Thursday, 24 June 2010

Some Arsenal-related World Cup observations

Much though I dislike international football, I have nonetheless been watching the World Cup and I've been meaning to blog a few things about it for a while.

1) There was lot of revisionist stuff written in the media after the England-Algeria game about how Capello is not a very good tactician. This has long been forgotten as England have "swept through" to the last 16 with an "overwhelming" victory over Slovakia. (Quotes courtesy of The Sun).

But the idea that Capello is a great tactician is farcical. He's certainly a good man manager who gets a lot out of his players. But he was outwitted by Arsene Wenger, who for his many strengths is not a brilliant tactician: Capello's Juventus side simply could not cope with the runs and passing of a 17 year old Cesc Fabregas. Now I know that Fabregas is a great player but it says a lot about Capello: he sets his team up but they tend to be unable to deal with the opposition's strengths.

2) The Arsenal players out at the World Cup have yet to shine. Sagna, Diaby, Gallas, and Clicy were all pretty poor against South Africa. Fabregas has barely played. Nor has Song. Vela pulled a muscle. It has been left to Nicky B to fly the Arsenal flag with Denmark. That said, I'm hopeful that tonight Robin Van Persie's World Cup will come to life. That said, one must question whether Arsenal's end of season downturn has had an adverse affect on their performances.

My take on it is that they are still in a rut of playing meaningless games for The Arsenal and are struggling to raise their game. Of course, the standard has been generally poor. But it would be comforting to see Arsenal players play well. Although of course if they do, the club will have to deal with the inevitable transfer speculation.

3) The veritable John Cross wrote in The Mirror that Wenger is out in South Africa - watching one match every day. As I wrote in my player ratings, I strongly believe that new players are needed at the club.

One would hope that Wenger would be taken by players of the caliber of Mezut Ozil (young, pacy, good shot) and snaffle them up. But on past form I'd say it's more likely that he'll find a 15 year-old in a township who he decides is the next big things.

There truly is no Arsenal news at the moment. Even the official site seems to be giving up. I wait, in expectation of having something to write about.

Keep the faith,

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