Morning all, that’s it for the first Interlull of the new season, and here’s a round-up of what Arsenal players got up to in the last round of games.
Peru 0-1 Brazil: Gabriel started and played the full 90; Gabriel Jesus replaced Richarlison (who departed the field like a sad chicken, probably) in the 64th minute; while Gabriel Martinelli came on for Raphina in the 85th minute.
Typically direct running from Martinelli helped Brazil win a corner, from which Marquinhos (not our one) scored the only goal of the game.
Norway 2-1 Georgia: Martin Odegaard scored, a nice finish to help his country to a win, but they remain behind Spain, and high-flying Scotland in Group A. Erling Haaland scored the other Norway goal.
Belgium 5-0 Estonia: Leandro Trossard scored a very impressive goal in Belgium’s 5-0 win, and got 66 minutes of action before he was replaced by Charles De Ketelaere. I had never heard of him, so I went to his Wikipedia, and quite enjoyed this bit:
Good for him.
Italy 2-1 Ukraine: Oleksandr Zinchenko played for 75 minutes of this one, but Ukraine were beaten by two goals from Davide Frattesi whose Wikipedia has no interesting snippets.
Scotland 1-3 England: Aaron Ramsdale and Declan Rice both started and played the full 90 minutes of this friendly. Bukayo Saka came on in the 71st minute, but there was no debut for Eddie Nketiah. It was very important for Gareth Southgate to take a good look at up and coming Harry Kane, just to really find out a bit more about a player he hardly had a chance to see in either competitive or friendly action. When he did make an attacking change, it was to put on Callum Wilson, so Eddie will have to keep working hard for his chance.
He can, of course, also play international football for Ghana. Kieran Tierney, on loan at Real Sociedad, played 82 minutes for Scotland. Ramsdale’s hopes an international clean sheet were scuppered by a Harry Maguire own goal.
Germany 2-1 France: William Saliba started and played the full 90 minutes as France fell to managerless Germany. Kai Havertz came on as a 64th minute substitute for Thomas Muller, and provided an assist with an excellent pass for Leroy Sane. Hopefully that will do his confidence some good ahead of his likely return to action for us this weekend.
He has been a relentless topic of conversation since the season began, and while scrutiny of an expensive signing is part and parcel of football, it ought to be fair and reasonable. Which is why I was glad to see people call out Stewart Robson for his comments on ESPN. He claimed:
He has gone to Arsenal and the Arsenal fans don’t want him in the side. They are booing him, at the moment. They don’t want him in the team. They can’t understand why Arteta is playing the system that he is playing to fit Havertz into it. He is struggling at Arsenal, at the moment.
Is he struggling? Yes, a bit. Is it a bit difficult to understand why Arteta is picking him? Sort of, but also not really. So, if he’d said just that, there couldn’t be a lot of argument.
But have Arsenal fans been booing him? No. There might be one or two, but then using extreme reactions as representative of an entire fanbase is completely dishonest, and the worst kind of reactionary punditry there is. It’s not helpful to the player or Arsenal, and while it’s not Robson’s job to do him or us any favours, it is surely part of his remit to not invent stuff just be sensationalist and make headlines.
But then he has always sounded like a man who would find a tenner on the road then complain to anyone who would listen that it wasn’t a fifty. You can imagine an old lady shuffling away in a hurry as he, red-faced, raged at his ill-fortune. If a kid kicked his ball into Stewart Robson’s garden, he wouldn’t just burst it, he would set it on fire, then catapult it into the child’s face causing third degree burns.
“That’s what you get for being small,” he’d say, as he shut the door of his house.
Japan 4-2 Turkey: After a brilliant performance against Germany a few days ago, Takehiro Tomiyasu was a 79th minute substitute in Japan’s friendly win over Turkey. It is reported that an inquest into the defeat is being led by Turkey’s right-back Mert Muldur who insisted “The truth is out there.”
As far as I can tell that’s everything, and hopefully the players will return with a clean bill of health, ready to put an end to our poor record at Goodison Park when we face Everton on Sunday.
We’ll have more on that game during the week, and for some extra listening, join myself and James on Patreon later as we bring you an episode of Waffle, the podcast in which we answer questions about anything and everything except Arsenal.
For now, take it easy.