For sure, there’s only the rest of today to bare, with regards to Internationals, until preparations for Proper Football™ recommences.
Of course, even a sniff of the forbidden fruit that is Internationals can scar for life, and while it may not be to that lifelong extent, Arsenal have been robbed of the services of Mathieu Flamini, after picking up an injury while training with France.
The France Football Association, maintaining their ever-so-rosy relationship with Arsene Wenger by not revealing what the injury is, what caused it, or how much pepper they put in the oilslick to deliberately slip Mathieu up, the curs.
Dilemmas abound with who slots into midfield for the upcoming Wigan-clash, with both first choice centres Flamini and Fabregas out. The first obvious choice is Gilberto Silva, who will be champing at the bit to reclaim his spot. Partnering alongside him could, in all seriousness, be any of Diaby, Denilson or Alex Song. Call it a hunch, but Wenger may very well have Song in mind for something, though I dare not hazard such guesses.
Wenger’s ire does not just stop with the French federation, neither. Bemused at their behavior last time round, Wenger has lambasted the Cote ‘dIvoire’s federation as well, saying their treatment of Emmanuel Eboue’s and Kolo Toure’s paymasters was shambolic in January 2006. Wenger expects it all again this January coming, saying:
“(Toure and Eboue) will go at the beginning of January. They have to be available for their country 15 days before the start of the tournament. Before the last tournament we tried to negotiate a later release date with the Ivory Coast, but we had no success so we won’t try this time.
They are so stubborn that there is no point in even speaking to them. We will give them the players when they are due, and won’t even speak to the Ivorian federation about it.“
The International Federations really need to come under reform, as does the AfCoN, but that’s another story. The fact that so many federations have world-class players at their disposal, painstakingly developed by clubs gambling a lot of money, creates a gaping imbalance in the system that somehow, needs to be addressed. Be it fees paid to the clubs, or the Federations being given the old ‘GFY‘, I’m not to say. That’s for the ever-reliable Sepp Blatter to sort it out. He will. I promise. Really.
Moving along to something only slightly happier, Theo Walcott is determined to carry his England form into the Arsenal team, acutely aware he needs to start repaying Wenger’s investment in him. Theo says:
“The boss has shown his faith in me and I want to repay that. He’s a good coach, you can tell that from the results. Training is brilliant. He talks to all the players individually and you can talk to him like he’s one of the lads sometimes. He’s such a nice man to work with and he has the respect of all of the team.“
Here’s hoping, Mr Walcott. Arsenal’s linking with Aston Villa’s Agbonlahor (an Englishman!) is ‘pure speculation‘, according to Agbonlahor himself. In more speculation, we’re being linked with another Spanish defender, and there’s some speculation on the amazing 57 goals Carlos Vela will score upon his triumphant arrival to Arsenal. Hype, much?
All for now. All I can leave you with is some smarmy piss-you-all-off tactic by shouting “COME ON EDUARDO” in tonight’s England/Croatia clash. You know it makes sense, people.