Arsenal

Tracking Arsenal Player Performance in World Cup Group Stage

Charlie MelmanCorrespondent IIJune 14, 2014

Tracking Arsenal Player Performance in World Cup Group Stage

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Since Arsenal are an elite club that signs players from all across the globe, there are many Gunners who are playing for their countries in Brazil right now.

    Not counting people who were loaned out to other clubs last season or Bacary Sagna, who has already agreed to join Manchester City when his contract expires, there are nine Arsenal players presently competing on the biggest stage in football.

    It can be difficult for even a dedicated fan to keep track of every man's play at the World Cup. That's why I'm here—throughout the group stage, I will aggregate information and analysis of every Arsenal player's performance.

    More slides will be added as more players make their debuts for their respective countries.

Thomas Vermaelen

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    Yves Logghe/Associated Press

    Belgium vs. Algeria

    Vermaelen did not feature as Belgium came from behind to beat Algeria 2-1 in their first World Cup match.

    Perhaps Vermaelen's inability to get into the game is partially due to the fact that he rode the bench almost all season at Arsenal. Regardless, the more he sits out during the prime of his career, the more he will rightly get agitated.

Olivier Giroud

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    David Vincent/Associated Press

    France vs. Honduras

    Giroud got his first World Cup appearance in a 14-minute cameo in relief of Mathieu Valbuena against Honduras.

    He did not have a major impact, but then again the game was well and truly over by the time he came on. At 3-0, there was little left for him to do but he did put many a foot wrong.

Mesut Ozil

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Germany vs. Portugal

    Ozil shone as part of Germany's ruthless attacking machine as Die Mannschaft destroyed Portugal 4-0.

    All the plaudits will obviously go to Thomas Muller, who bagged a hat-trick against the lackluster Portuguese, but Ozil hardly put a foot wrong before he was substituted in favor of Andre Schurrle.

    Next stop Ghana.

Lukas Podolski

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Germany vs. Portugal

    Podolski was given a brief cameo in Germany's rout of Portugal as relief for hat-trick hero Thomas Muller.

    His task was probably the easiest thing he'll do during the entire World Cup: run around for a few minutes in garbage time while protecting a three-goal, and eventually four-goal, lead.

Per Mertesacker

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Germany vs. Portugal

    Faced with Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal's attack, Mertesacker and the rest of Germany's defense coped extremely well and kept a clean sheet.

    Mertesacker stood tall, literally and figuratively, in a unit that allowed Portugal nine shots on goal but never once broke. His performance should give Joachim Low confidence in future matches.

Jack Wilshere

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    England vs. Italy

    Wilshere entered in the 73rd minute of England's 2-1 loss to Italy, replacing Jordan Henderson in the center of England's midfield.

    He did not have much of an impact on the game, although manager Roy Hodgson was hoping that Wilshere could liven up an attack that stagnated as Italy dug in deeper during the second half. It will be interesting to see whether he starts any of England's remaining games, which are all must-wins now.

    Wilshere did, however, produce this moment of comic relief shortly after his introduction.

Santi Cazorla

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Spain vs. Chile

    Cazorla got his first minutes of the World Cup as a 76th minute substitute for Pedro as Spain crashed out of the World Cup after only two matches.

    He did not have much of an impact aside from one threatening curling shot that went wide. By the time he came on, it was too late to salvage La Roja's World Cup challenge.

     

    Spain vs. Netherlands

    Santi Cazorla did not feature as Spain got thoroughly routed by the Netherlands by the score of 5-1.

    The Spaniards did not need Cazorla's brand of fleet-footed running and chance-creation, as the Dutch shred La Roja's defense to pieces in just over a half of utter humiliation.

    Perhaps Vicente del Bosque will look to use his outstanding squad depth to reinvigorate the side against Chile, who are next on the schedule. If he does, Cazorla could be a part of that change-up.

Joel Campbell

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Uruguay vs. Costa Rica

    Joel Campbell was undeniably the best player on the pitch for either side as Costa Rica orchestrated a stunning 3-1 victory over Uruguay.

    It was clear that Costa Rica's midfielders kept looking for opportunities to pass him the ball in even mildly threatening attacking areas, and Campbell had more than enough confidence to make the most of his chances.

    The highlight of his day was a calm and authoritative finish after chesting the ball down in the box with one touch. Arsene Wenger might well take notice of his breakout performance.

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