The World Cup Game (And Some Arsenal Stuff)…

Happy Saturdays to all… I’ll start off today’s blog with a look as Nasri’s recent comments in the Sun… Of course, we know that Gallas was a bit of a trouble maker at Chelsea – he’s never really travelled without an air of – well, how do I put this – he’s kind of created a big stink around each club he’s been at – fallen out with Jose Mourinho, fallen out with a lot of people at Chelsea and fallen out with Toure, Nasri and of course Van Persie and Cesc are not fans of his – and I’m pretty sure he’s fallen out with Arsene a few times.

Maybe the contract “stalling” is down to the fact that Arsene Wenger doesn’t actually want the player at the club next season… it’s funny because apparently Arsene really sits down with a player to understand the psyche behind him to ensure he fits in with the club… but after Wiltord, Adebayor and Gallas, you’ve got to wonder if that’s true….!!!

Let’s take a look about what he said:

“I don’t communicate with him, but I’m not the only one at Arsenal who doesn’t have any communication with him. We are four or five, but that doesn’t stop us fighting for each other on the pitch. You don’t get 11 friends in a football team, there are people who have affinities and who get on, but on the pitch we fight for the same cause.”

Did Gallas have any influence in ensuring arguably the best French player (in the world right now based on form) not going to the World Cup? You’ve got to wonder…! When Toure left instead of Gallas, it was an interesting move, as we had all thought that Gallas (especially after Birmingham), was the bad apple, but our views changes when Toure left. Ultimately, we know now more than ever that indeed, it is William Gallas who was the bad apple and the reason Toure left was surely down to footballing ability and the money involved rather than personality – which shows Arsene looking in the interest of the club both in terms of footballing terms and financially.

But Arsene does have the opportunity to look at replacing Gallas this season with Thomas Vermaelen having established himself at the back and the return of Johan Djourou. The five central defenders next season, surely should be:

  1. New Player
  2. Thomas Vermaelen
  3. Johan Djourou
  4. Sol Campbell
  5. Harvard Nordtveit

With Silvestre and Gallas both leaving, it makes sense that we buy one new number one centre back and then promote Nortveit to our first team… Speculation, speculation, speculation will keep us going until the end of the summer, hey? Well, actually, we’ve got a little competition called the World Cup, which will also intrigue our minds… and that’s why it’s time to play the World Cup Game…

The World Cup Game: Who is the best eleven in the world cup? But you can only choose 1 player from each country…

[All team bias put to one side for now…]

This is the question that had me thinking all night yesterday during my dear old friend, Bob “The Gooner”‘s 30th birthday celebrations…  so basically – as the question states – you can choose one player per country from any of the countries at the world cup – and of course, the player has to be in the world cup squad too. Which XI would you choose? Remember, if you choose, let’s say for example, Messi, than you can’t choose a Tevez or an Aguero or another Argentian…

So here goes mine…

Buffon (Italy)

Essien (Ghana) – Lucio (Brazil) –  Agger (Denmark) – Evra (France)

Ronaldo (Portugal) – Song (Cameroon) – Cesc (Spain) – Messi (Argentina)

Rooney (England) – Drogba (Ivory Coast)

Now, you may be thinking how on earth I came up with that XI, so let me explain…

Looking at the forward line first, and thinking who are the best forwards in the world and which are the best teams in the world. Spain was a team that I thought about long and hard, as they’ve got some excellent players – looking at Cesc, Torres, Xavi, Villa and of course Iniesta, trying to figure out whom I’d like in my squad and if I did choose a Torres or Villa, then I wouldn’t be able to use a Cesc, Xavi or Iniesta in my squad…

So reviewing the countries like Slovenia, New Zealand and Slovakia amongst the USA’s, Korea’s and Japan’s – my choice was limited to the bigger teams and in order to accomodate some good players from the main countries, I had to look at who the best players from all the countries outside of major European and South American teams. That’s why I’ve got Drogba and Essien and Song in there. It allows me to then use Spain and other teams in and around the team.

Looking at the team I’ve chosen, I think it has a good balance of pace, skill, craft and physicality. First of all, you need Messi and Ronaldo in the team, arguably the two best players in the world, and that rules out any further Argentian’s and Portuguese players. So no Aguero or Tevez, means that the top strikers really stood out as Rooney and Drogba… which allowed me to play Cesc in the middle pulling the strings (some will choose Xavi ahead of Cesc, but personally, I love watching our captain when on form, he’s got craft, skill, creativity and of course, goals too.

Looking at the defensive midfield position, that left me with a tussle between Essien and Song. But for me, Alex Song has been the best player in the Premiership this season and gets the nod ahead of Essien. With the right back position also coming into my thoughts, as Alves and Maicon didn’t get the nod ahead of Lucio for Brazil, and Sagna didn’t get the nod ahead of Evra for France, which meant Essien slotting in at right back looked very very good. With Buffon in goal and Evra at left back, with Lucio in the middle – I kind of ran out of a partner for the Brazilian stopper – with Germany and Holland two unused major countries, looking for a centre back actually took me to Denmark as Daniel Agger is surely better than the German and Dutch centre backs??

