Search

Should all Arsenal’s German internationals have been given so much time off?

07:08 21 August 2014

Germany's Lukas Podolski celebrates with the FIFA World Cup 2014 Trophy

Germany's Lukas Podolski celebrates with the FIFA World Cup 2014 Trophy

EMPICS Sport

It’s become a popular guessing game in recent weeks: when might one of Arsenal’s World Cup winners actually pull on a Gunners shirt again?

Nothing has been seen of Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker or Lukas Podolski since that July evening when the trio – well, two of them, anyway – helped Germany to regain their place at the summit of world football.

It would have been extremely churlish for Arsenal not to reward the players’ efforts with an extended break in the aftermath of the World Cup. That said, was it really out of the question for any of them to return to action before now?

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger clearly thinks so, complaining that the start of the Premier League programme should have been delayed by another week to enable his players to complete their recovery.

“The final of the World Cup was on July 13, the start of the Premier League season is August 16,” said Wenger. “If you want to give some holiday to the players, your preparation becomes very short.

“We could have done with one week later, with all the competitions. If you don’t give players enough holiday, or enough build-up in their preparation and play them straight away, then they get injured.

“For example you have [Brazil’s] Thiago Silva and David Luiz, who came back a bit earlier and played straight away. Thiago Silva is out for a month, Luiz is injured as well.

“In FIFA rules, you have to give four weeks’ holiday to the players. I have had the experience of post-World Cup years and they are always difficult to get everyone back to the same level, mentally and physically.”

It is hard to argue with Wenger’s analysis with regard to Ozil, who featured in all his country’s matches in Brazil and was undoubtedly a key figure in their eventual triumph.

Mertesacker, who has since retired from international football, was also heavily involved in Germany’s success, even though he only came on for the closing stages of extra time in the final against Argentina.

And then there was Podolski. His last competitive action came on June 26, as a late substitute in Germany’s final group match against the USA – eight weeks ago.

How can he possibly have merited that length of absence? Surely his lack of football at the World Cup should have made more involvement in Arsenal’s pre-season schedule desirable, not less?

Wenger’s policy on Podolski looks thoroughly bizarre when you consider that French trio Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud were all involved in the last eight of the World Cup – as was Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell.

Yet all those players featured in the Emirates Cup tournament at the start of the month, and the Community Shield and – apart from Campbell, who was an unused substitute – against Crystal Palace last weekend.

Another World Cup winner, Andre Schurrle, played and scored for Chelsea in their Premier League opener at Burnley earlier this week.

And Martin Demichelis, a member of the Argentina side defeated in the World Cup final, played the entire game for Manchester City in their 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday.

Footballers used to play twice a week on a regular basis and think nothing of it. Now it seems that even once in almost two months is too arduous a task for some.

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

22 minutes ago

Access2Sports star Manie Joses made a blistering start to the new Community Basketball League season, racking up half of his team’s points in their 24-6 victory over Kensington & Chelsea Knights.

12:14

Mark Stephenson’s hat-trick took his tally to five goals in three games as Islington & Camden Under-14s overcame Tower Hamlets 4-2 to end the year on a high.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A visibly delighted Arsene Wenger praised hattrick hero Alexis Sanchez or his ‘killer instinct’ after his treble routed West Ham United 5-1 at their new home the London Stadium.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the Premier League after an impressive display of power and glory at the West Ham United’s London Stadium this evening by winning 5-1.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Islington cruiserweight Joe Seabrook has vowed to raise his game this weekend when he makes his second appearance in the Queensbury Boxing League.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Following another Alexis Sanchez-inspired win over Bournemouth at the weekend, Arsenal maintained their pursuit of the top three – and they will fancy their chances of moving a little closer to the leading trio when they face West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Two heads are better than one, the saying goes – and that’s certainly been the guiding principle behind the establishment of Blacksmiths FC.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Amy Andrew overcame a bout of flu – and some controversial judging – to clinch victory for Islington BC in their team match in Jersey.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If your favourite pair of shoes are on their way out, you might be thinking of throwing them away.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now