Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Three Arsenal Players On Their Way To The World Cup Final

When the World Cup started there were 11 Arsenal players in the tournament and that figure has now dropped to three players who will play in the final. There's still one semi final to go, but there's no Arsenal players in either the Dutch or Argentinian squads and it's left to their three German players to compete in the ultimate game of the tournament. That game will be on Sunday night when Germany take on the winners of the game between The Netherlands and Argentina.

Germany progressed to the final last night with a stunning 7-1 victory over Brazil and are surely going to be favourites no matter who they will play on Sunday. Mesut Ozil was the only one of the three Arsenal players in the German squad to start in a rampant German team, but Per Mertesacker came on for the second half. Lukas Podolski sat the game out again and his chances have been very limited at this World Cup.

Many critics have been unimpressed with Ozil's performances, but I think he has been an important part of a dominant German team. He has started every game and created many chances for team mates, but most of those chances were not taken. His only goal so far came in the last 16 win over Algeria, but he really should have put Germany 8-0 up against Brazil just moments before the hosts scored their consolation goal. He made a great run to get on to a through ball, but he put the ball wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.

Mertesacker started all of the group games and the last 16 game too, but he lost his place against France after a bout of illness. He was on the bench again last night and the chances are he will be on the bench in the final too. 

From an Arsenal perspective it's great to see three of their players in the World Cup final, but it also means those players will be back to pre season training very late. The players who didn't make it to the World Cup started their pre season training this week and the first real game of the new season is less than six weeks away. By the time the World Cup final is over there will be less than five weeks to Arsenal's first league game and less than four weeks to their Community Shield game with City.

Straight after Arsenal's first league game the team will have a Champions League qualifier and those World Cup final participants might not be back in time to be ready for those games. If they don't get a proper break this summer it will affect their season and could lead to fatigue or injuries. The team might suffer a little at the start of the season as a result, but it has to be for the better in the long term.

It's great to see the pictures of the players back in training (see below) and even though I'm enjoying a fantastic World Cup there is nothing better in football terms than watching Arsenal. Hopefully there will be quite a few additions to the squad over the next few weeks in plenty of time for the new arrivals to settle in and play a part from day one. Mathieu Debuchey looks almost certain to join very soon at this stage and hopefully Alexis Sanchez won't be too far behind him.

Once the World Cup final is over on Sunday the focus will switch back to the domestic game and Arsenal will be top of the agenda again. Hopefully three of the Arsenal squad will have nice shiny winners medals to show off to their team mates along with the FA Cup winners medals from last May. 

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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