It’s fashionable to rail against media misrepresentation but I w0nder if the critics of the Fourth Estate will be so voluble this morning. Speaking to the Spanish media ahead of another meaningless friendly, the defender was honest about his current situation,
Do you expect to go to the World Cup in Brazil?
I’d love to. I know it’s not going to be easy, particularly because I’m not playing as regularly as I like at Arsenal and that’s a handicap.
This morning’s Daily Mirror has used Google to post its literal translation, one which is more sympathetic to the club and certainly less confrontational than the one Marca employed:
Me gustaría. Soy consciente de que no va a ser facil, también en parte porque no estoy contando con los minutos que me gustaría en el Arsenal y eso resta. Voy a seguir peleando y trabajando porque realmente quiero estar en el Mundial.
I prefer the Mirror’s by the way,
I’m aware that it’s not going to be easy (getting to the World Cup) , also partly because I’m not getting as many minutes as I would like with Arsenal. I’m going to continue fighting and working hard because I really want to be at the World Cup.
Gibbs and Monreal bring echoes of the past in the style of play. The former is the bridge between Cole and Clichy, more reliable than the latter in my opinion and judging by Leighton Baines performance last night, not long before a long career as his country’s left back is launched. The Spaniard meanwhile is more in line with Winterburn, solid defensively but not as enterprising in attack although his delivery when he gets forward is generally good from the wings. Both have positives to bring to the team yet overall, it is hard to argue with Arsène’s choice as things currently stand.
Monreal situation contrasts directly with the strikeforce at the club. We have a squad member of the nation which as Graham Hunter puts so succinctly in his new book, Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja’s Historic Treble, “There has never, in the history of organised football, been such an era of complete dominance.”
Some might argue that Arsenal have internationals as back-up to Giroud but none, I would contend, are of this level of ability. Sanogo may turn out to be the answer in years to come whilst Walcott too, might develop into a central striker. There are a lot of mights, ifs, buts and maybes there; that isn’t the case with Monreal. And it is not just the Spaniard as deputy, he is providing competition for Gibbs, genuinely contributing to a level of consistency in his performances. Not the sole reason, of course, Gibbs own abilities are the prime reason for his inclusion in the side with a capable player fighting for the position in the squad, but capable of maintaining his place in the side should he get there on merit. With Giroud, the club is fortunate that he seems to be highly motivated by his own performance levels.
Mesut Özil will not agree, he will be more concerned for his friends and how they are feeling but for me, France’s defeat in Kyiv offers hope. It’s a purely selfish view, of course but there is a real prospect of Giroud, Koscielny and Sagna having a rest next summer, along with Tomas Rosicky, albeit subject to contractual matters being settled. Even better news came with Koscielny’s dismissal likely to mean a return to the club several days earlier than expected this coming week. The French are capable of turning matters around and a quick goal will no doubt change the perspective of the tie. However, like Ibrahimovic, the Arsenal players might look to make their holiday plans a little firmer.
Elsewhere, more strikers called Edin are linked in numerous newspapers, as are variations of the surname Hernandez. The silly season is out on the pitch, beginning its pre-match warm-up routines. Kick-off is not far away.