Hate The International Break As Much As I Do? Here’s My Ingenious Solution!

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Every time International football comes around I die a little inside. Anyone following my Twitter feed will know that I hate International football with passion, and there’s a few reasons why:

  • It breaks up the Premier League campaign, when all I care about is watching and following Arsenal.
  • Because our squad is full of International players, it is inevitable that we will pick up injuries.
  • And even if they don’t come back injured, then they’re shattered from flying half way across the world.
  • England will never win anything anyway.
  • English footballers are some of the most overrated and over pampered footballers going. The British media make out they’re world beaters and then they get found out against so called “weaker” International sides.
  • England play some of the most boring football known to man. I don’t even watch them any more because it is less interesting than watching paint dry.
  • International football just funds the corrupt organisation that is FIFA and Sepp Blatter.

Football is a global sport and International football isn’t as important as everyone makes out. Then we have the arguments about which player should play for which country.

We have ex-Arsenal man Eduardo, who is Brazilian, Deco was the same but played for Portugal, and most of the World Cup 98′ winning France squad weren’t really French – but what is French? You had Zidane (Algeria), Vieira (Senegal), Desailly (Ghana), Pires (Portugal), Djorkaeff (Armenia) and Henry and Thuram could be classed being from Guadalupe.

Personally, none of that bothers me and if you qualify to play for a certain International team then good on you I say. Plenty of Welsh, Irish and Scottish players were basically English. How Tony Cascarino ever played for the Republic of Ireland I’ll never know.

But I’m not completely oblivious to the demand of International football. People do like it (for some reason) and I admit, I do get caught up in the hype surrounding the World Cup and European Championships. What I would like to see, is a complete overhaul of International football.

In the summer, the years we don’t have a World Cup or European Championships, we should just have all of the qualification group games played within a 2 month period. There would be no distraction to domestic league campaigns, and no backlash from the Football Associations of different countries.

And more importantly, it would capture the imagination of the fans again. Obviously it wouldn’t be like a proper World Cup or European Championships, but having a qualification tournament in the summer would allow the fans to get completely behind their team without this ridiculous situation where domestic and International games are mixed together.

And furthermore, there wouldn’t be arguments from International managers and club managers about injured players, blah blah blah.

Really, FIFA should sign me up now, I’m a genius.

Full Arsenal Player Ratings For The Manchester City Game

Arsenal lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the opening weekend of the new Premier League season. Here are the full player ratings for the match below:

1. Petr Cech: 8/10

The new captain gave a commanding performance and made 3 important saves in the opening 15 minutes, when Manchester City are irresistible. Was vocal to the players in front of him but with a make-shift back four he had a tough task.

Couldn’t do anything with either goal, both of which were well crafted by Manchester City as they ran our defensive line ragged.

2. Hector Bellerin: 7/10

Supported the attack well whenever we did manage to get forward and probably had our best chance when Maitland-Niles played a sweeping ball across from the left and Bellerin did well to mug off Mendy and smash in a shot from close range. Once of those chances which you hoped went towards the far corner but ended up going straight at the keeper.

Will be interesting to see how much competition Stephan Lichtsteiner can give him this season.

20. Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10

Usually a liability but put in a decent performance today. Not many defenders will cope with the Manchester City attack but was well organise alongside new signing Sokratis and made a couple of important tackles.

Central defensive is a position we’re a bit light so Arsenal need him to have a consistent season.

5. Sokratis Papastathopoulos: 6/10

A tough introduction into Premier League life but he will get better. Tough to really evaluate his performance as he was run ragged like most of the team at times but didn’t seem out of place.

15. Ainsley Maitland-Niles: 6/10

Was given the run around from Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker for the first half an hour before going off injured. Despite that, was full of running and never gave up, which is all you can ask for from a central midfielder asked to play as a full back.

34. Granit Xhaka: 5/10

Didn’t impose himself on the game and went missing for large parts of it. He is a player who doesn’t seem to know what his responsibilities are and it shows. Is he a ball winning midfielder or a ball playing one? Well he did neither and was vastly overshadowed by his considerably younger counterpart. Should be the one to make way once Lucas Torreira is fully fit but have a sneaky suspicion he won’t.

29. Matteo Guendouzi: 8/10

Considering his experience (or lack thereof) he put in a really excellent performance in this afternoon. He was composed, committed and won more tackles in central midfield than I’ve seen over the last few seasons. Clearly once Lucas Torreira is fully fit then he will be a guaranteed started but on this evidence Guendouzi will be the man to partner him in midfield, not Granit Xhaka.

7. Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6/10

Has put in better performances in an Arsenal shirt and was disappointing today. Perhaps asked to play a role he’s not used to, having to track back on the left hand side – and was unable to give the young Ashley Maitland-Niles adequate cover on that side. Although the caveat being most teams would struggle against Kyle Walker and Riyad Marhez / Bernado Silva.

