Ox Blow As Arsenal Get Fit For Purpose


If you are of a certain age, read the following à la Crackerjack: It’s England, It’s a World Cup, it’s Injury scare time! Except on this occasion, there might be repercussions for Arsenal. Memories stirred of van Persie’s habit of getting injured on international duty with the Dutch but hopefully the ligament damage suffered last night by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will remain “suspected” and not materialise. If the worst fears are realised, immediate concerns will surface about whether he will be fit for the start of the coming season.

It might mean some early work for the might-be-soon-to-be-newly-appointed fitness coach, Shad Forsythe. Seemingly one of the results of the internal inquiry into the spate of injuries Arsenal have suffered down the years, any progress in this area is welcome, not just from the perspective of having you best players fit but also reducing some of the tension which builds during the transfer window. If there is a more realistic chance of the squad being available for longer periods of the season, part of the fear which manifests in the hysteria over transfer activity or the apparent lack of it, diminishes. It’s unrealistic to expect that players will not suffer strains or tears but the level of non-impact injuries has been high at the club for several years. The reasons for that are speculation but if it is broke, it needs fixing and the current philosophy with respect to fitness and conditioning is not working.

Results from any changes in this sphere may be seen next season but like an economic cycle, there is a strong possibility it will take several seasons before the benefits are fully realised. Anything that sees a positive reaction is welcomed though. It is an outward sign of activity in resolving the issue and despite misplaced demands that we be told the reports findings, this is one of the few answers to be made public. My own view is that so long as a tangible improvement is made, is seen, do we need to be told anything? I don’t think so.

Away from the speculation about his fitness, the pity is that Oxlade-Chamberlain played well. His style of play – busily calm – offers England a bridge between the old and new. On the one hand he has the passing game instilled in him from club level but he has allied that to the energy which has been traditionally valued highly by English coaches. By contrast Jack Wilshere was relatively subdued but improved as the game went on.

In these matches, the media will always read too much into the performance and given this was not the expected starting XI which will face Italy in the first round of group matches, doing so is a futile gesture at engendering panic. Not much mention is being made of Italy’s draw with Luxembourg; it doesn’t fit the tabloid agenda of hopelessness. A tough group underpins the approach, bizarrely fatalistic given two draws and a win might well be enough to reach the knockout stages. They face good teams but the odds are nowhere near as insurmountable as they are being portrayed.

This England squad is being given less chance of progressing than the abject group who sullied the South African pitches four years ago. That is some feat but I am grateful that it has curbed the jingoistic excesses which accompanied previous tournaments. This time, the five-minute football-fan has also yet to surface; the benefits to this low-key World Cup keep totting up.

Finally, on the international ‘scene’. Football history is made every day, it’s all around us; we just don’t notice, for the most part, we don’t care unless it affects Arsenal. Yesterday there was no Arsenal interest – directly, at least – as Gibraltar defeated Malta in the Mediterranean derby to record their first win since being recognised as a footballing nation by UEFA. It might not be a big thing to you but there is something refreshing about a ‘new’ footballing nation forging their own path, particularly given the politics surrounding their acceptance. Recording their first victory in Euro2016 qualifying matches is the next step and with two matches against Scotland, you’ve got to fancy their chances…

’til Tomorrow.

139 thoughts on “Ox Blow As Arsenal Get Fit For Purpose

  1. Just hope we land some proper good players in other positions now. Like for example Khedira. That would actually soften the blow a lot. But Khedira is the quality of a player we do need if Arsenal indeed has refused to buy back Cesc. We need a player of equal stature and status, but in a different position. Simple as.

  2. Well said Poodle.

    I was rather hoping Ox would have a one month injury so he isn’t taken and the same with Jack. So there is no Arsenal incentive to the submit to the scoundrel-refuge of “Patriotism”. I prefer to enjoy the spectacle, hating the players I usually hate and supporting the better exponents of football and sportsmanship. That’s why I always hope England don’t qualify – having my team players involved only compromises that idyllic standpoint!

  3. @poodle

    I think alot of people would agree with you about that especially given the fact that Arsene was so adamant that players wouldn’t be moving until after the World Cup.

  4. I think in Jack’s case it would do him some good to put together a few games. He’s played so little over a couple seasons with all the injuries. Right now he needs to prove to himself and to Arsenal that he can play for a while without constantly succumbing. He will still be fresh enough with so much time off in the second half of the season and his relatively late start to last season. He might better hit the ground running with some games behind him.

  5. i agree with Lime, Jack needs matches really, i do think that was AWs thought to and ironically he might have a better chance to play in his fave position in the national team than at Arsenal.

    Wonder if we are in for any of Cescs teammates ? say Alexis or Pedro? They are up for grabs to no?

  6. @LSG

    I agree with you about Jack needing a run of matches. THe problem at Arsenal is at present, does he offer more than Ramsey? Does he offer more than Ozil? Does he offer more on the wing than Santi? IMHO no so he has to force himself into the squad and I think its a lot harder to do now then when he first burst into the squad.

