Arsenal At Euro2012: TR7 Still Moving Forward, Podolski’s Jubilee & Sunday Morning Gossip
Czech Republic 1 – 0 Poland
Greece 1 – 0 Russia
It was a bit like watching Arsenal. Overwhelming possession and obscenely high numbers of shots on and off target, yielding no end product. Your opponent has two shots on goal, scoring with one and hitting the woodwork with the other. Greece sat back and with Canute looking on enviously from the Heavens, turned back the Russian tide. Karagounis struck decisively before half-time for Greece and some people’s outside bets for the tournament will be wondering what excuse they can give to Putin on their return to Russia.
It means that Andrey Arshavin’s interest in the competition has been extinguished from the playing perspective and leaves him free to concentrate on his future. As hard as it might be to bear, the likelihood is that the only Northern Star he will look at next season is in the heavens, not just off Junction 4 of the M65.
Tomas Rosicky will be looking forward to meeting Denmark, Germany, Portugal or Netherlands. The permutations of the Czech’s next opponents mean that despite winning both of their games convincingly, Germany could be eliminated if they lose 1 – 0 to Denmark and Portugal win 1 – 0. For that reason alone, the belief that the Germans might take it easy are wide of the mark.
Lukas Podolski seems set to win his 100th cap and it is interesting how he has subsumed his personal desires for the greater good. Will that extend to Arsenal? His performances so far underline the attributes that Podolski will bring to the club; defensive concentration. That probably is not on the top of everyone’s list when they think of the German but this tournament has shown how willing and diligent he is in this aspect of his game; it will offer some more protection to Gibbs and Santos, particularly when the latter goes on a samba slalom in the opposition half.
And goals of course but I think it will be more akin to his record at Bayern than with Cologne, ten a season rather than one every couple of games. That of course, is exactly what Arsenal need from the rest of the team. If the central striker is going to deliver 20+ goals per season, double figures is essential from four other players or more. But too often we get lost in statistics, bogged down in how the goals are being shared out.
The crucial aspect is someone to provide that crucial goal when van Persie has been silenced by the opposition, a key goal scorer rather than just another goalscorer. Arsenal do need more goals from the rest of the squad, there is no doubt about that. The reliance upon van Persie is as unhealthy as the reliance upon Henry before him. When defenders stifle the main threat, there is no obvious outlet for the decisive goal. There are a lot of Arsenal players capable of providing that moment; none deliver consistently. In itself that is not bad, it stops the threat being predictable but by the same token it means that the players do not themselves know where to look for that moment of inspiration. It should be said of course, that they ought to be able to provide those moments themselves not rely on others but the psychology of the situation is a whole different post away.
One of those is the subject of this morning’s scurrilous transfer rumours. It has been coming; Theo Walcott’s contract talks stalled – amazing how often it is overlooked that he would not negotiate beforehand – and it flew under the nation’s radar. Having ascended to the Hero’s Throne, Theo is now the star of tomorrow’s chip wrapping which has brought his lack of signature on the contract to the fore. That situation allows all manner of links to be made, the funniest of which comes this morning from The Sun. Whomever Juve are paying as their PR is working his socks off as they are now going to swoop for van Persie and Walcott, according to the report, “favourites to land both“. You couldn’t make it up. Unless you work in the media, of course.
The club meanwhile, have been briefing their pet paper on the van Persie deal. Although I am not sure that Peter Hill-Wood will be happy at being called “The Daily Star Sunday’s Emirates insider“… Elsewhere, Christian Eriksen has joined the list of young players who interest Arsenal and Nicklas Bendtner interests Michael Ladudrup which will surely lead to specualtion of a transfer swap for Gylfi Sigurdsson, reminscent of the Clive Allen deal in the summer of 1980.
Posted on June 17, 2012, in Arsenal, Euro2012, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Euro2012, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 322 Comments.