Even by the standards of international breaks, this one is tedious. Mindnumbingly so. I suppose that is in a way a good thing. Without getting into the realms of tempting fate – if you believe in that kind of thing and as a football supporter, you probably do – the injuries suffered thus far are not season-wrecking for the club. I’ll deflect those thoughts for the moment by pondering whether or not Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ensured some footballing record by scoring for England, his father having done so previously. I can’t think of any father / sons to have scored before. Former Arsenal star George Eastham Junior gained his first England cap whilst at Arsenal and I believe he and his father were the first pairing to represent their country. It would be unusual if Arsenal claimed (or partially at least) the record for the first goals as well.
Back to the injuries. Theo has what you might consider to be a painful injury and reports this morning are making bruised lung sound as unappealing as the music of the band which goes by the same name. The photos of the collision don’t make the hurt diminish at all but his absence can be catered for. A year ago, who would have dreamt of saying such a thing? It underlines the fragility of a footballers career; one minute cock of the walk, next bench-warmer and all because he won’t sign a new contract.
He had better hurry up and do so because replacements are being lined up at a rapid rate of knots. Last week’s Wilfred Zaha is this week’s Adrian Lopez, Atletico Madrid’s squad is being eviscerated by the English media with Radamel Falcao reportedly subject of a £45m bid and rising. Lopez it seems, is pulling the same stunt as Walcott. Sorry, I’ll re-write that. Lopez it seems, is in the same position as Walcott – the substitutes bench – having been unable to agree terms of a new deal with his current employers. Whether Arsenal have any genuine interest is doubtful but there is certainly a lot of chatter – hope? – that the club will be busy in January’s transfer window with the gossip favouring a Spanish striker with whom we were heavily linked in the summer.
Of course the only business being openly suggested in the press are outgoings and none of them are unusual. Marouane Chamakh is current poster boy for the departure lounge although rumours are surfacing of Sebastian Squillaci being loaned to a French club – wow! A Frenchman going to a French club – whilst Fulham’s interest in Andrey Arshavin is piqued once more with a £1m fee appealing to their manager who rather naively believes that the £22m he generated in the summer, is all his to spend. And I am unconvinced that the thought of playing in the same side as Dimitar Berbatov is influencing Arshavin’s thinking at all, other than the fact that he might think twice about joining a club which has a good player occupying his favoured position.
Johan Djourou’s future was subject to a four line thought in this morning’s Sun. No substance to it all, just that he’s not happy being fourth choice centre back at Arsenal. No mention either of the enhanced contract signed not so long ago which probably means that he will be loaned out if the manager decides he is going to allow the Swiss international to leave and I am not sure that is the case. Even so, a fair few will probably rejoice in his departure which is bizarre since it means Arsenal lose an experienced player in a position where we have been down to the bare bones every year since goodness knows when.
That’s it for today. ’til Tomorrow.