Tag Archives: Aaron Ramsey

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Arsenal’s International Break

The Good

Mohamed Elneny

Egypt 2-1 Congo

Mohamed Elneny played the full 90 minutes of Egypt’s World Cup qualifying win over Congo which saw his country to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1990.

Egypt to win the World Cup: 150/1

Alex Iwobi

Nigeria 1-0 Zambia

Alex Iwobi came off the bench to score Nigeria’s only goal as the Super Eagles became the first African side to secure qualification for the World Cup. A 1-0 victory.

Nigeria to win the World Cup: 150/1

David Ospina

Colombia 1-2 Paraguay

David Ospina featured as Colombia lost 2-1 to Paraguay, with the visitors scoring twice in the final minutes to snatch the three points.

Peru 1-1 Colombia

David Ospina and Colombia will play at their second successive World Cup after securing a 1-1 draw against Peru.

Columbia to win the World Cup: 33/1

Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud

Bulgaria 0-1 France

Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud both featured in France’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria. Lacazette started in an exciting front three with Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, Giroud was an 85th-minute.

France 2-1 Belarus

Olivier Giroud became France’s joint-seventh top goalscorer as he helped France to secure their place at next summer’s World Cup with a win over Belarus in Saint-Denis. Giroud charged through to double Les Bleus’ advantage just after the half-hour mark. Giroud played the entirety of the game, with Alexandre Lacazette an unused sub.

France to win the World Cup: 5/1

Nacho Monreal

Spain 3-0 Albania

Nacho Monreal was an unused substitute as Spain hit three past Albania in World Cup qualifying.

Israel 0-1 Spain

Monreal helped Spain keep a clean sheet as the former world champions saw off Israel 1-0 in Jerusalem, courtesy of a late goal from Asier Illaramendi.

Spain to win the World Cup: 7/1

The Bad

Sead Kolasinac

Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-4 Belgium

Sead Kolasinac played the duration of Bosnia’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium, where he was booked.

Estonia 1-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sead Kolasinac played the first half in Tallinn as Bosnia-Herzegovina’s World Cup dreams were dashed despite them finishing Group H with a win in Estonia. Greece’s home win over Gibraltar meant it wasn’t enough to reach the play-off round.

Aaron Ramsey

Georgia 0-1 Wales

Aaron Ramsey won his 50th Wales cap and assisted Tom Lawrence’s winner in his country’s 1-0 win at Georgia.

Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland

Aaron Ramsey was on the losing side as Wales were beaten 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff, ending their World Cup qualification hopes.

The Ugly

Shkodran Mustafi

Germany 5-1 Azerbaijan

Shkodran Mustafi started Germany’s World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan but was substituted after just 36 minutes through injury as Germany maintained their 100 per cent record in World Cup qualifying.

Germany to win the World Cup: 5/1

Alexis Sanchez

Chile 2-1 Ecuador

Alexis scored the winning goal in the 86th minute against Ecuador to seal three points for Chile, who are now on the verge of automatic qualification to the World Cup.

Brazil 3-0 Chile

Copa America winners in 2015 and 2016 – but Alexis and Chile won’t be at next summer’s World Cup. The result that saw Chile fail to finish in the top five qualifying spots in South America as a consequence of other results. Alexis played the full 90 minutes.

The Neutral

Granit Xhaka

Switzerland 5-2 Hungary

Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for Switzerland in their World Cup qualifying win over Hungary. The midfielder capitalised on goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi’s slip to slot in from close range are just 18 minutes.

Portugal 2-0 Switzerland

Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland could still make the World Cup in Russia next summer – but his Switzerland team will have to qualify through the European play-off round after losing their decisive qualifier in Portugal.

Switzerland to win the World Cup: 80/1

Advertisements

What has happened to Arsenal’s British core?

In December 2012, Arsene Wenger thought he had cracked it. That he had found his answer to Fergie’s Class of 92. Or the Arsenal of the late 80s / 90s. The Frenchman thought he had found and developed the future of Arsenal, the future of England.

They were known as ‘the British core’.

Five young British players. All signing long-term deals on the same day. Standing behind them a smiling Arsene Wenger. The quintent of talent he hoped would define the club’s future.

The future looked bright.

Five years and three FA Cups later the investment has not been the unilateral success Wenger had banked on.

So what has happened to Arsenal’s British core?

Aaron Ramsey

Two FA Cup final winning goals will forever give Aaron Ramsey his place in Arsenal history.

