Withe the taste of defeat still in our mouths from Sunday, the International break is hardly a welcome distraction. If anything it brings with it the edge-of-your-seat frets about who would be returning with injuries and knocks.
For once, though, it appears this will be one break to bring us more cheers, less tears and no fears. Nowadays, we now have more Arsenal players called-up to the England National team than any other club, with Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck all in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the Euro 2016 double-header qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia. Calum Chambers was initially to join up with Gareth Southgates’ charges for U21 duty but has now been requested to report to St. George’s as a replacement for injured Everton defender, John Stones. That makes 5 Arsenal players in the squad, and though they will not all be involved at the same level, there are only positives to be taken from their call-ups.
The young defender has had an incredible start to his Arsenal career which has seen him assume an unexpected regular role in the team, having now featured more often at right back since Mat Debuchy’s injury. Having been in the last squad for the Norway friendly and the qualifier at Switzerland, it perhaps may not have done his confidence much good to be stepped down again to the U21s. His re-inclusion will give him some boost and motivation to fight for a more constant call-up to the senior team, though he’s likely to be pipped to the starting spot at right back against San Marino by former Saints competitor, Nathaniel Clyne.
The effect of also having a good number of his mates from Arsenal will continue to give him belief to perform well too, knowing that a good partnership at club level, will see him trusted more to continue such combinations at the International stage. Not playing would be a welcome rest for him, though, having played every signle game this season for Arsenal since the Charity Shield, bar the Dortmund game.
Not certain he will be favoured against Leighton Baines but Gibbs not been a regular in the Three Lions set-up is only attributable to the constant injuries which won’t let him be. Baines’ contributions from set-pieces means he is quite invaluable at the moment, but if he should sure any further signs of a shade to his ‘invincibility’ as he did against United, Gibbs may get the chance to show how better he is at actual defending than the Everton man.
Jack and The Ox
They may well have that as the title of an upcoming adventure series if both keep up their steady performances for both club and country. Jack is surely going to play a huge role in Englands’s future generation. Roy Hodgson could still deploy him in that deep-lying midfield role depsite clamours to the contrary, but it could be to the benefit of Arsene Wenger. The search for a proper DM has yet to stop for us and if Wilshere should improve in that rold, or even play as well as he did against Switzerland, then the Diaby lab work may not become necessary after all. There’s also the possible pairing of Jack with Chamberlain in the England midfield, something sure to delight Wenger if it works.
Sturridge’s absence means Welbeck is sure to start as the main striker, after winning all three points with his 2 goals at Basel. Another composed performance with a goal or two would do his confidence no harm.
AND… Theo Walcott
Theo will not be involved for England this week but will return to full training with Arsenal after the Internationals.
Fresh, fit and fueled to fire! Sssssssssss
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