Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Giroud's the hero -Mertesacker scores -Djourou's showdown talks -Jack's "secret" match

Morning Gooners.

Finally there is some football to talk about... even if it's not Arsenal but at least it does involve some Arsenal players.

Last night Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was due to be on England's substitute bench for their World Cup qualifier against Poland in Warsaw. The game was abandoned before a ball was kicked due to a waterlogged pitch and is due to take place at 4pm today.

In a remarkable game in Berlin, Per Mertesacker started, played the whole 90 minutes and scored Germany's third goal as they raced to a 4-0 lead against Sweden in their World Cup qualifier. But four goals in less than half an hour brought the visitors level for an unimaginable draw. Even the introduction of 87th minute substitute Lukas Podolski couldn't salvage anything more than a point for the home side.

Substitute Olivier Giroud was France's hero as he came off the bench for the injured Karim Benzema in the 87th minute and scored an equaliser which meant France took a point from their game with Spain. Clubmate Laurent Koscielny started the game and played the whole 90 minutes but was booked and conceded a penalty after clattering into Pedro inside the France box. Former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas took the spot kick but saw his effort saved by Hugo Lloris. Santi Cazorla had started on the bench for the World Cup winners but was called into action in the 13th minute when David Silva had to come off with an injury.

Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen played the whole 90 minutes in Belgium's 2-0 win over Scotland in Brussels.

Defender Johan Djourou was in the victorious Switzerland side where he started and played the whole 90 minutes as they beat Iceland 2-0 in Reykjavík.

And it's with Djourou where we'll start our news round-up. He's again been linked with a move to Italy and according to the Daily Mirror is set for talks with manager Arsene Wenger in the next few weeks about his Arsenal future.

Napoli are reported to be willing to pay £6m for Arsenal's longest serving player in the January transfer window.

Personally I don't think we should entertain letting Djourou leave until the end of the season. At the moment we have three exceptional central defenders in Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny who are preventing the Swiss international getting into the team. But if one of that trio gets injured, Djourou will be called upon.

We've got a good squad depth this season and have seen in the past what problems injuries have caused us. So to let Djourou leave mid-season would be madness. And if we did let him leave, that only brings Sebastien Squillaci closer to the first team squad - a player who certainly doesn't have the confidence of Gooners.

Hopefully the manager can persuade Djourou to see out the season in north London and then decide on his future. Because the alternatives aren't worth thinking about at the moment.

Meanwhile Jack Wilshere is due to step up his comeback from injury with 75 minutes against a Chelsea XI in a behind closed doors game at London Colney.

According to The Sun, Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Frimpong are due to take part in the fixture later today.

And Theo Walcott has targeted the home match with QPR for his return to first team action, according to the Daily Mirror, after being injured in England's match with San Marino.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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