  7. Poodle, C, we agree about Jack, so I really hope he has a good tournament because right now he might not start for England. There’s Henderson and Barkley in the mix alongside Gerrard and Lallana, Sterling, Rooney being played in a three behind Sturridge, perhaps. So any time he gets is good right now.
    As far as Arsrnal, no, I don’t think he offers more. But as we saw, a squad is needed. With Arteta/Flamini slowing down and so on, he could get plenty of games if AW rotates some or injuries rear up.

  8. Yeah, well, lack of rotation might ensure that Jack gets games due to injuries, perhaps. So it works out in the end, sort of!

  9. Yea that’s sooooo true, hopefully by then he will have learned not to avoid or atleast ride out an opponents tackle or he won’t be on the field long.

  10. I think Frank’s days in an Arsenal shirt were numbered when he made that move, NB.

    Blockley had been bought, God knows why, and he was thought to be past his best. He probably was but I loved the man.

  11. oh Cbob…. making a late appearance. I think Frank did what Yogi has mentioned earlier, he took his last good payday. But my point was the difference in pay…. from £100 per week to £250 per week……… Arsenal couldn’t afford to make pay rises like that. But unfortunately, other clubs can.

  12. Why has nobody come up with the Avatar name Says: then it wouldn’t be Northbank1969 says: it would be …….. Says says: or an even better one would be ‘I’ so it would be I says:

    Oh what fun.

  13. Don’t worry about me, I’ve had a few drinks and smoked a couple of spliffs. feeling a bit weird and spacey. That could be Kevin!!!

  14. @North

    No worries mate, I fully plan on having a couple of drinks and enjoying maybe a nice hookah filled with something green when I get to the house.

  15. Sorry Mr C…. I really shouldn’t be on the internet when stoned…. it’s like drinking and driving, you don’t know what ditch you’ll end up in. Lol…… but I’m gonna gonna have some fun over at the funbus!!! 🙂

  16. @North

    I might have to disagree, being stoned on the internet is always a good time! Enjoy the funbus!

  17. Cheers Mr C,,,,,,,,,,, have a good evening 🙂 we need a smiley with a splif Yogi, a little rasta man and a joint?

  18. Mr C

    You know what they advise about over medication with most prescription drugs, call the doctor or poison control. When you overdose on Cannabis you call Giavannis Pizza Palace delivery service. (Little Rasta Man with a splif and a smile)

  19. “Cesc knows the Premier League, he can add football, possession, goals if he feels important. He can be a leader, like he was at Arsenal” That quote from Torres scares the hell out of me. Because we all know its true.
    If he joins a PL club he will most likely inspire them to trophies regardless of whether they need him or not, regardless of what club it is. Because he IS that good. He really is. Evidence?

    AW build a team around him when he was 21, and at the same time decided to give him captaincy. And we all have to remember Fabregas was not captain in any club. he was captain of a CL club, a top 4 club, one of the best and biggest clubs in the UK. In the most competitive league in the world.
    Cesc Fabregas aged 21 was captain! that in itself is a sick achievement. Thats how good he was in his youth. Now he’s matured and is about to enter his prime.

    Did he act like an ass towards Arsenal? yeah he did. He was disloyal and behaved very bad the last year. But that does not take away the fact he is a marvellous footballer. He is one of a kind just like Ozil. Im not sure if you can have two “one of a kinds” in the same team? Or probably 4 as we got Wilshere and Aaron too plus a decent Cazorla and Ox waiting in the wings.

    One thing is for sure though, whoever lands Cesc is landing the “Ozil” of this window. The insane superstar that when he moves you just HAVE to act, because they are so unique…..

  20. Oh well atlest he will be bought early in this window so we do not have to walk around in agony for 3 months. Atlest we will know now. like ripping of a plaster. quick and painful but then its done 🙂

  21. I reckon Arsenal and Cesc are playing Chelski and Jose……string them along so they don’t go for other targets thinking they will get Cesc when we already have him in the bag……

    One can dream can’t they?.

  22. Mr north! Good morning to you and your spliffy head!!
    I’m busy getting key release places cleaned so any spare time is sinking into a pool. We are at 45c and manual work is sweaty! Yeuch!
    Certainly not gossiping 🙂 ahem!
    Can’t believe Henry is 6’5 and twenty stone?? Get him in a saints shirt!!

  23. These key places that need cleaning, clocker, are they on your person? Eeeeek.

    And good morning to you both! 🙂

  24. Yikes! No way Jose!
    Apartments sold and owners picking up keys.
    Changing sockets, re-grouting, pigeon shit off balconies, ‘re-tiling, whatever is on the snag list I do!!

  25. Today I have to get wood varnish off tiles, then mop and bucket- then fuck the list I’m off to clubhouse and pool well that’s the plan!!
    Just saying ……what is this leaked arsenal shirt about??
    Navy and blue ffs??!! Surely not??

  26. I’ve included ‘paintbrush’ in the title of my next blog post…. but no chorizo this week 🙂

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