Arsenal loan players make an impression at the Euros

It may be sacrilegious to make such a comment, but I’ll make it all the same. As a Gooner I really find it hard to be too excited about the European Championship, the World Cup or any international competition.

Sure I enjoy watching football, because that’s what those of us who love the beautiful game do far too frequently. I am a proud Englishman and want my national team to do well, but I find it difficult to cheer on an England team containing the likes of Terry, Cole and Parker; players I despise.

Arsenal is my first love, so when I watched England play France I was interested in seeing the performance of the Ox and sadly only a couple of minutes of Theo.

While Arsenal play beautiful, sophisticated, slick passing football; England play dull, turgid one dimensional football that is all too predictable.

It is of course no coincidence that the one English midfielder with the ability to make things happen is an Arsenal player. That the English national team is bereft of midfield quality apart from Jack Wilshere is a serious indictment of those running English football. Arsene Wenger has proved time after time that he knows how to develop young talent and it is England’s loss and Arsenal’s gain that he manages our club.

There was a real buzz watching Lukas Podoloski playing for Germany and his presence, plus the likely arrival of Olivier Giroud from Montpelier will hopefully convince RvP that Arsenal are likely to be serious contenders for top honours next season.

These signings also suggest that the Professor will have a more defined plan B, adding Giroud’s strength and aerial prowess to Arsenal armoury. While Arsenal will never play long ball football, there are times when this option is necessary.

If Ivan Gazidis’s comments that Arsenal plan to buy quality rather than quantity come to fruition then I am confident that the 2012/13 season will be a remarkable one for Arsenal and one that will see a return of silverware.

With one round of matches in Euro 2012 now complete, there have been mixed fortunes for current and ex-Arsenal players. RvP lacked his usual sharpness, missing chances he would normally have buried; while Szczesny in the Polish goal had a nightmare, being partly responsible for the Greek goal and also collecting a red card. However Bendtner, in a very different role, impressed for the Danes.

But for many of us Gooners, the performance of Andrei Arshavin raises a number of questions. How can a player be so bad for one club and so good for another? In the few months since returning to Zenit St. Petersburg on loan, he has by all accounts been outstanding, both for club and country; while in the first half of the season in red of Arsenal he was often an embarrassment.

Arshavin looked the perfect match for Arsenal and had some outstanding matches, but overall was a disappointment and worse often looked disinterested. It is clear that the player did not want to live in London and while it is not always easy to identify such a problem in a player, maybe the club should consider the player’s mindset as well as his fotballing qualities before making a purchase.

On the subject of mindset, if Samir Nasri, is as reported, surplus to requirements at Manchester City, should we consider trying to lure him back to the Emirates? He was so desperate to leave Arsenal; yet seeing him give a man of the match performance and score a quality goal against England makes you realise what value he could add to our team.

About the writer

Phil Harris has been a season ticket holder at the Emirates and Highbury before it for 20 years. He maintains a critical eye on all thing Arsenal and sports and in his spare time can be found gambling at

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One thought on “Arsenal loan players make an impression at the Euros

  1. hello phil,

    i enjoyed reading this piece. but just to point out a very key fact which you probably ommitted. i think wenger sometinmes get so obssessed that he ends up killing players because he plays them out of positions. the fact that he succeeded with thierry henry doesnt mean every player that comes our way now must succeed.Even when arshavin fell out of favour in england i was the one fan that knew it was due to the coaches mistakes.u have a man as big as bendtner you go play him on the right side of midfield wat do u expect to get? finally as regards chamack, he wanted to get a cheap striker you got one who is very accurate wit his head and not so good with the ball on his feet. i watched his tapes and sincerely speaking chamack will shine in a club like stoke city,bolton,wigan etc… cos those clubs thrive and succeed on crosses from the wings. so wenger if needs to seat down and have a rethink….

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