You can come out. The interlull is over, and between now and Christmas, there’s a veritable flurry of football. Here’s some of what I’ve been thinking about:
As some of you know, I spent a good deal of my summer following the trail as Arsenal pursued Costa Rican striker, Joel Campbell. Whilst a deal was ultimately agreed, Arsenal were forced to send the player on loan to Lorient after his application for a work permit was rejected.
Since then, he’s fared well – this piece from French Football Weekly will bring you up to speed on his start to life in Ligue 1, whilst this week he notched the most significant goal of his career to date, curling in a twenty-yard effort to put Costa Rica 2-0 up against World Champions Spain. Whilst the Spanish clawed their way back to a draw, it will doubtless remain a famous goal in his homeland.
If he continues to rack up international caps he has a chance of qualifying for a permit next summer.
Despite his relative success at Lorient, Campbell will be kicking himself that he’s not in London at the moment. If he were, he’d be able to pick up a few tips from one of the game’s true greats. Arsenal’s record goalscorer, Thierry Henry, is training with the club to keep himself fit in the MLS off-season.
The sight of Thierry in an Arsenal training strip is enough to make me feel all fuzzy inside, like the mouth of person suffering from flu. So, in the hope of giving you the same on this cold Friday morning – the nice feeling, not the flu – here’s a picture:
The blonde man behind Henry is American Brek Shea, who is here not only to keep fit, but also to try and impress Arsene enough to earn a move across the Atlantic. By the looks of things, he’d instantly take Gervinho’s crown as possessor of the worst haircut at the club.
Whilst I don’t think anyone would realistically want Henry to come back and sully his record and reputation, but at times Arsene must be tempted to bring him back to the club on loan. This January will leave us with only the injury-prone van Persie and anonymous Park as striking options. Tempting, isn’t it…
Whoever plays up front for Arsenal will be able to rely on a decent supply from Gervinho. In ten starts, the Ivorian has created six goals. It’s an impressive return, and suggests his record as the most productive attacking player in France last season was no fluke. The challenge now is to improve his own finishing and take some of the goalscoring burden off RVP.
Yesterday saw Jack Wilshere tweet the following:
It doesn’t take Jonathan Creek to work out that Gibbs must have been going some sort of surgical procedure, and the whispers are that it was for a troublesome hernia. If that is the case, I’d expect him to miss a further month. Still, at least Andre Santos has been working hard on his new fitness regime:
Our next game is away to Norwich tomorrow lunchtime. I’ve been really impressed with both the Canaries and Swansea, who’ve managed to combine decent results with attractive, enterprising football. Any lapse in concentration will doubtless be punished, so we’ll need everyone to refocus immediately after their international exploits.
In order to celebrate the return of proper football, I had a chat with Arseblogger for today’s Arsecast. Why not head over to www.arseblog.com and have a listen? On the agenda: Injuries in defence, Koreans in Sunderland, and racism in football. Enjoy.