There’s actually some pretty interesting stuff to talk about today, which comes as a bit of a relief and saves me from rambling on about my day at work. Not that my day at work was boring or anything, it’s just not something that people coming to a blog about Arsenal particularly want to hear about. Anyway, time to move on.
Theo Walcott is the toast of the UK after scoring an amazing hat-trick in England’s 4-1 win over Croatia. The Arsenal man played 90 minutes on the right side of midfield and cracked home three marvellous goals in a devastating display. Theo was understandably pretty chuffed after the game and had this to say about his moment in the spotlight:
“Obviously when I get home I’ll watch it over and over again, but tomorrow it will all be gone. I’m just looking forward to the Premiership now.”
I can tell you right now that if I was 19 and had just netted three against Croatia I would probably spend the next six or seven years watching the footage and basking in its glory. Which is exactly why I am a football blogger and not a professional footballer and why Theo Walcott is a far better human being than I. I mean, you only have to take one look at those sideburns. I couldn’t grow them like that if I tried for the next forty years.
On a serious note though, the most notable aspect to take out of Walcott’s game was the manner in which he scored the first two goals. I think that nine times out of ten he would probably cross the ball when in the positions he was in and as it was, he took a chance with the first one and it paid off in some style. The second was a continuation of the confidence gained from the first strike and the third was just the icing on the cake.
I sincerely hope this game will give Theo the confidence boost required to have that sort of impact in an Arsenal shirt. You get the feeling that he might run hot for a couple of weeks – so the Blackburn defence might just ship a few goals if they’re not on their toes. Which, I’m sure, we’re all hoping they won’t be.
The manager has spoken a little bit today about the game against Blackburn, specifically focusing on the difficulty he has in getting his side ready following an International Week break. In his own words:
“You know last time when the players went on international duty, we were left with two players. The earliest come back on Thursday midday, you play on Saturday afternoon and you have to be at your best, because when you play at Arsenal you have to be at your best.”
Those two players are of course Manuel Almunia and Denilson. While the former is a dead certainty to start the match you’d also probably expect that Wenger will point to Denilson’s fresh legs as a reason to play him alongside Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park. Unless Stephen Appiah signs, of course (why do I torture myself?).
On a positive note, it does seem that the Arsenal boys will come back a little fresher than they usual do from an International break. Although Samir Nasri looks like he’ll miss out against Blackburn through injury, Fabregas only played 17 minutes against Armenia while Robin van Persie was pulled off after 69 minutes against Macedonia.
As for other Arsenal players in action, Gael Clichy made his long-awaited debut for France against Serbia alongside buddies Bacary Sagna and William Gallas; Nicklas Bendtner grabbed a goal in Denmark’s win over Portugal while Johan Djourou played a full 90 in Switzerland’s 2-1 loss to Luxembourg. Fingers crossed his side’s result was not a representation of his personal performance because – with all respect to Luxembourg – that is an awful loss for a nation like Switzerland.
As a final note, I have to apologise for the almighty cock-up which was yesterday’s Wednesday Poll. There was some glitch with it which meant that only 6 people’s votes counted which meant the poll just didn’t have its usual pizazz. I was quite happy to see that 4 of the votes went towards the notion of having Cristiano Ronaldo fired out of a cannon. Excellent stuff but – unfortunately – not overly reliable. I’ll hope for better next time around.
Anyhoo, that’s all for today. There will surely be some more team news tomorrow as the weekend’s game nears (hooray!). Have a great time of it, wherever you may be.
Have your say on Theo’s hat-trick or anything else by leaving a comment.