Search

All Guns Blazing: England’s new Arsenal core is enjoyable, but no more injuries please

11:00 15 October 2014

England

England's Jack Wilshere (left) and Estonia's Martin Vunk battle for the ball during the UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying match at the A. Le Coq Arena, Tallinn.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti curses Arsenal’s injury problems but says their young English players could benefit from extra games together.

Even the most enthusiastic of England fans must struggle to get excited about tournament qualifiers. While it is at least encouraging to see the national team winning a few games as opposed to crashing out with a whimper, in recent times they seem to have developed a peculiar habit of making even 5-0 drubbings fairly laborious to watch.

Considering most of the San Marino team have day jobs as accountants, electricians and removal men, there are barely any indications in these games of how England might fare against teams that actually have the privilege to consist of over-pampered millionaires.

For Arsenal, this international break has been both a revelation and a curse. Uche Amako must have angered the football gods in his column here last week: he called for Mesut Ozil to start performing and five minutes after the article went online, the German FA declared the midfielder out for three months. You really couldn’t write the sort of irony regularly (and sizeably) dumped upon Arsenal fans.

Laurent Koscielny also seems to have picked up a knock; Tomas Rosicky only this week has admitted he’s also carrying an injury. For any Gooner watching the England games, half the time was surely spent worrying if Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs would get through the game without…I don’t know, losing a foot to gout perhaps.

On the other hand, look at that list of names (and add Theo Walcott). Suddenly, for one moment in the San Marino game, half of England’s outfield players were from Arsenal – a marked turnaround from nine years ago, when Arsene Wenger fielded an entire squad without an English player against Crystal Palace.

You get the impression the Frenchman has actively pursued a more localised recruitment policy in the years since his more troublesome youth project. The logic is clear: a group of English youngsters who grew up in love with the Premier League and club heroes like Tony Adams, Ryan Giggs and even Steven Gerrard are more likely to stick around than foreign players with fewer natural ties.

It seems to have worked and another benefit is that the players now have more time to work on their chemistry, their form and fitness away from the club, which is good to see.

But please, no more injuries, otherwise we’ll soon be the ones fielding local electricians.

Follow me @alexbellotti

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Skipper Dawid Malan struck an unbeaten half-century to lead Middlesex to a thrilling victory over Somerset in a rain-reduced T20 clash at Lord’s.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Jordan Nobbs, Arsenal Ladies

Jordan Nobbs says Arsenal Ladies must replicate their performance level from last month’s Wembley success to get their league campaign back on track.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

It’s a shame Chris Gayle won’t be coming to Lord’s when we take on Somerset – in a way it would have been fun to play against him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Islington BC's gold medal winners at the Haringey Box Cup, left to right: Amy Broadhurst, Lamin Conteh and Amy Andrew. Pic: Dieter Perry

A trio of Islington BC fighters maintained the club’s excellent record in the Haringey Box Cup with three gold medals at Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
George Bailey batting for Australia

Middlesex coach Richard Scott is predicting a “seamless transition” when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum as the club’s overseas player next week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Shotokan Karate London students recorded a 100 per cent pass rate with their gradings

Shotokan Karate London celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate as a total of 23 students successfully navigated their grading examinations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Access2Sports U16 players Jason Prince (left) and Rio Murray-Webster in action

Rio Murray dominated the closing stages to ensure that Access2Sports defeated Kensington & Chelsea Knights 70-29 and clinched a place in the Community Basketball League Under-16 play-off final.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Islington sprinter Shania Umah with one of her medals at the London Schools Championships

Sprinter Shania Umah was Islington’s star performer as she collected two medals in the London Schools Championships at Battersea Park.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe