Monday, 28 March 2011

Jack row - Clichy hates Evra - Cesc situation turns stormy

Morning Gooners,

We'll we've hit the home straight and can see the chequered flag. All of our players on international duty have now played their first game, however most of them now have a second match to play.

Emmanuel Eboue could have been in action for the Ivory Coast as they beat Benin 2-1 in Accra. I would love to tell you for definite either way, but getting any kind of information beyond the scorers and the result from African games is difficult.

That's why I can only tell you that Marouane Chamakh might have been involved in his country's 1-0 defeat to Algeria.

Eboue and Aaron Ramsey will return to London Colney now to report back to Arsenal. But the rest of the players, except Chamakh will play again tomorrow night. Morocco are due to play Botswana on Wednesday night.

Sticking with the theme of international football, Jack Wilshere was asked after England's victory over Wales whether he wanted to play in the Under 21 European Championships in the summer.

He said:
"It is international football and I want to play in any international football. It's up to Stuart Pearce and Fabio Capello. They will talk and see what's best for me. 
"I always speak to the manager at Arsenal, too, and I will again. I am sure Stuart Pearce and Fabio Capello will talk to him as well."
If Jack had said he didn't want to play you can imagine the furore it would create in the English media. Just look at the captaincy issue and how they like to get themselves worked up about which player is wearing a piece of cloth around his arm.

I'm sure that if Jack were called up to play this summer in Denmark, he would be proud and honoured to be selected to play for his country. It is to many the highest honour a player can receive according to all the players I've ever listen to talk about playing sport for their country.

But I think someone needs to take charge of the situation and ensure that Jack has a summer free of football. We all saw what happened to Theo Walcott when England pulled the same trick with him at the U21 Euros in 2008. He was in and out of the Arsenal team the following season because he was shattered and wasn't prepared by a full pre-season.

The Football Association have to decide whether they want Wilshere to perform to his highest level for the full England team or the under 21s. He can't do it for both. He's either a full international or a junior. Psychologically it can't work both ways.

Personally I think that a managed "injury" or a medical procedure would be the best way to get both Arsenal and England out of this situation. With no one losing face over the issue. Perhaps Wilshere needs his tonsils taken out?

Elsewhere Gael Clichy has spoken of his disappointment of not being involved in the France victory over Luxembourg on Friday night.

Clichy was not included in Laurent Blanc's 18 man squad and replaced at left back by Patrice Evra.

He told L'Equipe:
"It's difficult to accept but it's part of the game. Even if there is no hierarchy, I know it's there.
"I'm not going to lie to you: it's disappointing, it is no fun, but I knew it was possible. I was prepared."
It's obviously difficult for Gael but I'm sure his disappointment at being left our will spur him on to work harder in training and for Arsenal to get his place in the team back.

As Arsene Wenger says, competition is part of the sport and a player has to accept that. 

Finally, the British media have been lapping up the quotes from Barcelona president Sandro Rosell regarding their stance on any move they'll make in the transfer window for Cesc Fabregas.

The Daily Telegraph even asked a staff writer to prepare their own piece on it.

We know it's going to be a long summer if Arsenal are going to keep their position that the captain is not for sale. Batten down the hatches.... it's going to get stormy.

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