England’s Euro 2016 qualifiers at home to San Marino and away to Estonia have come and gone, with the Three Lions maintaining their 100% record in Group E.
While for England, it is a road to redemption, recovery and reconstruction from the disappointment at Brasil, the games have taken on more significance for Arsenal fans. The addition of Kieran Gibbs to the four who had been called for the Norway and Switzerland games mean that Arsenal had more players than any other Premier League side.
Calum Chambers had made Hodgson’s team by gaining the meat off John Stones’ poison, going on to play the full duration of both games, while Wilshere’s imposing impressions in the deep-lying midfield role made him the stand-out Lion of the break.
With the stars to return to the Emirates after the exertions of going to Tallin, Here’s 5 important lessons for Wenger ahead of their return to normal Premier League duties.
- Wilshere is getting more Golden
Jack’s well and truly back! After being stuttered by very many injuries over the years, doubts had emerged over the likelihood of rediscovering his early form which saw him dubbed by Fabio Capello as England’s ‘Golden Boy’. This appears to be the season when everything may finally click, with less hisses about his ankle. But for Rooney’s poor finishing, Wilshere may have come out of the international break with about 12465 assists. The combination of the improving Alonso-esque calmness and his usual bursting runs saw him boss the midfield in the two games, rendering anonymous the contributions of the likes of Fabian Delph and Jordan Henderson. Wenger will still resist the temptation of deploying Wilshere in that deep role, knowing that League oppositions will generally present tougher challenges than San Marino and Estonia, with the England back-four a tad more balanced than Arsenal’s, though he would have no option but to yield if he remains solid in that role over the course of the qualifying games.
- Chamberlain must be considered more
Chambo carried the understanding he had formed with Welbeck in the Champions League game over into the National team, setting up the Arsenal new man’s goal against San Marino. It was undeniable that Hodgson’s sides in both games seemed more threatening upon Chambo’s introduction, on the back of which one might ask why he is not played more regularly. Walcott’s imminent return may see his recently constant role in Wenger’s team threatened but Chambo’s qualities are so good that Walcott isn’t even his main rival, and as such, must still have a regular place in the team, both in club and country.
- Chambers for Center-half
Maybe he’s getting a bit jaded, maybe not expecting to have played so much football since his summer move to the Emirates. Whatever it was, Chambers was probably the least impressive of Arsenal’s 5 England Internationals this week, looking not as bustling as we’ve seen for the past 7 weeks. Maybe he really enjoys playing center-half a bit more than running up and down the touchline.
- Welbz might need a rest
The most discussed Arsenal player, after Ozil and Wilshere, Welbz looked to continue his good club form for England and got himself on the score sheet once. Roy, perhaps, put him in the Estonia squad as a reward to keep him hungry but in reality, maybe Rickie Lambert should have got the nod. Now, we receive Welbz with a jerked ankle and the chances are that he will miss Hull. Injured or not, perhaps, it’s the right time to give that guy a breather. He’s yet to experience just how cozy the Emirates bench can be.
- Gibbs: More Determined
After his first game for England in 4 years, it must have felt like a debut for Gibbs to be back in the England set-up. The last time he was involved, Ashley Cole was his main rival. Now, he has to contend with Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw. Starting the home game would have done his confidence enormous good and seeing that Baines isn’t quite an invincible must give Gibbs more reason to believe in the possibility of grabbing hold of the Number 3 jersey. Being a left-back involves more than just taking set-pieces, Gibbs knows, and returning to the Emirates with the aim of going back better will spur him to prove that.
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