be a way of describing his mood following the departure of Alex Song,
Alex Song left for Barcelona and they didn’t (sign) another defensive midfielder. When I didn’t play in the first three matches it made me think about it. But I know I will get an opportunity and I will seize it.
Which is all well and good, I like the attitude so far but it didn’t take long for the wheel nuts to start loosening
Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla are great players, who have more experience than me. But during training sessions every morning I am not behind them.
Hmmm, I can understand how Diaby might be in your sights with his injury record but the other two? No, sorry Francis, they are completely different; they are at the level you should aspire to be. I cannot criticise that though for having strong self-belief is necessary to reach the top of the game. Wait, what’s that going past the window. Aaah, they will be the wheels which have come off entirely in this one,
I am 21-years-old, I know I cannot be patient any more. This year is the right season to make a name for myself at Arsenal. I have given myself six months and then I will take stock. If I see it is blocked, I will go somewhere else. But for now I know I have the qualities to make a name for myself at Arsenal.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the ego has landed. I wonder if spending too much time around young Bendtner has had a negative impact on the poor boy. It is a shame when one so young appears to be going off the rails but the Coquelin express is definitely heading in that direction. As much as having a poor agent can damage a career, impatience is a bigger enemy.
The French youngster has impressed in his first team outings but he has to prove himself week in, week out before issuing threats about leaving can mean he is taken seriously. My own view is that he has a promising career but moving now, wanting too much too soon? I’m guessing he joined after David Bentley had left, that’s the sort of comparison I would make with his comments. Bentley famously thought he was a peer of Bergkamp and Ljungberg; misjudged that slightly, I think, is the kindest way to describe it.
As it is, I suspect a quiet word will be had with the youngster pointing out his folly. Either that or a transfer to another club; lot of Russian clubs sniffing around Arsenal players at the moment…