Time slows down to a crawl

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I feel like I should really log in here for an update of some description – but there’s not a whole lot to bat on about, as you are about to find out. All talk is of England’s match tomorrow and as a result, the Arsenal blogs and Twitterers are all pretty quiet.

And as for England – well as it’s against Croatia, and it’s a qualifier, it should be worth watching, but with no Arsenal involvement I always find it a bit tougher to get myself into a lather about. Walcott, who came of age with that memorable hat-trick in the first fixture in Zagreb, will be hopeful of a berth in the final 23 next summer, but realistically – unless we swoop for a current England international in January – he will be the only one. Barring improbably miraculous break-through seasons, this World Cup will come too soon for our younger emerging English talent, ie Gibbs and Wilshere.

You’d think Walcott’s place is a done deal, and given his pace, his promise and his general improvement, he might too. But nothing is guaranteed there either. I don’t remember him setting the summer friendlies alight, nor was he a regular in Stuart Pearce’s U21 side, so he will be acutely aware he needs to perform this season to be sure of a place on the plane. It’s a big year for him for Arsenal too, and it’ll be good to have him back – ideally on Saturday.

The lack of Arsenal involvement is a relatively new phenomenon. We had a hatful of England internationals in the late 80s and early 90s (Seaman, Adams, Bould, Dixon, Winterburn, Thomas, Rocastle, Smith, Wright, Merson off the top of my head all played for England – though amazingly, Paul Davis never did), and three Arsenal players in each of the last three World Cup finals going back to 1990, when there were none.

So what am I saying? Simply that there’s nothing to talk about until Saturday. Reading the above, that much is clear.

For further proof, look no further than the club’s official mouthpiece, where the top story is van Persie talking about his favourite childhood book. It’s all for charity – so good work and all that – but it’s not enough to write a blog about. I suppose I could mention Merida rejecting a loan deal, Watt wanting a Carling Cup place or Hoyte becoming a man at Watford. But really, I’m not going to. Give me the real stuff.

Trouble is, until Wenger speaks on Thursday, we won’t know the rate of attrition among our returning international players, or who will be returning from injury on Saturday. Logging in every day to the Arsenal.com Injuries page is not going to make the blindest bit of difference.

Well, that rambled on a bit. Miraculous, really.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.