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 , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 82 Comments.

  1. Wonder hw u do it BB? Lol

  2. He has probably just set up his RSS reader to check for updates on ACLF very frequently.

  3. Is there news on the England starting line up yet? I want Theo to get a good run out and if Cappello doesn’t start Parker in the DM role today then the man is a fool.

  4. HUDDLESTONE? Fuck England, what a joke of a team.

  5. I agree with you on Parker, Vince, but it’s not going to happen.

    David James, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand (c), Ashley Cole, Theo Walcott, Tom Huddlestone, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent

    Pretty much 4-4-2. Do you need a DM against Japan? I’m not sure that you do. Maybe Parker on for Huddletstone at half time.

    I’m hoping Theo gets some time on the left – with both him and Lennon starting. Either way, really looking forward to seeing him play.

  6. Didn’t RVP say recently that one of his favourite passes to play was a diagonal out to Walcott? All we need is England to cotton on to that ball and we’re away.

  7. I wonder if we’ll get a repeat of the other night: Rooney wandering offside, screaming at Theo to make the pass and then scowling at him when the flag goes up.

    You’re probably right regarding whether we even need a DM for this game Limpar, it just frustrates me that a player who single handedly kept his team in the premiership and who by all accounts has shone at the training camp isn’t being given any pitch time to prove himself in.

  8. Theo should make the plane, since England do not have Beckam. Theo can show his critics what he can do in South Africa.

  9. 1 loose cannon

    People keep saying Theo is living off his hat trick at Croatia I think its quite the opposite Had he not scoredd that hat trick there will be no pressure on him he would be included in the squad without anyone making any fuss about him. After the Hat Trick, England expected him to be the saviour of English football so the bar was set very high for him. anything other than a fantastic performance with a hat trick every game deems as failure. For years we had to put up with Fat Frank, Jenas, Carrick and others who have not done anything for England and yet no one is expected them to score a hat trick make about 10 assists. They were in the Ebgland squad without any questions. People seem to forget Theo is the baby in the England squad he is younger than Milner who by the way was ordinary against Mexico no one seem to hang him to dry. Thierry started scoring goals when he was 24 so I don’t know why people are so impatient with this lad and for that fool Merson to compare him to natural wingers like Hleb, Pires and Rosicky is simply stupid, Theo is a striker playing in a position that is not natural to him, I just feel people are sometimes envious of him and the attention he gets maybe undeserved but it not his fault. They should simply get off his back.

  10. LimparAssist

    Merson, like Wright, was wrongly overlooked for many an England squad. So I think his comments can largely be attributed to jealousy, as can so many of his comments about this Arsenal team.

    Trying to unravel the meaning of a Paul Merson comment is an exercise in futility though – the man opens his mouth with no semblance of sense on his mind, no modicum of reason.

    And what on earth does Merse know about playing football at 100m per 10.3 seconds? The game is different now, most ex-players really struggle to remain relevant – especially when they start talking about technical aspects of crossing, running with the ball etc. because the ball’s different, the pitches are different, the pace of the game is far quicker.

    There’s nothing quite so irritating as Andy Townsend criticising young players who are already twice as good as he ever was.

  11. Where’s the creativity in that England line up? And we’re supposed to get excited by that?

  12. I agree with you limpar. Why criticise theo who is learning the game when the last time I looked gerrard, lampard, barry, carrick et al have just looked like overpaid, overhyped passengers. England will need a miracle in Souh Africa!

  13. shotta-gunna

    Watching England vs Japan and the lack of creativity and ball retention in midfield by the English is shocking. Japan has borrowed some of Mexico’s tactics of sharp incisive passing in the middle of the field which is opening up England’s midfield too easily but that final ball to the one man up front is lacking.

  14. The way england is playing they’d get massacred against brasil or espana. I don’t see them getting past niederland, argentina or italia either. Can’t blame capello really for as trevor brookings has pointed out the english player is technically inferior!

  15. shotta-gunna

    Rooney has had to drop very deep to have an influence on the game. Most of the threats are coming from the wings but without a serious aerial presence like Crouch, Japan’s back line has coped. I expect England to score eventually but I am convinced they will struggle against quality teams in the W/C.

