Saturday, 8 September 2012

AOC and Theo require chemical wash down -Bendtner's return? -Diaby's scary revelation

Morning Gooners.

We're halfway through the international break and I'm not feeling too bad about it. I guess that 2-0 win at Anfield might have something to do about it.

England played last night. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started, with Theo Walcott on the bench. Seems like they are sharing the same roles at club and international level. (Sign that contract Theo).

And Fat Frank has given some praise to The Ox. He said:
"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brilliant. He lit up the first half and it's great to see players like that coming through."
While Roy Hodgson said:
"Alex was excellent and also for the first 15 minutes of the second half."
High praise! I didn't get to see the match but I guess it must have been pretty one sided with England winning  5-0. I hope Arsenal give Alex and Theo a thorough wash down so they don't catch the germs of Lampard and Terry.

A quick round-up of Arsenal players on duty for their national teams:

Per Mertesacker played the whole game and Lukas Podolski game on as a 75th minute substitute as Germany beat the Faroe Islands 3-0.

Thomas Vermaelen played 90 minutes as his Belgium team beat Aaron Ramsey's Wales 2-0 in Cardiff. Ramsey also played the whole game.

Abou Diaby scored the only goal of the game as the French beat Finland at Helsinki's Olympiastadion. Diaby played the whole 90 minutes, while Arsenal team mates Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny were unused substitutes.

Santi Cazorla scored Spain's first goal in their 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia. The Arsenal man played 60 minutes before being substituted.

Johan Djourou played 90 minutes for the Swiss in their 2-0 win over Slovenia.

Elsewhere, Marouane Chamakh has withdrawn from the Morocco squad for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Mozambique because of a virus. Let's hope I third choice striker recovers soon so that he's available for the important Carling Cup match against Coventry.

And talking of strikers, Arsene Wenger has revealed that Nicklas Bendtner will return to Arsenal next season to fight for a first team place following the completion of his loan in Italy with Juventus. And there I was thinking his Arsenal career was over.

One man whose Arsenal career has never really got going is that of Abou Diaby. The Frenchman has given a detailed interview to Le Parisien, republished on, where he reveals that this season will be make or break for him. He also announces he's only at 70% of his maximum fitness at the moment. That's quite a scary thought considering the performance he put in at Anfield.

And finally France international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa - the Montpellier defender no journalist could pronounce the name of - has claimed he snubbed a move to Arsenal because he wants to play for AC Milan. Perhaps he saw the Gunners lose 4-0 at the San Siro. I can't forget it, having been there in person.

That' it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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