The Welshman is the only one of the five who can even be determined a relative success. But into his 10th season at the club, Ramsey has not delivered on his youthful promise on a consistent basis.

The sickening broken leg injury suffered at Stoke in 2010 delayed his progress. After joining as a pacey teenage winger from Cardiff, Ramsey developed into more of a central attacking midfielder.

In 2013-14 he was named the club’s Player of the Year. A return of 16 goals in 34 appearances hinted at a breakthrough year, and the unlocking of his vast potential.

It is fair to say, though, that in club colours he has not kicked on, despite being a key performer for an overachieving Wales side at Euro 2016.

Constant injury setbacks have disrupted his progress, so too the lack of a defined role at club level. With Wales he is the link between midfield and attack, at Arsenal he is just another given licence to roam with little responsibility.

Jack Wilshere

Sitting front and centre of the picture, there is no mistake that Jack Wilshere was the central pivot of the British core.

The great hope of both club and country, the young midfielder was fighting fit once again after an injury-ravaged 2011-12 season.

But ever since that first major injury, Wilshere has not been the same player who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Xavi and Andres Iniesta at the Nou Camp in the Champions League.

Injury has defined him. His loan spell at Bournemouth last year was only the second time in his career he had featured in more than 25 Premier League games.

In the three seasons prior to his temporary move to the Vitality Stadium, he had made just 19 league appearances.

The 25-year-old does not currently fit into Wenger’s first-team plans, and was recently sent off in an appearance for the Under 23s.

An England recall still seems a distant prospect, so too the possibility of a new contract to extend his stay with the Gunners beyond the end of this season.

Kieran Gibbs

The loss of Gael Clichy to Manchester City in 2011 was viewed as little more than a minor setback by Wenger.

In Kieran Gibbs the Arsenal boss felt he had a ready-made replacement to become the new first-choice.

His initial judgement proved astute. Gibbs provided the energy and pace demanded by the position.

Injuries — a constant theme here — prevented Gibbs from nailing down the spot. The signing of Nacho Monreal in January 2013 eventually relegated the England international to second-choice.

The 27-year-old has been little more than a bit-part player in recent seasons and could leave before the end of the window this week.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The capture of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the summer of 2011 was seen a huge coup for Arsenal.

Wenger lavished £12m on an 18-year-old with enormous potential, a more muscular proposition than the last teenager they had acquired from Southampton — Theo Walcott.

The early promise of his debut season earned him an England call-up at Euro 2012 and hinted at a bright future. He was direct and dynamic with the ball, with searing pace to boot.

But, as ever, injuries have prevented Oxlade-Chamberlain from delivering on that potential thus far.

A return of only nine goals in 132 Premier League appearances is way down on expectations, but at 24 he is still well primed to develop further.

That he sees that next step up as away from Arsenal is damning for Wenger and his inability to extract the potential of his British core.

Carl Jenkinson

Plucked from the Charlton academy in the summer of 2011, many scratched their head when he signed. But he was young, English and Arsenal.

After just 62 largely fairly average appearances for the first-team, Jenkinson has just embarked on his third loan spell away from the club.

He did impress a few years ago when on loan at West Ham, which encouraged the Hammers to make a £10m, which ultimately fell through.

The 25-year-old’s career has nose-dived since the early promise and looks set to leave with little fanfare with the club struggling to find a buyer.

Keenos

 

Some Arsenal things that are pissing me off

Lucas Perez Love-In

Arsenal fans really are a joke at times. Support a player who the manager doesn’t fancy. Abuse a player who he does. Stop with the agenda guys.

Top 4 now important?

Fucks me off. For years they said “Arsenal haven’t won a trophy. Top 4 isn’t a trophy”.

Now last season we finished 5th and won the FA Cup its “Arsenal are still scarred from last season after they finished outside the top 4”.

The WSHPBB

The We Should Have Played Barnet Brigade.

This summer we have had a friendly against Borehamwood, and tonight we play Leyton Orient. I wonder if any of those moaning about us not playing Barnet this summer have attended, or will attend, either of these fixtures.

ASW’s

Attention Seeking Wankers. It seems many of the ASW’s have morphed into ITKs this summer. Get over it lads. All of you. Stop pretending you know stuff.

People that moan about youth

Seems there is a new group of people who moan all day that we do not give youth a chance. Then moan when youngsters player in pre-season friendlies.

They will probably also moan when we play youngsters in the League Cup and Europa League.

You can’t have it both ways lads. Can’t moan about not giving youth a chance. Then moan when we do.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Keenos