  16. Hoho, Lumphard didn’t lump it hard enough to beat Japan’s goalkeeper.

  17. Paul Merson Click! Click! Click!

    The xenophobic media just love an ex arsenal players talking shit about their ‘concerns’ for the club. You would think they would ask a expert or at least someone with half a brain cell.

  18. he will be the youngest player if he goes this year to. Even Johnson from City is older(if he gets on the playe that is). I think the next one up is around 23. or something. If Walcott goes this year he is on good course to become the england player with most WCs under his belt. How many people can say they been in wc twice at the tender age of 21?

  19. I hate all the media hysteria with england in tournaments. I’m sure all the pressure we pile on them is part of the reason why we always play with the handbrake on. Please just put us out of our misery – get knocked out early so we can concentrate on some quality international football.

    I cant believe the bookies prices on england. 3rd favorites? you must be joking

  20. shotta-gunna

    TBH: A better English midfield this half with the lambering Huddlestone off and Lampard in together Wright Phillips and Joe Cole.

  21. Couldn’t agree with word more – on the bookies ofcourse!

  22. Brilliant tweet:
    @ManUnitedYouth Well played Own Goal. Deserved his call up after such a prolific season and has taken his chance.

  23. Shotta Gunna / Word –

    Dont worry, England will win the world cup, have faith

  24. The maligning of theo is the same towards most of arsenal players like diaby,dennilson,bendtner and until recently alex song. inconsistency should be expected of these lads,and whether we like it or not inconsistency will be seen next season. Having said that,i think we have what it takes to sweep all before us and win the epl. ps.diaby is better than parker any day and he will get better.

  25. ASNLthruNthru

    Hope Robin comes home early to recover in time for next season and Theo will be ready to lead in the next world cup alongside Jackie and Gibbsy under the guidance of a real football manager. Who needs to be abused by that fat pig Rooney and the present team of Engerland louts.Send Lennon to join this bunch of thugs and wifeswappers. Viva Brasil!!
    And I was there in ’66. Simply ,no comparison.

  26. Did Lemmon do anything in that first half? In fact the entire team (bar TW14) looked like they were missing a Football Brain. Huddlestone’s five yard pass to an opposing mid. was a highlight.

    Missed the second half, until near the end to see SWP blundering the ball over the touchline.

    I think TW14 has always been in the squad. He can ‘control’ the ball.
    That obvious fact, that he has a ‘better technique’, makes all the maligning by the p(l)undits of TW14 seem a little excessive. .

  27. Bigbrovar, what are England’s chances at the worldcup?

  28. So,RvP is injured (again)? Oh well,whatever…Atleast now we have a suitable replacement in chamakh who in my opinion is as good as greedybuyor of the 2007 seson. Does any one share my view that diaby is currently the equivalent of seb veron at his peak? I was watching a classic in which he played for parma against dortmond iin the uefa cup final in 2000(i think). By the way,veron was recently voted player of the year in south america(sorry,i dont have th source).

  29. The bookies set their prices as a reaction to the amount of cash that has been laid on England, It is the fault of our media that can’t see that as a team we are really quite poor. Our ball skills are not in the same class as many of our opposition players, just look at the way Mexico and Japan played round us .

  30. As pointed out yesterday the Oranje sites are reporting that RvP is fine. Of course the Daily Wail sees it differently.

  31. Queen of Suburbia

    I heard it was ankle aids and he has 24 hours to live. We must sign 4 new strikers immediately.

  32. QoS

    that certainly seems to be the logic over at Le-Grove today…

  33. ” no doubt theo has the ability ” to do what RUN FAST if he hasn’t got the ball he run inside to nowhere, and gets in the way , not once today did he knock the ball past his man , he has no trick to beat a man , he doesn’t know what to do he’s twenty one he still looks like a little boy playing with the big boys , as a young man I like him but he’s not a footballer , Rooney avoids giving him the ball , wenger lets them do what they are good at but doesn’t tell what they SHOULD do how is he going to get better 5 years
    and he’s still the same

  34. England is crap but France is worse. In the case of France they even smuggled themselves into the competition by cheating.

  35. Adidas Ball Complaints

    Adidas traditionally launches new balls for each World Cup and they usually cause controversy because of the changes prompted by the new technology being introduced. Most of the time the ball becomes speedier and goalkeepers are the ones most affected by it. But this time the livelier ball is causing problems for field players, too.

