Afternoon mes amigos… It’s a pleasant afternoon in London, the sun is shining and the birds are signing but for the first time in a while, there is no football and the tennis is over. Time to write a blog!
In the recent weeks, I’ve been having quite a lot of heated discussions about players in the World Cup and the players whom didn’t make it and the players that were chosen. In my opinion, for England, for example, I thought Joe Hart should have been given the nod in the friendlies and the group stages (5 internationals gives you a good level of experience) and of course thought Gary Cahill and Scott Parker would be essential players to steady our ship. Theo Walcott was a no brainer for me. He’s been in the wars with injuries, but his appearances for Arsenal have always been fruitful – when he has an off day, he still takes defenders away and still contributes to the game. When he has a good day, he can do a lot. His appearances against Barcelona were testimony to that!
And it’s not only me who thinks that – Lionel Messi took time out to speak about Theo…
“I must say that at the time I thought it was a bad decision to leave Theo Walcott at home, and I think that has been proved right,” he said in the Star. “I can only speak from experience but he was one of the most dangerous players I have ever played against.”
“Barcelona players are not scared easily but I can tell you that when we played Arsenal last season he truly worried us,” he said.
“When we were playing Arsenal at the Emirates, we were so in control of the game at 2-0 – with all respect, Arsenal were not even in the game – then Theo came on and changed the game. He pretty much single-handedly salvaged a draw against Barcelona that night.
“Even in the return leg, our manager Pep Guardiola was telling us he was the player to watch out for, and the best players in the world like Xavi and Gerard Pique were telling us to watch out for him. The truth is that he really rattled him.
“If he could do that against Barcelona, think what he could have done against Germany and Algeria. Even if he didn’t start, he would still have been very important for England.
“Along with Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero, he would have been the best impact player at the World Cup.”
It’s very interesting to hear these words from Messi as they always say – the best players always are the best people to comment on other players. And it’s quite an accolade to be talked about in this manner. Messi, as you can see above, talks about the high regard that not only him, but also his manager held Theo Walcott – and also mentioned the impact he could have had against Algeria and Germany – even as a sub. Personally, he is one of those players who can easily change a game, and looking back at it, it was absurd that he didn’t go. But in one way – with all the in-fighting that has apparently being happening in the camp, it’s a good thing that he didn’t go.
Talking about quotes from Barcelona players, another player who has been in the news is that slightly more improved ex-Manc, Pique, who despite his comments, has proved that he has really come on leaps and bounds as a defender. But he’s been in the press (again) and been tapping up Cesc Fabregas more.
“I have known that Cesc wanted to join Barcelona for many years – but now it is more than about wanting to do it. Now it is something he feels he must do. The World Cup has not been a good thing for Arsenal. It has meant that he has been spending every day with myself, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Victor Valdes – and he has made his feelings very clear to us. He is keeping his mind focused on Spain but his heart is in Barcelona. I think already in his heart he is wearing a Barcelona shirt next season.”
It’s really annoying that each one of the Barcelona players literally take turns to talk about Cesc in such a manner – but Pique does have a point – the association with so many Barcelona players cannot be a good thing. These players are pretty much brainwashed and they seem to be like clones within the media, reading a script of pro-Barcelona speak. It doesn’t matter how Spain do now, as the last four will all play until next Sunday, but I was secretly hoping that they didn’t do that well so we could have our Cesc back and out of the gang of Barcelona players. However, there is no point speculating and worrying – all we can do is hope that he is above all of this and comes back to Arsenal renewed with the passion and desire we’ve seen in recent years.
The question is how long we have until Cesc does leave – counting the days until… or do you think Arsene can persuade him never to leave…? Okay, let’s not go over this again as it’s been said and done for the moment… but at the present, we can look at the other players we have in the Walcott’s, Arshavin’s, Nasri’s and of course our new signing in Maroune Chamakh…
With the World Cup coming to an end (only four more games), the world of Arsenal will become much more active… we all expect the signing of (here goes) Koscielny (I did it without copy and pasting, yipee) and let’s hope that’s followed by more signings. The first game game is on the 17th July against Barnet and that’s about 12/13 days away now…
Speak to you all tomorrow…