It’s now day 4 of the Euro 2012 championship and as I write this, England and France have drawn 1-1. Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain was selected to start the game, and although a “surprise”, it wasn’t quite a surprise, considering we all thought it was going to happen a week ago – I remember writing this piece whereby I predicted the line up 100% correctly.
Johnson – Terry – Lescott – Cole
Parker – Gerrard
Milner – Young – Oxlade
Oxlade was deployed on the left and a little bit excitable to say the least, he brought trickery and pace to the line up. Personally, I think he did a good a job as anyone else on the pitch. In fact, even though we were under the cosh for a while today, I feel that the England squad gelled quite nicely considering all the changes, injuries and change of manager.
Oxlade spoke after the game:
“I did okay, just okay tonight. It was a bit frustrating at times to get space but way we play we had to play compact. They almost overload the midfield. It wasn’t about me it was about the team we will take a draw and move on from here. Against good French side we showed we can stick with them and fight it. It is about getting the right result. We came looking for a win but we will take a draw.”
I can see why Oxlade was chosen ahead of Walcott, he has a bit more of a footballing brain, can dribble with accuracy and can play in others. I think the plan by Roy is to use Walcott later on in the game as an impact sub.
So far, out of all the Arsenal players that have featured, here’s a little summary:
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
As mentioned before, started for England vs France. Impressive performance considering his international experience. He’s shown that he is capable of unlocking defences, and I’ll be inclined to play him again when England take on Sweden this Friday.
Came on as a sub, although not enough time to really make an impact.
The forgotten man of Arsenal, played for Russia against a impotent Czech side last Friday. He was outstanding, and won the man of the match. Perhaps adding a few million to his asking price.
Outshone by his Russian Arsenal team mate, but considering the number of games they’ve both played this season, it’s understandable. The Czech team will look to push for the second spot now.
New boy Podolski didn’t quite look the piece as Germany beat a defensive Portuguese side. Similar to the France vs England game today, it was harder to break through. Podolski had a few chances, but fluffed them both.
Robin Van Persie
Didn’t do much wrong as an individual, but would have expected more out of himself and more out of the entire team. He had a few opportunities but couldn’t really find his feet. It’s been a long season for the Dutchman and I think the season has taken it’s toll.
In other news, a lot of media outlets are reporting that we’ve agreed a fee for Montpellier’s Oliver Giroud – 33 goals in 77 appearances and a fee touted at £12.8m, it looks like he will come as a first team player. Another indication than Robin is off. There is talk that Maroune Chamakh may be involved as part of a swap deal, but I doubt anything will be announced in the near future (if indeed true)…
Yann M’Vila has also now been linked to Barcelona, so (if true), it looks like we may have missed out on the defensive midfielder that everyone thought we’d virtually signed about 2 weeks ago!
The Euro’s are indeed a good distraction to the transfer window, but as the tabloids and media outlets get bored, we’ll hear wackier and wackier rumours coming out in the next few days…
Here’s to an interesting Sweden vs Ukraine game…