10. Mesut Özil: 4/10

Did Özil have a late night? His passing was off, his vision was off, and his all round performance was off. Seemed to lack concentration and it’s hard to believe he is (by far) our highest paid player. People sometimes lay into Özil for his performances but he’s a superstar signing on superstar wages – he’s treated like a World Class player but doesn’t perform like one.

Badly mis-kicked a golden opportunity when Lichtsteiner cut back from the left, badly mis-controlled a ball when Ederson kicked it out to him (which he should have scored from) and to cap it all he got in the way (and got caught offside) when he should have left it and let the onside Lacazette go through on goal.

A performance which stank out the entire stadium.

8. Aaron Ramsey: 5/10

Not convincing at all and struggled to impose himself on the game. Definitely had the contract situation hanging over his head and you could tell from his performance. Was in the Number 10 role which was strange considering Mesut Özil is better suited to that position so it’s unclear if Unai Emery is appeasing him so he’ll sign a new deal?

14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 6/10

Isolated up front but should have done better with the opportunities he had. The lack of service from Özil, Ramsey and Mkhitaryan didn’t help but with his pace and movement should have given Manchester City a few more problems.

Substitutes:

12. Stephan Lichtsteiner: 7/10
Came on for Maitland-Niles on 35 minutes

Did what was asked of him and looked like a solid player who Arsenal will need over the coming season. Wasn’t afraid to get involved and more importantly get in Manchester City’s faces, which is something we lack considering we’re far too much of a soft touch.

Look forward to him playing more although right back isn’t a position we’re struggle for numbers unfortunately, it’s the other side.

9. Alexandre Lacazette: 7/10
Came on for Ramsey on 54 minutes

Looked lively when he came on and more of a goal threat than Aubameyang. Had a couple of decent half chances which if taken, could have changed the game. Emery will certainly have something to think about come the Chelsea game and he has definitely put himself in the frame to start that match. Played like he has a point to prove.

11. Lucas Torreira: 6/10
Came on for Xhaka on 70 minutes

Did well for his 20 minute cameo and looks a tidy player. Hard to really evaluate his impact considering the number of minutes we played but the sooner he can start instead of Granit Xhaka, the better.

Many Positives For Unai Emery But Mesut Özil Needs To Be Sold!

Arsenal lost 2-0 in their opening game of the 2018/2019 season and although we were outplayed at times, the future looks positive.

The young Frenchman, Matteo Guendouzi, looked excellent in central midfield and although he was a bit rash at times, overall he was fantastic – making important tackles, getting around the pitch and putting in a real team performance.

Lucas Torreira looked good once he came on to replace Granit Xhaka, and when introduced Stephen Lichtsteiner looked like a handy addition as well.

Manchester City where as you would expect – a team with seasons under their belt with an experienced manager, who were clear winners in the Premier League last year.

And Arsenal, were also where you would expect – a team in transition after a seismic change this summer.

There were some positives we can build on, but also a few negatives.

Mesut Özil was playing as if he was asleep and if he was more alert we could have scored a couple of goals – the first opportunity went begging after his mis-control went straight into the hands of Ederson and the second after he got in the way and got penalised for being offside when Lacazette was clean through.

And then there was the chance he had from a Lichtsteiner cut back, which he. managed to miss completely and fall over in the process.

With Aaron Ramsey in the team, the side doesn’t look balanced with Özil in the team and if you ask me which one should make way, it has to be the German (former) international.

Positives For Unai Emery But Mesut Özil Needs To Be Dropped!

Arsenal lost 2-0 in their opening game of the 2018/2019 season and although we were outplayed at times, the future looks positive.

The young Frenchman, Matteo Guendouzi, looked excellent in central midfield and although he was a bit rash at times, overall he was fantastic – making important tackles, getting around the pitch and putting in a real team performance.

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Premier League – Key Transfers

With the television deals continuing to bolster the spending of many Premier league sides it will come as no surprise that the league spending has long surpassed the £1 billion mark. Most of the top sides have been looking to invest in top talent as they not only push for Champions league football but for the Premier league title itself. It is certainly a time of transition for Arsenal as Unai Emery takes over the reins following the retirement of Wenger after 22 years in charge of the North London club.

Emery has been busy looking to improve the squad ahead of an important season and one of those players he has brought in is Uruguayan Lucas Torreira. He impressed at the World Cup over the summer and looks just the player Arsenal have been missing for some time. He is a physical defensive midfielder and a very exciting young talent looking to the future. Arsenal will be hoping this change can result in them not only returning to Champions league football but again challenging for the title. So what about some of the other key transfers from the top sides in the league? Check out the infographic below which covers this.

Many of the other sides in the league have also been busy in the transfer market as newly promoted Fulham and Cardiff for example will be pushing to stay up. The latest Premier league relegation odds make Cardiff 4/6 and Fulham 9/5 to head straight back down to the Championship. There is no doubt that excitement is continuing to build amongst fans ahead of the upcoming season.

Infographic - Premier league summer transfers