Over to you guys…. what do you think of my selection?!?!

  • Arsefan101

    Tough one Dev!!!

    Got me thinking for ages about who, how and can understand how you got to the team you got to….. It’s really hard…. but here goes:

    Lahm – Toure – Cannavaro – Evra
    Ronaldo – Essien – Kaka – Messi
    Wayne Rooney – Fernando Torres

    What do you think?

  • Pete

    Does the formation have to be 4-4-2 Dev? If not I’d go for a 4-3-3 with the following:


    Lahm – Lucio – Puyol – Evra

    Ronaldo – Song – Messi

    Rooney – Drogba – RvP

    As for Arsenal, we’ve seen how much iprovement there’s been this season without Adebayor at the club, so Gallas leaving would probably bring even more harmoney to the remaining players. As long as we replace him adequately then he wont be missed. Good player, but not someone that you warm to.

  • devday

    @ Arsefan101:
    Interesting choice, of course, Schwarzer and Friedel are available as GK who are not in the major nations. My view is that Kaka hasn’t had the greatest seasons recently, but an on form Kaka will be excellent.

    @ Pete:
    Formation can be anything – 433 is a interesting option especially with the team you’ve got – I like the inclusion of RvP, but who will pull the strings from deep? No AM?

  • Pete

    @ devday:

    Was thinking that RvP can drop back now and then to help out the midfield. He showed a lot of creativity in the last few games this season. Plus Rooney loves dropping back to help out too and is quick on the break, so hopefully we could get away with not having an attacking midfielder lol.

  • devday

    @ Pete:
    That would be an attacking first XI for sure… if you had to choose a 4-4-2, who would your squad be?

    (PS, never been the biggest Gallas fan, definitely glad he’s going this summer!)

  • kunal

    As I mentioned yesterday…


    Decided to drop Drogba for Rooney as he’d be a better foil for the lethal Fernando! Pace/Power/Skill/Industry/Intelligence/Class… it really would be a dream team.

  • goonerman

    Like you say dev im not to bothered if gallas goes this summer as long as he is the only person to leave, if rumours are true he wants over the 100k then i will personally put him in my renault clio and drive him down the road to the spuds and let him destroy their team lol.

    I actually thought you game was easy but when you think about it i was STUCK lol BUT gotta have a go.

    Maicon – Terry – vidic – Evra
    Messi – Essien – Fabregas – Ronaldo
    Van persie – Drogba

    you have to leave out so many class players its quite an annoying game haha! Hopefully transfers start happening soon, the quicker they start the quicker they and the speculation finishes lol!

  • pissed off

    6 years its all been even between Chelsea and Man u. The once pride of London has lost its pride. I cant F*****g understand how its come to the point where we consider selling key players as the best way of preserving our undeperforming and over paid players.

    Wenger should raise the competition standard in the team or……….

  • Pete

    @ Pete:

    I like the look of Goonermans selection, so probably would change things around after seeing it lol.

    Maicon – Ferdinand – Vidic – Evra
    Ronaldo – Essien – Gerrard – Messi
    Torres – Drogba

    This is quite fun lol.

  • vj

    hearing lots of rumours from italy that if buffon leaves italy it will be for england, plus after his reception yesterday thinking of buffon in a red and white shirt is not becoming that much of a stretch but i feel that wenger wont buy him

  • goonerman

    haha nice try pete but you have gerrard and ferdinand in your team so you need to change one of those for a player from another country lol!

  • Pete

    @ goonerman:

    ARH bugger!!! Didn’t notice that, gutted :-( lol

    Lahm – Lucio – Vidic – Evra
    Ronaldo – Essien – Gerrard – Messi
    Torres – Drogba

  • pissed off

    I like u gooners distraction technique.

  • tm17

    Petr Čech Petr Čech
    Alves-Vidic-Terry-Evra Alves-Vidic-Cannavaro-Evra
    Song-Essien Ronaldo-Essien-Fabregas-Messi
    Ronaldo-Fabregas-Messi Drogba-Rooney

  • tm17

    Petr Čech


    Petr Čech

  • RVP

    SergioRamos Lucio Vidic Clichy
    Song Essien
    Ronaldo VanPersie Messi

  • devday

    tm17 – I don’t think the Czech Republic are in the world cup!

  • Tm17

    Oh my bad I would replace the GK with
    Van dersar

  • vj

    my team


    Drogba-Van Persie

    Subs Howard Eto’o lucio arshavin Cahill Ramsey cannavaro piennar

  • devday

    @ vj: Ireland aren’t in the world cup!!

  • Yemi

    Lahm — Lucio – Terry – Evra
    ——-RVP —— Xavi——

    Messi— Drogba —- Ronaldo