RvP & Theo Wait For South Africa Plane & More Incomings
Technical gremlins this morning have been overcome on a day when World Cup hopefuls are sitting nervously awaiting final chops to squads as national team coaches prepare to submit their final 23’s to Fifa. The one who is probably shifting most anxiously is Robin van Persie, his ankle currently being kept company by an ice-pack following a training incident yesterday when he appears to have suffered a minor sprain.
You can only imagine what must have gone through his mind, especially with the season he has endured. However, it seems that his withdrawal from training was as much precautionary as it was for any deep and serious concern over the extent of the injury. van Persie is at a tournament where I would expect him to confirm his place as one of the great players in the World game.
Having started the season fire, he showed signs on his return that the form would be recovered ready for his national team, too late for Arsenal. Crucially though he must be fit for the majority of the coming campaign to shake off the ‘injury-prone’ mantle that he has assumed.
William Gallas is apparently looking to put his right Pluto into conjunction with Raymond Domenech’s visible Uranus following the decision to overlook the seemingly soon-to-be ex-Arsenal player as captain of Les Bleus this summer. It is hardly surprising that Gallas is not considered suitable given his ability to divide a squad.
However, the question marks over who should be captain is hardly surprising with no one outstanding candidate for the French to choose from. Everyone who wants it seems to be doing their utmost on either personal or professional grounds to rule themselves out. Still, it wouldn’t be a World Cup if one of the major footballing nations did not have problems in their squad.
And so to Theo Walcott. Depending upon whom you choose to read, this afternoon’s fixture in Graz is a chance for him to book his ticket, show he should not be taken or sit around doing his knitting whilst others who know they are going prove Capello right (or wrong).
Divisions of opinion in the media reflect those amongst the Arsenal support. Walcott’s injuries have precluded him finding the consistency he needs to win people over. He has the ability, there is no question of that and to dismiss the performances overlooks his age and relatively low appearances record for Arsenal.
He is only 21 and in five seaons at the club has played 136 times and yet to start 20 Premier League games in any one campaign. He does not score as many as he should but having a big price tag is a burden since he is expected to be the ‘Real deal’.
Earlier this week, Paul Merson observed that Walcott was not a Hleb, Rosicky or Pires. Comparisons to them now are pointless since certainly in the case of the first two, he is not playing in their positions or anything like the way in which they have done so in the past.
Walcott is all about pace and he needs the consistency brought about by regular first team action, only achieved through being fit. To say that Walcott has no improved was a vacuous comment by Merson; he has improved just not become the Henry Mk 2 that the player wants and the media expects. His early career might well stand comparison but to reach those heights, he has a lot of hard work ahead, something he acknowledges and is not shy of doing.
I wonder though if part of the frustration manifesting itself in Merson and Waddle is a recognition that they were less than successful for England and don’t want Theo to go that way. Perhaps in the former but not in the latter. This could be the tournament where he shows his capabilities, although we can expect a £20m Txiki bid if he does.
Talking of which Barcelona have primed their weekend hacks who have duly obliged with pontification and no progress on any non-existent talks. Joan Laporta claims to want a deal but on his terms which appears not likely to happen before he retires from office. So a central tenet of his whole presidency fails to happen, Cesc left before he arrived and will return after he leaves.
We could feel sorry for him but no, why waste it. The only regret is that last night’s stage invader at Eurovision 2010 did not wear a t-shirt with some witty and pithy message for the poor man’s Berlusconi.
Arsenal are apparently signing Joe Cole, Steven Taylor and a whole host of others which you’ve no doubt read about by now so it’s Sunday and time to kick back with MarioKart. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on May 30, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.