The international break is truly over and there’ll be no more players wearing their national team colors till 2012 at least. The second leg of the European Championships playoffs went underway and Gunners like Tomas Rosicky will be happy to be a part of probably his last international tournament for the Czech Republic as age seems to be slowly creeping in on Little Mozart.
Rosicky missed out of Euro 2008 because of his knee injury that sidelined him for 18 months or so. With so many countries strutting their stuff, the best viewing came from Germany as Joachim Loew’s efficient machines swept past a Dutch side that has been very impressive in recent times.
The winter transfer window is just around the corner and the media Vvultures are back in business to discuss their favorite topic, Arsenal. The biggest transfer gossip dominating the headlines is that Jack Wilshere has been heavily linked to Real Madrid. The lad hasn’t played a game this season thanks to his niggling ankle injury but I’ll consider that bit of news as rubbish because we all know about Wilshere’s desire to be a Gunner for life.
Jose Mourinho already has a midfield that’s blessed with superstars like Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Lassana Diarra, Nuri Sahin, Sami Khedira, Esteban Granero, Kaka, Hamit Altintop and much more so I don’t see any reason why he’ll want to be going for Wilshere, but as the saying goes,
“The rich always want to get richer."
Still sticking with departures, there was a time when Marouane Chamakh was linked with the new moneybags of France Paris St. Germain but it seems as if his previous employers, Girondins Bordeaux want his services again. Chamakh has become a peripheral figure this season and he has scored just a goal in that embarrassing 4-3 defeat to a club that was rooted to the bottom of the table at that point in time.
It also seems as if newbie Park Chu-Young has usurped the Moroccan as Robin van Persie’s deputy but I’m pretty sure that Wenger still has plans for the lanky forward whose hair reminds me of a cock’s comb.
Chamakh may not be the most prolific of strikers but he certainly adds something to Arsenal’s play. His team work and work rate can’t be questioned and everybody knows his ability with balls on air. Besides, he’s not in the league of forwards that whine because of lack of playing time and he has kept a subtle approach since his move last summer.
Robin van Persie is another player who has been on the spotlight for all the right reasons but the skeptics will be making a lot of noise at the moment because the Dutch forward has decided to stall contract talks till the end of the season. This clearly means that Arsenal’s performances in all competitions will be a deciding factor for Robin van Persie desire to remain at the club.
If Robin van Persie decides to leave the club after another bad campaign (I hope not), that’ll be his own cup of tea. I’ve been long enough with Arsenal to see legends like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry leave for further glory but the club still remained strong and did well to cope with their losses. It will sadden me to see a legend in the making like van Persie go but the fact that he has chose not to renew his contract simply means that the likelihood of him staying after another bad season will be slim to none.
Arsene Wenger recently celebrated his 62nd birthday as well as his 15th anniversary as Arsenal’s boss but he was unfazed by the milestones achieved. This season, Arsene Wenger has seen many highs and lows from his side but he has reiterated that Arsenal can still improve.
That’s a fair assessment by the boss because the signs are very encouraging right now. Wojciech Szczesny and Aaron Ramsey are maturing as footballers with each passing game and Laurent Koscielny has done well enough to get his first cap for Les Bleus. Thomas Vermaelen road to fitness is reaching its climax while Robin van Persie can’t stop scoring.
Wenger signed five players on the transfer deadline day and he has integrated three into the squad while two remain on the fringes. Yossi Benayoun was a regular starter in his West Ham days and he commanded a first team shirt in the early part of his Liverpool career but injuries paved the way for other lads to displace him.
He then made a move to Chelsea and suffered another long-term injury that kept him out for a very large chunk of the campaign. Now at Arsenal, Benayoun comes in from the bench as an impact sub but Wenger has told the media Vultures that he still has a part to play at the club.
Benayoun’s versatility is a tool that has been used by Wenger this season and I’m pretty sure that he’ll come up with the goods as the season goes by. There are a lot of games still to be played this season and there’ll be games where the likes of Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey will need to be rested; Benayoun’s versatility ensures that he can play in any of these roles.