Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Frustrating Arshavin shows true class -Wenger and Usmanov spotted -Giroud/Chamakh latest

Morning Gooners.

Last night's game between Poland and Russia has to be my favourite of the tournament so far. It was a cracking match, end to end stuff with amazingly high quality. Seeing Andrey Arshavin roll back the years and put in a fantastic performance left me wondering why he couldn't do that for Arsenal. I guess it is a case that he's not motivated enough when it comes to us.

The Russian captain's statistics are amazing. He attempted to pass the ball 44 times. Only 27 of those reached a team mate. However in the attacking third he completed 14 out of 28 passes, creating five chances for his team to score - one of which they did. (All stats via Stats Zone powered by Opta)

With numbers like those it is no wonder Zenit St Petersburg want to take Ashavin back to Russia on a permanent deal. A fee in the region of £8m would probably do it.

And what a goal to put Poland level. It was probably the best strike of the tournament so far. A drew was a fair result. Russia now top Group A with four points and are guaranteed a place in the next round if they win or draw against Greece.

Wojeciech Szczesny is set to return from his ban for Poland's final group game against the Czech Republic, where only a win will put the host nation through to the quarter finals. That final Group A deciding game may well be missing Tomas Rosicky as the Czech captain was forced off at half time in his team's win over Greece in the early kick off. It would be a shame if Super Tom was missing as he's certainly been one of his country's best players.

Today at the tournament we see Nicklas Bendtner's Denmark take on Portugal in the early kick off. While the late game picks Lukas Podolski and possibly Per Mertesacker against their Arsenal team mate Robin van Persie as Germany take on Holland.

With Robin's future undecided, there are reports that Pavel Nedved has spoken to him about a move to Italy to play for Juventus. I just can't it's a big waste of time on the Italian club's part. Robin will either be playing in England or Spain next season. I just don't believe moving to Turin is an attractive enough proposition to him.

One Arsenal player who has denied he'll be moving is Johan Djourou. He took to Twitter last night to reaffirm his commitment to the Gunners. I know that Djourou has his critics, but as a fourth choice central defender he's not a bad player.

Meanwhile L'Equipe report the possible transfer of Oliver Giroud to the club could be completed by the end of the week. A fee in the region of 12m euros. They say Arsene Wenger made his move last weekend. Arsenal are reported to have offered less than QPR but Giroud is keen to join us.
Nothing on the move of Marouane Chamakh in the opposite direction.

And who was spotted in the VIP lounge at the France v England game on Monday at the Donbass Arena? None other than Arsenal's second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov. Who was at that game co-commentating for France TV channel TF1? Arsene Wenger. I wonder who got to the hot fork buffet first?
Finally, if you want to read more about Alex Oxlade Chamberlain's thoughts on his England tournament debut, John Cross has penned a nice piece in the Daily Mirror.

That's your lot for today. More tomorrow.

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