Theo, Old Nick And More
Scene cuts to Houses of Parliament. Three figures emerge from blue Police Box
Mickey: London! We’re home!
Rose: Brilliant. See told you he’d get you back in time for the football.
Mickey bends down and picks up a paper from the ground
Mickey: You muppet! They played yesterday! Look, England won in Croatia.
Doctor: It’s not home. It’s a parallel universe.
Rose: That’s a bit harsh. Just because England won!
Doctor: No, look closer. An Arsenal player scored a hat-trick
So, Theo Walcott’s England career comes full circle. Ridiculed through his inclusion in the Germany 2006 World Cup squad, he leads the English into a Brave New World, a squad of players that is in no way related to those who have abjectly failed to qualify for Euro2008 and bottled it at the two previous international tournaments. For Zagreb 2008, read Munich 2001, Belgrade 1987. Great away wins that pump up the hype.
How the BBC, Sky and ITV are kicking their heels and regretting the decision to not bid higher or get into the Setanta bed. The last few days have frankly been embarrassing for them with the pundits being wheeled out to complain about Setanta’s financial requirements for a highlights package. Pundits like Mullers and Thommo who have in no way been employed by the Rupert Murdoch empire. The biter gets bitten and quite amusing it was to watch too. It does not escape the fact that the FA proved once more that they care FA about the game, merely the crisp rustle of fivers emerging from the suitcase which two Setanta goons dropped on their doorstep but that is another story.
Back to young Master Walcott. He thoroughly deserves his praise. The past two games have seen the Theo we all know and love. Well, except for the hat-trick. Infuriatingly good in Barcelona at the weekend, full of energy, some good passes and dropping out of the game for a spell. Last night, he was the same except more direct and for once, the midfield and forwards supported him and read the runs he was making instead of turning inside. And the goals. Three well-taken strikes which hopefully he can bring back into the Premier League with him. Or as he put it,
I tend to cross those a lot but I thought I’d be more greedy this time
Theo, though, is taking it all in his stride,
I’m just grateful [Capello] has given me the opportunity. I’ve got to take that forward now and keep on improving
Capello meanwhile has put the hex on Walcott,
I am happy for Theo. I think he is one of the most important young players in England. I hope he does not pick up an injury
Theo was not the only one who enjoyed the international night as Nicklas Bendtner found the net in Denmark’s win. Thankfully Cesc had a mere fourteen minutes in Spain’s win so he should be nice and fit with early reports showing no injuries to report. Oh, hold on. Samir Nasri did not take part in France’s win due to a ‘niggle’. Ho hum. As Arsene put it,
let’s hope first that everybody comes back without any injury and, secondly, with a positive experience. It is of course a worrying time for the managers
Oh and not for us, eh? Does he realise the agonies some go through? Probably less than the ones he suffers.
On the subject of injuries, Eduardo has been talking positively about his situation,
My leg is getting better all the time and I hope to be back playing again by Christmas. It has been a long road to recovery, and there is still a lot of hard work left to do, but everything is going well and I should be back playing again soon
Ordinarily, they say a returning player is like a new signing, giving everyone a boost. With Arsenal it is a regular occurence these days. However, Eduardo’s return will be, I think, a huge psychological boost for those who witnessed his injury first hand. Hopefully, as well, he will come back with a point to prove, hungry for goals. To me though, the biggest hurdle he faces is the first 50-50 challenge he is involved in. It is a big challenge for him to go for the ball not fearing injury. That his was suffered in a malicious challenge may make that bridge slightly easier for him to cross.
As for Tomas Rosicky, the claim that he might become the ‘forgotten man’ at The Emirates seems wide of the mark to me. When he returns, he will provide Arsene with more options on the left and enable him to rotate the squad, avoiding the wear and tear injuries that have cost us in the past, necessitating Diaby – who incidentally seems set to return in the next week or so – playing there.
Back to those on international duty. Bendtner believes that the matches post-international duty are going to make or break the season,
It’s a strong side that just shows that your squad is great when you have players like that, but it still can upset the balance. You’ve got to come back to all the normal ways. When you have been away you go with the national team the way they do it, and it can be a little bit destructive. It can upset the balance when it’s that close to each other
He was referring to the Fulham match and frankly another performance and result such as the one suffered at Craven Cottage could be hugely damaging. With Liverpool entertaining Manchester United and Chelsea going to Manchester City, there is a good chance for Arsenal to take advantage and rack three points on the board. Blackburn though have a point to prove having been tonked at West Ham. Not straightforward. The key thing is that the players come in raring to go. Few have suffered reverses last night so mentally they ought to be in a ‘good place’.
Bendtner is happy at the club despite summer gossip to the contrary,
I’ve been really happy so far. I said before that I wanted to start more games this season. Last season was sort of like my time getting into the squad and coming off the bench sort of thing, but I feel more ready and more mature this season and I think it will be shown and will keep showing, but there’s still more to come
He has his detractors but he and Adebayor are best of buddies for media eyes anyway,
It’s good, we have no problems, everything is normal and he plays like he did last season
That’s your lot for today. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on September 11, 2008, in Arsenal, England, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged Arsenal, Football, Nicklas Bendtner, Premier League, Soccer, Theo Walcott. Bookmark the permalink. 87 Comments.