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Keeping Up with Gunners on International Duty

Good day from wherever you’re reading. Well as you already know there’s no Premier League action this weekend owing to Euro 2012 playoffs, 2014 World Cup qualifiers and a queue of international friendlies.

With just about the whole first team away on international duty, except most notably Mikel Arteta, here’s a quick round-up of how most have fared so far bearing in mind there are more matches still to play before returning to Colney.

Park Chu Young scored for South Korea AGAIN. Well, I guess that’s not news considering his International form.

Meanwhile, in a playoff match for a spot at Euro 2012, Czech captain Tomas Rosicky led by example with a sterling performance for the Czech Republic with both assists in a 2-0 win over Montenegro in Prague.

Wojciech Szczesny had a busy game and conceded two well taken goals from the impressive ‘why always me’ and Gianpaolo Pazzini as Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland fell to a 2-0 defeat to former world champions Italy.

Skipper Robin van Persie meanwhile fired blank along with his Oranje mates as Switzerland held a wasteful Holland to a goalless draw.

Elsewhere, Laurent Koscielny earned his first cap with the French national team in a 1-0 win over the United States in Paris while Thomas Vermaelen was involved as Belgium beat Romania 2-1 in a match that saw Razvan Rat miss a last minute penalty for Romania.

Andrey Arshavin’s Russia played out a 1-1 draw with Euro 2004 winners Greece while Alex Song’s Cameroun won 3-1 at home to Sudan in some of the other friendly matches played on Friday night.

No injuries to report so far… thankfully, as we look forward to world champions Spain at Wembley against England, while on Tuesday night Robin van Persie’s Holland face bitter rivals Germany in the top pick of upcoming matches involving our players.

That’s your lot for today. There’s really nothing happening besides the Internationals.
Oh! PHW says that there will be no contract talks with Van Persie until the end of the season. I wonder what you guys make of that, are we going to witness Nasri-gate all over again? Time will tell.

England-Spain is the game to watch today! Promises to be a cracker! 7 more days before proper football returns to our screens.

I can’t wait!

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Match Preview: Arsenal vs Swansea

With the international break gone by, without new injuries thankfully, Arsenal return to Premier League action when newly promoted Swansea City visit the Emirates later today.

The Gunners will have a mixed air of uncertain expectation hovering over when the match kicks off at 15:00, with several new faces now at the club and likely to feature against the Welsh side.

More imperative is how the Gunners will respond to the heaviest defeat suffered in a century and 15 years coupled with a horrible start to the league campaign that has left the club with 10 goals already conceded in three games.

Most of the spotlight hence, should fall on German defender Per Mertesacker who is in line for his Arsenal debut along with Spaniard Mikel Arteta who is expected to greatly cover up the lull in creativity from midfield.

Mertesacker and our defenders will hopefully not have much to do at the back as Swansea have so far failed to find the net in its three league matches, leaving the onus on the forward line likely, to comprise Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, to deliver the goods mainly off the inventory of our midfield of course.

The main battle looks to be in midfield with the visitors known to prefer holding on to the ball as we also do hence whoever else Arsène Wenger puts in there should be one capable of getting the ball from opposition and keeping it with the team through some hold up play and more necessarily, assists for the feet upfront.

Being a newly promoted side, the expectation would be for a hounding of the Swans but remember, it took a lot of work to beat ten-man Blackpool – that also liked to play on the ball – 6-0 last season. Coupled with the new players still blending to the team, I’d actually take a win borne of an assured performance over a potentially deceiving mauling of the visitors.

Previous meetings have seen both sides with two wins each from four encounters with Arsenal winning the last of those by 2-1 some way ago in 1983.

And in some other bit of news, dear Professeur is back to his unrepentant stubborn self it seems after insisting activities on the final day of the transfer window were not sparked by the 8-2 demolition at Old Trafford… indeed!

Anyway, Camerounian midfielder Alex Song celebrated his birthday yesterday and we wish him a belated happy birthday. We also wish Frenchman Laurent Koscielny a happy birthday as he turns 26 today.

So for the birthday boys and more so, for the pride of the cannon… Let’s go for the win Gunners!!