Arsenal - The Interlull Thread
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The Interlull Thread

Here we will be keeping track of the call ups, pull outs, fortunes and bone shattering injuries suffered by Arsenal players for upcoming World Cup / African Nations qualifiers and pointless friendlies.

The following are jetting away from London Colney until next week:

Abou Diaby, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud have been called up for France as they play qualifiers in Finland this Friday and at home to Belarus on Tuesday evening. Bacary Sagna's injury keeps him out of Didier Deschamps' squad.

Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are in the Germany squad that play at home to the Faroe Isles on Friday night, then away at Austria on Tuesday in World Cup qualifiers.

Thomas Vermaelen is selected for Belgium for a qualifier in Cardiff against Wales on Friday, followed by a qualifier at home to Croatia on Tuesday evening.

Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain represent England in qualifiers in Moldova on Friday and against Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Aaron Ramsey captains Wales for qualifiers at home to Belgium on Friday and away versus Serbia on Tuesday night.

Santi Cazorla is in the Spain squad for a friendly against Saudi Arabia in Madrid on Friday, before the defending World champions face Georgia in Eastern Europe on Tuesday.

Johan Djourou will join up with Switzerland for qualifiers in Slovenia on Friday, before returning to Zurich for a qualifier against Albania on Tuesday night.

Lukasz Fabianski has been called up for Poland's World Cup qualifiers in Montenegro on Friday before completing a double header at home to Moldova on Tuesday. Wojciech Szczesny's rib injury keeps him out.

Francis Coquelin will play for France U-21s in Slovakia on Friday for an U-21 qualifier, before playing a friendly against Chile U-21s in France on Monday night.

Gervinho will join up with the Ivory Coast who play an African Nations qualifier against Senegal on Saturday.

Interestingly, the Arsenal website doesn't list this, but Marouane Chamakh has been called up for Morocco's game against Mozambique on Saturday. ndrey Arshavin has been left out of Fabio Capello's squad for their qualifier against Northern Ireland.

Tomas Rosicky is injured for Czech Republic's game against Denmark and their friendly against Finland, ditto Jack Wilshere for England.

Update: Olivier Giroud has apparently been unable to train with France as yet due to "muscle pains." Sounds life threatening Didier, SEND HIM BACK AT ONCE!

Didier Deschamps has now confirmed that Olivier Giroud will miss France's qualifier with Finland on Friday. He has not been ruled out of Tuesday's game with Belarus yet.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Marouane Chamakh has been suffering with a form of malaria and has been left out of the Morocco squad for these reasons. It would tally with's non reference to the out of favour striker.

From the sounds of it, everyone made it through unscathed last night. Not least Abou Diaby, who played the whole 90 minutes and scored the winning goal for France against Finland. Laurent Koscielny was an unused sub in that game. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain got 58 minutes for England against Moldova before giving way to clubmate Theo Walcott. Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Vermaelen each played the full 90 in Belgium's 2-0 win over Wales.

Per Mertesacker played the whole 90 minutes of Germany's 3-0 win over Faroe Islands, Lukas Podolski was a second half substitute. Johan Djourou played the whole 90 as Switzerland beat Slovenia 2-0. Francis Coquelin was sent off for France U-21s in their 2-1 defeat to Slovakia. Lukasz Fabianski was an unused sub as Poland drew 2-2 in Montenegro, confirming that he has now dropped to 3rd choice for his country, with Szczesny injured.

Santi Cazorla played 60 minutes for Spain and opened the scoring in their 5-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia in Madrid. But most importantly, no injuries are reported from last night.

Gervinho scored once and set up another two as Ivory Coast beat Senegal 4-2 in their African Nations qualifier. Ivory Coast do not have another qualifier this week, so Gervinho will fly back to London and join up with Arsenal training again on Tuesday.

Theo Walcott has been sent home from the England squad due to a stomach bug, with Raheem Sterling of Liverpool called up in his place. Presumably the thought of asking for £100k a week whilst falling behind Chamberlain in the pecking order for club and country caused him a bellyache borne of pure laughter.

Abou Diaby is the latest to be sent back to London Colney. France boss Didier Deschamps advised that he would be leaving Diaby out of France's next game owing to "muscular discomfort." It sounds rather like they're handling Diaby with kid gloves and it doesn't sound like an injury per se. But there again, this is Diaby. He could rupture his spleen taking a dump.

Olivier Giroud played 61 minutes of France's 3-1 win over Belarus, with Laurent Koscielny an unused sub. Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has not ruled Abou Diaby out of Saturday's clash with Southampton "He has a little pain in the hip, sartorius. It does not seem serious at all. He even has a small chance to play Saturday."

