As a true breed Gooner, the international break is always a scary period for me. It’s like two weeks of intense monitoring of our players with their national teams and saying my prayers that I would not hear any injury setback. However, in this just concluded international break, I was kind of relaxed and enjoyed every minute of every game. When I look back at some of the traumas I have experienced during previous breaks, I consider this to be the best in a long while.



I was particularly delighted seeing Mertesacker scoring the winner against England and then Santi Carzola’s opening goal against Equitorial Guinea, apart from that not many gooners scored. Oh, oh, Jenkinson scored for the England U-21(forgive me, not used to hear him score). I was also delighted to see Kieran Gibbs get back into the national team. The future can only get better for the 24 year old.



While I was cheering my dear country (Nigeria) to claim their World cup ticket, I was also cheering for as many gooners as possible and my prayer was gladly answered. After France terrible first leg showing, they rallied back and got the ticket. Sagna, Giroud, Koscienly and Diaby (#believeAbou) would join the already large number of gooners that would be making the trans-Atlantic journey to Brazil. Feeling sorry for Szczesny, Arteta, Ramsey and co that would be watching from home.


The big Arsenal striker did not start the decisive second leg for France. Even though the plan worked for Les Blues (Benzema scored, France qualified), I was happy that Giroud did not start. For the first time in a long while, Olivier did not start a game for either Arsenal or France (apart from the league cup game against Chelsea). It must have been a relief for him. Before the break, national and club team mate Koscienly talked about how Giroud needed a rest and he was not far from the truth. In the games against Dortmund and Manchester United, you could see a lot of fatigue in his game and there was no doubt that he needed a breather. I believe that instead of Giroud to come back fatigued and worn out, he has come back fit, relaxed and happy that France has qualified #awesome


The international break is most times associated with strenuous fixtures, lot of travelling and intense atmosphere. Most times, players come back tired and worn out. However, this was not the case for most gooners, Sagna did not kick a ball for France, Koscienly did not play the second leg, Giroud did not start in the second leg, Ozil was rested against England, Ramsey had the epic stomach bug and was rested, Gibbs has a cameo appearance against Germany. What that means is that many of our players are coming back fit and ready to go. I definitely want all gooners to be indispensable to their various national teams, but I am sure that I would be forgiven for been selfish this time.

To all my faithful and dedicated readers, gooner of steel apologizes for been away for some days. I was under the weather. However, I am like the players, just back from the break and rearing to go. I always believe that the critical period of the season starts after the Novermber international break.

Can’t wait to sundry Southampton #COYG



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