Theo & RvP Knacked As Samir Recovers. Thank God It’s Over.
The only thing I can think of as a benefit from yesterday’s enforced absence due to technical difficulties is that I didn’t have to tell Ryan Shawcross that he is a thick piece of excrement if he doesn’t understand that snapping Aaron Ramsey’s leg in two means that there is nothing ‘weird’ about the manager’s intense disliking of everybody’s most likeable chap (© journalists, players and managers). But then when the manager at your club is as intensely dislikable as Tony Pulis, nothing surprises me.
International fortnight is over a day earlier than usual with the nervous wait about reported injuries starting. Well, the ones he doesn’t know about having witnessed Theo being carried off on a stretcher in Basel. Reports suggest that the stretcher has dramatised events and that he has severe bruising on his ankle, missing the Bolton game and nothing more. That’s according to Capello after the match, anyway.
It was a shame for Walcott following a decent display against Bulgaria and a bright start last night, his injury occurring in the build-up to Rooney’s opener in a 3 – 1 win. It was the kind of match which has proved to be a banana skin in the past and the Swiss looked more stubborn at the World Cup. That is not to detract from England’s performance, a good away win in qualifying which sets them up nicely for the home match against Montenegro next month.
His absence will allow the God-like genius of Emmanuel Eboue to shine in the first team or quite possibly give Jack Wilshere another chance to perform his magic, this time in a more attacking role. The youngster made up for recent disappointments on and off the pitch by putting in an outstanding cameo for England Under-21s against Lithuania yesterday, providing a spark for his country in their win.
The other injury news for Wenger was mixed. Samir Nasri returns to full training following his injury but Robin van Persie is out until mid-October according to reports. The latter is not particularly surprising since it was noted shortly after the Blackburn match that he would be out for around a month, the Dutch FA proving to be reasonably accurate in their media briefing.
Given that there is another international break following the visit to Stamford Bridge on October 3rd, the middle of next month seems suddenly less ominous. I suspect that Wenger will be hoping for the Dutchman to be ready for the ‘top of the table’ clash and it might be tempting to put one over the KNVB by playing him in that match and knackering him for his country, a pleasant change to the usual routine of the other way around.
A spate of injuries in the Euro2012 qualifiers has not healed the rift between the authorities and clubs. Karl-Heinz Rumminegge has used his position as ‘spokesman in chief inside Uefa’s House’ on this matter to fire an opening salvo across the armada of FA’s bows. The clubs are not happy with some of the friendlies which are being scheduled in the absence of competitive matches, Spain thrashed in Argentina last night following a long trip to Mexico last month.
These are the sort of fixtures which should be played in the summer as a tour rather than when the season has barely begun. Indeed were that to be the case, some of the mystique of the World Cup might return as fixtures become scarcer, a pleasant change to nations whoring themselves around Europe, playing at such glamorous venues as Loftus Road.