Lukas Podolski came on as a 75th mkinute substitute for Germany to earn his 103rd cap and equal Franz Beckenbauer as Germany's 5th most capped player of all time as Germany beat Austria 2-1. Per Mertesacker was an unused sub.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain played 75 minutes of England's 1-1 draw with Ukraine. Theo Walcott had already been sent home with a stomach virus.

Aaron Ramsey captained Wales to a humiliating 6-1 defeat in Serbia. Thomas Vermaelen played 90 minutes of Belgium's 1-1 draw with Croatia in the same qualifying group.

Santi Cazorla came on as a 64th minute substitute as Spain squeaked to a 1-0 victory in Georgia. Johan Djourou played 90 minutes of Switzerland's 2-0 win over Albania. Lukasz Fabianski was an unused sub as Poland beat Moldova 2-0.

Crucially, no fresh injuries from Tuesday night have been reported. Diaby and Walcott came home early with minor ailments. Arteta, Santos, Jenkinson, Mannone, Szczesny and Gibbs got to do more defensive work and Gervinho came home after Saturday night. Mertesacker, Koscielny, Podolski, Giroud and Walcott totalled less than 90 minutes along with Diaby. Arsene Wenger will assess minor doubts over Walcott and Diaby, but nonetheless, will probably consider this interlull to have been kind overall.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 5 2012

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Oh god, I can't believe it's that time of year again. I really do wish international football would just f*** off.
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05/09/2012 12:17:00

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05/09/2012 13:48:00

Diaby should be handled by geniune baby hands. 10 months at most.
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05/09/2012 15:52:00

Remember the thread will be updated as and when developments occur, so do keep checking back :)
Little Dutch
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05/09/2012 16:37:00

Didn't I read somewhere that Chamakh was down with Malaria? Whatever!
Report Abuse
05/09/2012 16:40:00

No more sweating because glass ankles *****ed off.
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05/09/2012 20:06:00

Now that he's playing for the Mancs the stupid ***** will probably get a pass on internationals.
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05/09/2012 20:19:00

That will be interesting to see, Dberg, knowing how much he just, always wants to play for his national side.
Report Abuse
05/09/2012 21:14:00

Watch how the**** now magically never gets injured whilst on international duty.
Ned Stark
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05/09/2012 22:43:00

Has anyone read Sagna's comments? He's disappointed that Arsenal sold Song and no-one has begun talks with him about a new contract even though next season is the last year of his existing deal. I'm pretty certain other "top" teams wouldn't let the majority of their first XI get to teh end of their contracts without some serious negotiating. We seem to be involved in it every season, through the players fault or ours, it's always happening to us.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Report Abuse
06/09/2012 11:10:00

I was just about to say the same thing SER -
No 10
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06/09/2012 11:28:00

Consider your thunder stolen lol Sorry mate! :o)
Scotch Eggs Rule
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06/09/2012 11:40:00

If we're going to renegotiate a player's contract every single year, I presume everyone will be happy to cough up the ticket price rises that will be required for that huge additional cost?
Little Dutch
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06/09/2012 11:51:00

No one expects us to that LD, but the fact that the best right back in the league and one of our most consistent players the last 5 seasons has 18 months (-ish) left on his contract without any contact being made by the club (allegedly) seems careless at best. Especially when you consider the amount of talent this club has leaked the last few seasons.
Scotch Eggs Rule
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06/09/2012 12:01:00

Don't Wenger and Gazidis talk to the players anymore? How can it be a massive surprise to senior players like Vermaelen and Sagna that Song is being sold. It reeks of shoddy communication to be honest.
Wyn Mills
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06/09/2012 13:24:00

At last....a nice topic to keep things going in the interlull. Haha!
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06/09/2012 16:47:00

I am not sure what Sagna wants is to be kept informed of the plans the club's mamanagement has for the players. Besides, he for one, hasn't exactly been in London until recently, as he has been undergoing a rehab process. To be fair, the Song rumors came upon us all suddenly though we all kept thinking "surely, we aren't under pressure to sell given he has a lengthy enough contract". No one can tell exactly, what informed the club's decision to sell but one thing I could see was that it had turned Song's head already; you only needed to watch him against FC Cologne to see that we wouldn't get the best out of him unless something drastic was done.
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06/09/2012 17:06:00

