October 13, 2012
I grudgingly sit down to watch the England San Marino match pretty well aware that I don’t particularly care what happens. Obviously England are going to win. Obviously they’re going to do so by a decent margin. I just hope that the Ox puts in an entertaining performance and that neither of the Arsenal contingent get horribly taken out by any disgustingly reckless challeng…oh shit.
There were only four minutes gone when their keeper Aldo Simoncini decided to race out of his goal and body slam Theo Walcott like some WWF wrestler or Harald Schumacher back at the 1982 World Cup. I’m not convinced that this one was intentional but it was definitely reckless and we await news on how serious Theo’s injuries might be. He was being kept in hospital overnight as a precaution having struggled to breath and reportedly coughed up some blood and the suspicion is he’ll have suffered at least one broken rib.
On any other occasion I’d be on here bemoaning the fact that the keeper entirely avoided punishment and that for some reason no penalty was given but frankly I don’t really care about that. I’m just hoping that Theo’s injuries are not too serious. How are we supposed to sit around and bitch about him not signing his new deal if we’re too busy worrying about his general health?
The injury aside, the game was the formality that we all expected. I thought Oxlade played very well in parts, showing odd flashes of the skill that Roy Hodgson clearly craves for this England side. He’s still very raw and makes the mistakes that you’d expect a nineteen year old to make but there was more than enough good stuff to justify his inclusion and he even topped it off with his first international goal, a smartly stabbed effort into the top corner late on.
Elsewhere Aaron Ramsey apparently played well in Wales’ 2-1 defeat of Scotland but of course it was Gareth Bale who took all the plaudits for his two goal salvo in the last ten minutes. This despite the fact that the cheating winger did what cheats often do which is to cheat the ref by blatantly diving for the penalty which cheated Scotland out of their 1-0 lead. Chris Coleman may have come out to defend him after the match and the media may be happy to ignore it but there is no getting around the fact that that was a blatant dive last night from probably the worst culprit as far as diving goes that I can remember.
I know you’d expect me to say that as a red blooded Arsenal fan who hates our gap minding neighbours but every single time I see Bale play he dives. Not only does he go down under little or usually no contact but he stays down. Not content to just cheat the opposition out of a free kick he’ll happily clutch his leg or beat the turf like the pain is impossible to bear in an effort to get his usually innocent opponent booked or sent off.
He did it to us to win a penalty in the 5-2 last season and if he carries on as he has pretty soon every opponent in the league will have a grievance with Gareth Bale. The media can conveniently ignore it and he can make all the Care Bear heart shapes that he wants. Everybody knows deep down that he’s a cheat.
In other international news Santi Cazorla played the full 90 in Spain’s defeat of Belarus while all of our centre backs were busy. The Verminator played the full match in Belgium’s 3-0 against Serbia, Mertesacker did the same for Germany as they tonked Ireland 6-1 (Podolski playing a 23 minute cameo), Djourou completed the 90 for Switzerland against Norway as did Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud in France’s surprise 1-0 friendly defeat against Japan.
In non-international break news Marouane Chamakh has yet again been linked with a move back to Bordeaux as their president Jean-Louis Triaud has been making overtures to the press:
There is a serious chance Chamakh could return.
Money is the key question because salaries in the Premier League are enormous but it’s also necessary for him to play.
In December 2011 I sent a message to say the door was open for a return but he wanted to stay.
Now the message is there again with the same objective.
The objective may be the same but so is the stumbling block – Chamakh’s rumoured £50,000 a week salary. If the club don’t see a future for Chamakh in the Arsenal first team – and it seems pretty evident that they don’t – then they really need to find a way to make this deal work for all parties. At the very least that should mean allowing him to leave on a free transfer. With two years still to run on his deal that would still save us around £5.2 million in wages.
Come on Arsenal. We don’t need another Almunia situation on our hands.
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