It's Monday evening and after a couple of weeks off I was back to work today and tomorrow as well but only to fill in for someone else and then I will be continuing my month off. It does mean though that I didn't get a lie in this morning and that is something that I had got quite used to recently.
Having to work today also means that I didn't get to see RVP play for the Netherlands against Denmark in the early kick off and I also missed Bendtner playing for Denmark too after he was passed fit to play. Added to that I would have missed Song playing for Cameroon against Japan if he was picked but the manager decided that he should spend the game warming the bench. The game I did see was Italy against Paraguay but unfortunately there was no Arsenal interest in that game.
The Dutch managed a 2-0 win over Denmark and with Japan beating Cameroon 1-0 it puts those two countries in prime position to progress from the group. Neither game was particularly good but it's early days and as I have said all along the real football hasn't started yet.
In the evening game Italy came from behind to draw with Paraguay and it leaves the way open for Slovakia to head the group if they can beat New Zealand tomorrow in the early kick off. I wasn't impressed with the Italians at all and I can't see them doing well unless something changes drastically.
In the other two games tomorrow we will see North Korea attempt to halt Brazil in the evening kick off after we first see Portugal take on the Ivory Coast. For me I can see wins for Brazil and Portugal and I hope that both teams will be brave enough to play some good football unlike some of the other teams so far.
In Arsenal news Cesc was talking ahead of Spain's first game on Wednesday and he said that he is isolated from all the speculation and he is not thinking about anything else apart from the national team. He said he has come to play a World Cup which is the best thing possible for a player and he is hungry to do something important and he will give everything and make sure the hunger and competitiveness are never lacking.
He also spoke about how good some of his team mates are and he said he will always accept the coach's decisions and keep working with humility, compete with his team mates when he has the chance give his all for his national team.
A lot of players could learn from the attitude and desire of Cesc and no matter how often it comes up he will not publicly state that he wants to leave Arsenal for Barcelona. He has said at various times that he wants to return to Barcelona at some stage in his career but he has never publicly stated a desire to leave Arsenal this summer.
I know he had a meeting with the boss and told us all afterwards that whatever happens will be up to the boss but I am beginning to think that that he hasn't actually expressed a desire to leave this summer. I think he knew that Barcelona were eventually going to make an offer for him this summer and that is why he had his meeting with the boss. I'm sure that Barcelona would have contacted him through some channel or other to let him know that an offer was imminent and that's probably what sparked the meeting.
Having said that he would like to return to them one day he would surely have wanted to see what the opinion of the club and the boss was on any impending offer. I'm sure the boss told him what he later told Barcelona but knowing that Cesc wants to return to Barcelona one day he may have given him some sort of timescale for that to happen.
There are one or two players linked with Arsenal yet again today as van der Wiel of Ajax gets yet another mention ahead of their first World Cup game tomorrow. The Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama of Hapoel Tel-Aviv is another player we are rumoured to be interested in after his fine performance against Argentina on Saturday. Yaya Toure raises his head yet again today but I have said all along that I just can't see us signing him.
Getting back to the World Cup there wasn't an awful lot that impressed me about either Slovenia or Algeria yesterday and I think that England should beat them both comfortably if they play some proper football instead of pumping long balls up to Heskey. I think the USA are the most likely candidates for the runners up slot too but after winning their first game Slovenia know that they are in with a real chance of making the knockout stages.
In group D I was a little disappointed by Serbia and I thought Ghana deserved their win although the Serbs did improve once they went behind and down to 10 men and could have got a draw in the end. Germany became the first team to score more than two goals so far as they beat Australia 4-0 and I thought the Aussies might have made a better game of it.
They weren't helped by Cahill getting sent off rather harshly at 2-0 but from what I saw it was far too easy for Germany to get behind their full backs and it could have finished up even worse for Australia. The Australians will find it difficult to progress now but it won't be impossible although they will need to at least draw with Ghana in their next game to have any chance.
The star of the show for Germany was Ozil and he's a player we have been linked with in the last few days. If he has a few more performances like last night I'm sure his value will rise very sharply which would quickly put him out of our price range.
From my own perspective I was happy to see Lahm keep a clean sheet and get an assist too as he's in my fantasy team and I need a few points to move me into the top half of my own league at least. I still have six players to play yet and I'm hopeful that my Portugese, Spanish and Brazilian players will do the business for. That's it for today.
ps: I have just added the picture above after seeing it on Twitter and it would appear to be our new away kit for 2010/11. It still has the pinstripe that last season's second and third kits had but at least it's yellow even if the stripe is redcurrant instead of the blue which we would all prefer. Feel free to tell me what you think of it.
Here's a look at the best and worst from our goalkeepers last season.
See You Tomorrow.
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