Both Diaby and the Ox had great games by the sound of it, possibly MOTM in both cases. Ramsey and Cazorla played well too in their games. I don't really care about international football so see these games as practice matches for our players. I hope they don't put too much effort in to them and wear themselves out or get injured but hope they put in encouraging performances still. As for Sagna, he is clearly angling for a fat new contract and some of the gullible fans seem to have fallen for it and have got all worked up again over nothing. AW is in a better position to decide whether he deserves a new contract as he has better knowledge about Sagna's physical condition so I will trust his judgement in the matter. He has been a great servant but the club have paid him well over that time and there would be no hard feelings if he were to leave as long as he doesn't go about it in the wrong way. Jenkins on looks promising but he has only played a few games so can't be sure he will do the job long term. As for lack of stability due to players leaving, I think that's something most clubs have to deal with in modern games and varies according to their size and spending power.
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08/09/2012 08:22:00 Here we go again with Diaby. Hopefully, it's not too serious and can be overcome in a week or two. We don't want our defensive midfielder named Diab-teta to break up
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11/09/2012 05:04:00

I reckon Diaby pulled out for safety more likely than dropped, if that makes sense. Hopefully he wants prem football more than seeing a poor team beaten by his pretty much qualified french team.
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11/09/2012 12:53:00

I'd want to think sending him back is just a mere precautionary move. Wenger should be able to let Deschamps know just how many minutes he expects to see his players on for, especially as Belarus isn't exactly the hardest game they will be playing.
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11/09/2012 12:56:00

Agree with bowie on Sagna, seems to be like the opening shot in contract negotiations, trying to gain the upper hand. On the other hand, the Arsenal management team do need to improve their performance on this front, not having closed the Theo situation as well. So, if both parties can agree on something by end of this year, that will be a good outcome.
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11/09/2012 22:08:00

I do think the Sagna thing will come to a head. Basically, he's 30 in February and his fitness is still questionable at this point. He's hardly gonna get the 4-5 year contract close to six figures that he wants. I wouldn't expect to see him at the club next season.
Little Dutch
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11/09/2012 22:39:00

LD I wouldn't agree that Sagna's fitness is questionable. Two unlucky broken legs (crashing over the sideline and being stamped on) have him sidelined, but in general he is fit an available. I would keep him around for a few years yet.
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11/09/2012 23:04:00

He hasn't proved that yet though and there's no way he can till he plays again. In truth, the second one didn't look that unlucky to me. I mean, I'm not saying he's a crock yet, but you've got to at least wait and see before you go handing out big, long contracts. Especially given his age. The club have picked up enough flack for renewing Diaby on such big terms, stands to reason they'd wait and see with Sagna.
Little Dutch
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11/09/2012 23:15:00

LD, if you are suggesting the club leaving Sagna's contract reneg so late is part of a deliberate strategy, it's no way to treat such a dedicated employee and we can't be in a position to complain if our players treat us the same when offers come in for them. Sagna has a lot left in the tank and I believe he is the kind of payer who can play well into his mid 30s.
Report Abuse
12/09/2012 15:01:00

But it's just business, it's how employer / employee relationships work. It's why players such as RvP do run the risk of unpopularity by going to a club like United because it's a career decision. It's the same for the club, they have to make these calls too. Lord knows they cop enough flack for giving a long, expensive contract to Diaby for instance. Sagna may well be able to play into his mid 30s, but he needs to prove it first. It's ony right, clubs have every right to make that call just as players have every right to assess their career options. Neither are fans and nor should they be expected to behave like fans. They have to make hard nosed decisions. Sagna is popular for good reason and he's a tremendous player. But he has to prove his worth to us. Personally, I make no truck with players that make career assessments and decide to leave as a result. There are ways of going about it, but even then the likes of Nasri, Cole etc don't worry me unduly.
Little Dutch
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12/09/2012 15:08:00

"there are ways of going about it"... That is exactly what we expect, for players that have shown dedication, not to appear dismissive of their contributions, otherwise, this will set the tone for how things 'go down' at the club with no end in sight. There will be the odd circumstance where the hard decisions will have to be taken but, surely, players like Sagna should be readied for Testimonials; this sends the right message to younger players and can't be a bad thing. I agree with you he has to prove himself and he will; but to give him reason to feel uncertain about his future is just not ideal.
Report Abuse
12/09/2012 15:58:00

But it has always been thus. Players that the club believes it is right to move on have been moved on. It's been happening for over 100 years. Sometimes circumstances dictate it happens earlier than people expect. I'm sure if Sagna had 4 years on his deal, nobody at the club would panic much about selling him. But his contract situation might expedite that decision. Unless he was willing to accept a 2 year deal, which I doubt he would. In short, we might not necessarily want rid of him now but a longview has to be taken as to how much we would want 34 year old Sagna on big wages. That's just the way it goes and it's the same for every footballer in the world. There came a time when Steve Bould for instance, a tremendous servant, was no longer fit for purpose aged 36 and sold to Sunderland. I'm certain we wouldn't be abrasive and just tell Sagna to sling his hook. But it's a football club, not a caring facility. Just the real world, it's always been like that and it always will be.
Little Dutch
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12/09/2012 16:05:00


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