    “There is no way to hide it,” Brazil midfielder Julio Baptista said. “It’s bad for the goalkeepers and it’s bad for us. It’s really bad. The players try to cross it and it goes to the opposite direction they intended it to go.”

    Julio, they might not be the ball…

  36. I seem to remeber that three seasons ago(i think) when walcott was playing very well,everyone couldn’t stop talking about him & now that injuries have taking its toll on him,suddenly, he has been shit for 5years!i can understand people saying he doesn’t deserve a place in the WC squad this year but questioning his ability is just plain stupid.Remember,if most people had there way, Song wouldn’t be a gooner right now.

  37. Robin’s crocked already and we are just hearing the news that we are going to sign a major crock, Joe Cole. FOR FUCKS SAKE. WE DO NO NEED ANOTHER CROCK MR SENILE. And chavs are not a feeder club to arsenal. We need BUffon or Hart. Not a chav reject. If Le Senile would come to his senses and realise that he has told LIE after LIE after LIE, we would sign some real top class players with real top class. The youth policy thing failed at Monaco cos they didn’t win the french championship, so why would it succeed here ? The money that has been spent on kids could so easily have been spent on experience instead. We are now a LAUGHING STOCKk. Joe hart has just made a world class save. That means he is defiantely not got enough for Arsenal. He will say – “Monsieur Wenger, Fuck off, I am looking for a top class club”. If you had to choose between dross and quality you would choose quality every time. But why do we keep choosing dross ? We have world class injuries and Le Senile is to blame. The medical staff should be sacked and a top class team brought in. Walcott is shit and his finishing is shit too. He is no striker. I am not convinced about anybody at Arsenal in actual fact. Not convinced at all, I think we need a clear out, but we have Le Senile at the helm.

  38. I don’t question his ability I know he can RUN but can he play football he is not a natural footballer can you be taught to be a top class player , don’t get me wrong ,I would love him to prove me wrong and turn it on at the world cup, but he seems so unsure of what to do I think how good Alan ball was in 66 he was 21 , he knew what to do , and how to do it theo hit a nice first time ball over today but that was all , I want him yelling for the ball and attacking his defender

  39. I think everyone is obviously frustrated at Theo (myself included). I also think it’s because everyone realizes just how good he could be. Hope he makes the WC team & show just how could He really is. Mind you, I have my doubts about Capello including him in the team.

  40. what if that Gourcouf keeps playing like shit who is his backup playmaker?

  41. Limestonegunner

    Muppet, funny. Misspellings are a nice touch. 1 part gambon + 1 part jaguar + random ranter on an iphone. But really, is it that slow a day that it is more fun to “parody” other Arsenal supporters than to talk about football?

    Actually, today, on this site it might be. Nothing going on and this Walcott thread really has no legs. He hasn’t been that great and may never live up to completely outsized and unfair expectations, but he’s been injured a lot and is still very young, while showing some occasional flashes of brilliance. It is far too early to have anything very serious or definitive to say about him, it seems to me.

  42. Limestonegunner,

    It is an extremely slow news day. What is there to talk about ?

    Do you believe in the Joe Cole story ?

  43. *

  44. I’m hoping it’s bs Muppet!

  45. It was in the Daily Star. Has to be true.

  46. I believe the pressure that’s on theo walcotts shoudler is just too much. He gets judged on every single game he plays. He hasn’t been great this year mainly coz of his various injuries at theee start of the season but sometimes the critics are just too harsh.people have to realize that even if he is inconsistent he can definately make a difference in any given match even against big teams. He changed the game against barca, scored a hatrick at croatia, scored against chelsea in the leeague cup final and fa cup semifinal.. So I’m really sorry but when people start talking about how good adam johnson and aaron lennon are for having good games against birmingham or burnley I don’t really accept it. People can say what they want but on his day walcott can definately change any game against any opposition and that’s why he has to go to the world cup

  47. Well done to the England U17s on winning the UEFA European Championship‎.

  48. That young Spanish player (Gerard) looked really good.

  49. Limestonegunner

    Muppet, I’m not that interested in Joe Cole for us, so I hope it isn’t true. He’ll demand a high salary, albeit signing on a free. What can he add really?

  50. I do not know Limestonegunner. We have Arshavin, Nasri, Walcott, Rosicky, even Eboue and Eduardo who operate down the flanks. In that context, the acquisition of Cole would only seem likely if Wenger was considering offloading any of that current crop, or on the other hand, playing Cole as one of the 3 in the midfield.

