Monday, 4 June 2012

Walcott faces the axe -Would RVP want Afellay at Arsenal? -M'Vila's injury

Morning Gooners.

There is some fallout from the international friendlies from the weekend which is making the news today, with The Times reporting that Theo Walcott looks set to be axed by Roy Hodgson from England's starting 11 for Euro 2012 in place of James Milner.

It would be a bit of a shock for Walcott, considering he was taken to the World Cup at 16 by Sven, dropped for the World Cup two years ago by Fabio and now after everyone believed he had cemented his place in the team looks set to be axed by Roy for the Euros.

Now as regular readers to the blog will know, I'm not Theo's biggest fan. I think he's not developed as much as he should of by now and still is far too inconsistent. That said, he's still a good player with plenty of attributes to offer a team.

Personally if I was picking the England team I'd start Walcott every time. He has pace which defenders fear and I don't any of his team mates have that. However Hodgson - fresh from not picking Rio Ferdinand in place of the injured Gary Cahill appears to have other ideas.

Hodgson said:

"The thing about Theo is that he has had quite a few chances in the team. It seems to me that quite often his name will come up in these situations. When he has started games it has been quite the opposite and people have said you need someone else in there.
"If I opt for Milner and it doesn't go well, I should have played Walcott. If I opt for Walcott and it doesn't go well, I should have played Milner. I am not trying to be clever. They are different types of player."
In his two games in charge, Roy has only given Theo 57 minutes of competitive England football to run the rule over him but has clearly not been impressed by what he's seen. I think one of the issues Theo has is that he's not scored a goal for the national team since he netted a hat trick against Croatia in the 2010 World Cup qualifier.
If Theo doesn't start against France, I'd hope that he will have the same reaction as he did when he was dropped by Capello and redouble his efforts both for England and Arsenal. Of course his contract situation needs to be sorted this summer as well.
Elsewhere, following on from yesterday's post about Robin van Persie's future at the club, it was interesting to see that his closest friend in the Holland camp Ibrahim Afellay scored two goals on Saturday.
Afellay was on our radar prior to signing for Barcelona and I wonder if Robin's would have liked to have seen us try harder to sign his mate, much in the same way he wishes we'd signed Rafael van der Vaart. If a deal could be done with Barcelona, Afellay would be a fine addition to the squad.

There is news that our second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has "lost" $1m of his investment in Facebook in The Sun. The groups for the NextGen series have been released. Arsenal's under-19 side will be up against Athletic Bilbao, Marseille and Anderlecht. News reaches the Daily Mail that Yann M'Vila could still make Euro 2012 after his ankle injury.
And there's some extra reading to be had if you want to learn more about Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

That's it for today. Enjoy the Bank Holiday in the UK. More tomorrow.

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