Monday, May 19, 2008
Eleven Arsenal players are not putting their feet up this summer
By 1970’s Gooner
It is a fact that Arsenal have not done that well right after a major football tournament.
All the title winning seasons did not come in the season following a World Cup or Euro competition. In fact only two of Arsenal's FA Cup wins came immediately after a major tournament, in 2002/2003 and 2004/2005.
A major reason of course is that since Arsene Wenger arrived at the club, in 1996, he has succeeded in attracting players that were World Class.
Players like Gilberto of Brazil or relatively unknowns who went on to become irreplaceable in their national sides, like Thierry Henry.
In fact it was said that it was Arsenal that won the World Cup of 1998 when France beat Brazil in the final.
Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera were members of the France squad with Petit scoring one of the three goals on that day.
It is a fact that football players come back after major competitions worn out either from fatigue or injuries sustained in a highly competitive environment which forces them to perform under pressure and on the edge.
The last major tournament was the World Cup of 2006 and Arsenal won nothing for the next two years. There were 14 Arsenal players involved for their national squads in that World Cup.
These were Lehmann, Gilberto, Reyes, Fabregas, A. Cole, Campell, Walcott, Toure, Eboue, Van Persie, Henry, Senderos, Djourou and Ljumberg.
For the coming Euro 2008 we estimate that there will only be less than half of that number. Six in fact unless Wenger splashes the cash before the competition begins.
Van Persie: Holland
Senderos, Djourou: Switzerland
There will also be five other Arsenal players involved in a schedule of games for their national sides this summer. These are:
On May 31 Brazil faces Canada in Seattle and on June 6 Venezuela, in Boston. Both are friendlies. He will then be in the squad for World Cup qualifying on 15th and 18th June against Paraguay and Argentina.
According to the Brazilian Football Federation, Denilson has not been called up in the squad for these games.
However he along with Gilberto are likely to be called up for the football competition of the 29th Olympic Games which unfortunately will be held from August 6-23, 2008 in China.
This means that if they are called up they will have to miss the start of the season which is usually set in the second or third week of August.
Mexico play friendlies against Argentina in San Diego California (4th June) and against Peru four days later in Chigago.
Mexico will then face Belize in a double encounter on June 15th (in Houston) and on June 21st (in Monterrey, Mexico).
Adebayor will play for Togo in World Cup qualifying games but will be done with it by the 8th of June. Before that he will face Libya in what must be a friendly(22nd May)and then play against Zambia on May 31st and Swaziland on June 8th.
Toure and Eboue
Both Toure and Eboue will play for the Ivory Coast in Japan's Kirin Cup against Paraguay on Thursday May 22nd which will open the tournament and then face Japan on Saturday May 24th.
The Kirin Cup is an annual football tournament organised in Japan by the Kirin Corporation. Participants are either club teams or national teams, but the Japan national team is always a participant. Since 1992 only national teams have entered this competition and Japan is the current champion.
After this the Ivory Coast will face Mozambique on the 1st June and Botswana on June 22nd.Their next game will be in October 10th against Madagascar.
Cameroon is involved in World Cup qualifiers too with Alex Song likely to be called up, although nothing has been heard yet. They are due to play Cape Verde(31.5.2008), Tanzania (21.6.2008) and Mauritius (11.10.2008).
This makes it a total of eleven players (or thirteen if Denilson and Song are called up).
Can this coming season be an exception to what appears to have become a rule as far as Arsenal is concerned?
Major tournaments and their after effects
1996 Euro; season 1996/1997 Arsenal win nothing. The season after that (1997–98) Arsenal win double.
1998 WC; season 1998/1999) Arsenal win nothing as also the season after that (1999/2000).
2000 Euro; season 2000/2001 Arsenal win nothing. The season after that(2001/2002) Arsenal win double
2002 WC; season 2002/2003 Arsenal win FA Cup and the season after that (2003/2004)Arsenal win title
2004 Euro; season 2004/2005 Arsenal win FA Cup but season after that (2005/2006) Arsenal win nothing
2006 WC; for two seasons (2006/2007 and 2007/2008) Arsenal win nothing
2008 Euro; season 2008/2009 Arsenal to win.....something?
No wonder Wenger is interested in Arshavin
Vela close to passport and Rosicky who suffered pain up the ...fitted with titanium!