    I do not have any view on the fact that he is a chav. That is unfortunate, but then, Gallas was a chav, and he has been embraced.

    Still, I do not understand the link. As you know, the main requirements are perceived to be a goalkeeper, centre back, and if Cesc leaves, a replacement for him.

  51. Limestonegunner

    Thinking about it more, the one thing he might bring to the club is some sharp crossing for Chamakh, maybe. Otherwise, wouldn’t you first rather see the central defense sorted, possibly a good quality keeper with experience, to challenge for the starting position, or a defensive minded tackling and physical midfielder as cover? He’s had a lot of injuries which worries me some as well.

  52. Limestonegunner

    Right, we are on the same page and just got posts crossed! You’re right that if he does come it must herald some departures.

  53. Limestonegunner

    Some people think we need some English stars, or at least players in the first team from the British Isles, to gain greater protection from refs and more immunity from the English media. I’d rather see Wiltshire come through and have Welshman Ramsay come through successfully. Besides now Cole doesn’t seem to figure too prominently in the England set up, so why bother really?

    I don’t mean to open up the topic for xenophobic nonsense either, btw!

  54. Limestonegunner,

    I am not making a pitch for Joe Cole, I am on the fence. But one can make an argument for him. If I recall at the last world cup, he was our best player, or one of our best players. I believe he was the one stand out player for England, consistent, and clearly effective. His lack of appearances for England are explained mainly by his injuries, and Capello’s modus operandi with selection. Clearly, there may be some exceptions with certain players still being picked who are out of form, or do not make many appearances for the club, so Cole’s frequent exclusion under Capello means that he is possibly not the type of player that Capello likes. Viewed maybe as injury prone or a luxury.

    My own feeling is that if Wenger gets him, then that’s enough for me. I would trust Wenger’s judgement 100%.

  55. If Arsene buys him, I will support him, but I’m not thrilled at the prospect. I just don’t see him in our team.

  56. Yeah.. I think the sensible view has got to be… 100k a week for an england player who is 28, and is very similar perhaps to Arshavin and Nasri, 2 players we already have.

  57. Everyone relax, England will win the World cup and bring the trophy back to the home of football

  58. Personally I have always liked Joe Cole as a player. A good friend of mine grew up with him (although they had a fall out a few years ago) and I heard plenty about him before he broke onto the scene.

    Putting the Chelsea black spot aside for a second, he pretty much fits the bill in terms of a typical Arsene signing.

    Good technique, played at the highest level and can play in a variety of positions.

    The main reason why I would be happy with him donning the Arsenal shirt is the ability to dribble past players.

    It is only really king Abou and Eboue who use this ability although Nasri is more than capable of doing it.

    Too many times we have faced a defensive team who sit in front of their penalty area and we pass in front of them without penetration. A regular dribbler can really open up teams, Chelsea at the Emirates last season springs to mind.

    The problem would be how does Cole get into our strongest side? He probably doesn’t but as we know, we will get our fair share of injuries.

    Cole and Rooney are the only two players who are not one dimensional.

    Question.. would anyone prefer to have last season’s Arshavin than Joe Cole?

  59. Mean Lean, he has made it clear that he has no respect for Arsenal and the way we play. If he comes here, it would not be because he wants to play for us. Surely there are players out there with more commitment and desire to play for Arsenal? How does a mercenary like that help the team spirit?

  60. Mean Lean, that depends if you are comparing last season’s Arshavin to last season’s Cole. If that is the case then at least Arshavin was fitter.

  61. I agree with Passenal on this. If Wenger signs him I will support him.

  62. To be honest Passenal, I do not remember him saying that but I have no reason to doubt you. If he joined us and gave his all in every single game then I am sure us Gooners could forgive him.

    Opposition players say things about rivals teams all the time it is nothing unusual.

    Silvestre had some not very nice things to say about us in his Manc days and he is loved by Gooners…. oh, ok forget it.

  63. Joe Cole!
    I cant see it happening, just cant. Dont mind him as a player. But really dont think we need him at all.

  64. Off topic but as news is limited I thought I’d share this.

    After reading Tony from Untold Arsenal’s blog about a handful of posters writing multiple negative posts on sites I thought I’d do some of my own research.

