Internationals Behind Us, Premier League Season Ahead
International matches over and the wait begins to see if any of the walking are wounded. It seems few, if any, played the full ninety minutes which is a good thing ahead of the trip to Anfield on Sunday. Whilst the scheduling of these fixtures is bloody stupid, in some instances such as van Persie and Fabregas, additional match time speeds their pre-season along. Fifa claimed yesterday that these fixtures are scheduled by the national associations and this week is one of two allocated to international friendlies. If the various FAs are hellbent on these matches bringing them forward a week would be better for the clubs who begin their league programmes this weekend.
For England, Theo Walcott put in more ‘dangerous’ and accurate crosses in the first half than Wright-Phillips or Lennon managed during the the whole of the shambolic World Cup campaign. The folly of Capello in not taking Theo was there for all to see but it must be said, his form going into that tournament was nowhere near as good as it was last night. The benefit of hindsight does wonders for assessing a player…
Keiran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere got their debuts, the left back the whole of the second half, young Wilshere the final ten minutes or so. Neither did anything to damage their claims for inclusion in future squads although Capello did stress the need for the players to be getting match action with their clubs. It wasn’t as some have been concluding, a warning that either should leave Arsenal on loan or permanently but more of a warning that they need to up their games to get into the first team squad on a regular basis.
The goalkeeping situation seems to have taken over from central defence as the primary thought occupying minds ahead of the new season. I have said all along that I would be happier with a centre back to protect the goalkeepers in a more organised fashion. The manager presumably has been stifled in his attempts to sign someone rather than the spurious claims made that he ‘lied’ and has not tried. Perhaps the fees demanded were too high or clubs unwilling to sell, taking their lead from Arsenal’s rebuttal of Barcelona.
The latter is the case in point for Mark Schwarzer. Fulham have denied that the Australian has put in a transfer request but media reports suggest that he is to confront Mark Hughes and demand a move to allow his previously middle-of-the-road career to finish on a high, signing for the biggest club of his career.
There are still two and a half weeks to go before the window closes and Wenger has history in recent seasons of leaving the deals to the last minute. Sunday’s fixture against Liverpool is the toughest of the initial matches until we meet Chelsea and I suspect that Wenger might be satisfied if he goes into that match with four wins and a draw under the belt. This would be some vindication of not rushing to sign a new player, preferring to wait for the right one and getting that deal done rather than settling for a ‘make-do’ solution. If it goes wrong, then the criticism will start in earnest. Until then it is all supposition. This should be a time of looking forwards to the new season instead of indulging in navel gazing.
Finally, a note that the ACLF Fantasy Football League can be found at http://fantasy.premierleague.com. Once you have logged in and entered your team, click on the ‘Leagues’ link you can find on the right of the page. Enter the code 755155-171684 to join the private league.
Posted on August 12, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumours. Bookmark the permalink. 348 Comments.