    I noticed that many of the doomers do not leave spaces in between their words and they always use the same words. ‘but’ being a very popular choice of word.

    I did a search for ‘.but’ as in full stop but and I found a list full of negative posts with different screen names many from the same IP address.

    Strange things are going on.

    Check out the next incoherent rant (apart from my own of course) and pay close attention for .but

    Speaking of which, I would love to hear a guest post from gooner2 formally known as riley8. Many a time I have been on the train listening to the comments and have burst into laughter with the absolute nonsense he comes up with.

  65. Exactly ML, ask Ole about that one! I’m just worried that if he comes, it suggests more changes to the team than I was anticipating, and makes me wonder how quickly the team would gel with that many changes? We all knew Chamakh was coming and we can instantly see how he would fit in with our team. Arsene has been clear that it’s defensive reinforcements we need, so the purchase of joke hole makes no particular sense. Why not buy Eden Hazard, who has many years ahead of him?

  66. That’s very interesting about the doomers ML. I never read their posts, so I don’t really notice the similarities, but I believe there is something in it. If you were looking to make a takeover bid, fomenting disatisfaction amongst the fanbase could be very helpful to your end game. The in game support is noticeably different to the online negativity.

  67. Of course, if you are giving me a choice then yeah. Hazard all day long. Quicker, more direct and plenty more room for improvement.

    I was just saying that I wouldn’t be upset if he came in on a free.

    I’d say Arsene has already made his first steps forward in terms of sorting out our goals against column. The arrival of Chamakh along with RVP from the start should see the return of our defending from the front.

  68. Yeah, I have been thinking about that for a while. But why are so many of them so badly written?

    I do think many are ignorant teenagers but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to it. Unfortunately we cannot compare it to another era because the internet is still relatively new.

  69. Right, I am out. Bed is screaming at me.

    Nite all.

  70. The badly written thing is to try to make it look real i.e. not too smart, but very passionate. No one expects them to back up their arguments with logic, they just drop their poison and then move on or change identity. Say something often enough it becomes real without any evidence to support it.

  71. 1 loose cannon

    Reports in Spain suggest Mourinho is going to anounce his Psycological war with Barcelona by Bidding for Fabregas. I would absolutely love it if he does that. Barca were sitting smug for a while now looking down on us Thinking Fabregas is all theirs and no one has any right to buy him. This just might force them to pay the asking price or simply leave us alone.

  72. mourinho could be very interesting for us in the future, am keeping a close eye on that one…

    cesc said he would never go any where but barca but they would basically have to match real’s bid or we then have perfectly good arument in negotiations against selling him for anything less.

  73. mourinho is going for the jugular against barca – their weakness is their arrogance.

  74. Jack is our Joe.

  75. Joe Cole was all step-overs and tricks and fancy-dan creativity until Maureen instilled defensive discipline in his game and clipped his wings. It takes a Portugese ego maniac to stifle the one thing England lack, a player who can do the unexpected and play with the hand-brake off. Jack has all that plus better vision and will not have his wings clipped by ou French ego-free manager. I like Joe Cole but we don’t need him.

  76. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Word to YW and all the ACLF regulars. I’ve been on a little haitus , but I’m glad to see Muppet is still up to his old tricks. Thank goodness. That cognitive dissonance comment to QoS the other day was a cracker. It’s nice to know that you lot still got the boot on the throat of those trashy c*nts at Le Moan.

    Long live YW and Arsene Wenger.

  77. Just thought I’d add one more thing to this ‘Doomer’ debate.

    There is a way to tell that it is the same person because they habitually misspell several words, always the same way, which suggests that they genuinely do not know how to spell them in the first place.

    Right, I’m off to write today’s post.


  78. As it is every year, not much is happening during the summer. Seems to me that the last few weeks have become a little dull round here with people not having much to discuss about other than transfer speculations. The debates on whether we need a new goalkeeper, whether we need “English grit”, whether we failed as a defensive unit or as individual defenders, the slanging matches with wind up merchants coming here asking for 10 new players or a new manager have been done to death so that many of the regulars here would know by heart what various parties will have to say on this debate.

    With this backdrop, can we also have a section on the coming world cup so that we for a change have some real football to discuss about rather then conjectures and speculations? I am sure all of us will be following the world cup is some capacity. I know this is an Arsenal blog, but just wanted to put in a suggestion.

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