Jun 022010

A stag weekend and a loss of internet connection have prevented me from blogging over the past week, but in truth there has been very little to talk about – the Cesc saga rumbles on without a solitary bid from Barcelona, who have rapidly descended into being the most despicable club in terms of how they go about their transfer business.

But with the announcement of the final England squad yesterday, there was at last some news regarding someone else in the squad. Unfortunately, that news was a hammer blow to Theo Walcott, whose apparently nailed on position in the squad was ripped from under his feet by Fabio Capello.

In fairness to the England manager, Walcott has been inconsistent at best since that memorable hattrick in Croatia. There have been glimpses of his outrageous ability, but they have been fleeting. Too often he is sent on as an impact substitute, only to make no apparent difference. In the end, his one-dimensional play has cost him his place.

While his omission can be explained in those terms, it is still surprising for two reasons. The first is that Walcott is a big game player. Look at the matches he is remembered for – his first goal for the club in the Carling Cup final, his run against Liverpool in the Champions League, the Croatia hattrick, and his display against Barcelona a couple of months back – there is a pattern. While he disappoints in the ‘regular’ games, he has sparked to life against the top opposition, precisely the sort he would have been asked to face this summer.

But more than that, his absence is a surprise when you look at the man replacing him – Shaun Wright-Phillips. If Walcott has missed out due to inconsistency, why is the City man there? Even though I had an inkling that Walcott was in danger (due to him playing both friendlies and not doing much in either), I figured that if he was dropped, Adam Johnson was his obvious replacement. After all, the youngster has been comprehensively outperforming Wright-Phillips since joining the same club.

Walcott’s reaction was mature, but now he needs to get angry. He needs to take this as a personal rebuke and use it to spark a determination never to have another unhappy World Cup experience. Not many can say they have suffered from World Cup selection drama twice by the time they are 21. He needs to improve, and he now has a few months to refocus and start again. As Goonerholic points out, his preparations for last season were hampered by playing both senior and Under-21 internationals in the summer – there are no such problems this time around.

So now eleven remain – we still have a decent representation at the World Cup, although if you take the departing Gallas and Senderos out of the equation we have nine travelling to South Africa.

Speaking of the World Cup, the lovely people at Sportingbet are putting together a terrific promotion for all those who fancy their chances of predicting results at the event. All you have to do is pick which team will win each of the 48 group stage matches (team 1, team 2, draw) and also who will lift the trophy. If you get 45 or more correct (and the tournament winner), you will win a share of £1,000,000. Even if your prediction skills are as ropey as mine, you start winning prizes as soon as you get 25 games correct. You don’t even need to predict the scores – just the match winners.

Here is the full prize list (all prizes shared between those qualifying for that particular band):

45+ games correct and outright winner: £1,000,000 cash
40-48 games correct: £40,000 in free bets
35-39 games correct: £35,000 in free bets
30-34 games correct: £30,000 in free bets
25-29 games correct: £25,000 in free bets

Not too shabby. To play, you need to place a qualifying bet (£10 on any sport between now and June 11), and you’ll get a play code. Further bets will earn you more codes.

As an extra bonus, if you are a new user, click here or on the banner in the top right, and you’ll get a £25 sign-up bonus after registering. If you already have an account, you can get straight to the prediction action by clicking here.

Enjoy. And buy me a pint if you win, m’kay?

  15 Responses to “Theo having a rest, Cesc boredom and win a World Cup million”

  1. BBC reporting that Barcelona have entered into official talks:

    “We’ve now made a formal written offer, which we presented to Arsenal yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon.”

    £30m still too low though…

    • Just saw that. I highly doubt their first offer is anything close to what we’re asking for, merely an excuse to talk more about the transfer without being criticised for not making a bid.

  2. can anyone please tell me where the hell is wenger??? what is he up to?? all this crap about cesc leaving going around,and instead coming out on arsenal.com and telling us the gooners what is going on and what is he going to do ,he is hiding under the adebayor and toure sale money and keeping it to him self…. and what is going to happen is on september 2 he will come out and sing his old song how he believes in our players,how we will improve,and that he wants to be judged in may on team performance!!! no wonder cesc is packing his bags and fucking off to barca to win trophys…i’d say that he is sick of wengers bullshit,so is arshavin!!! we have no money ,simple as that… i am sick of it all, and i was stupid enough to listen to wenger that he will invest and bought 16 tickets for me and my friends to emirates cup…. i am a real gooner,i did believe in wenger and what he was trying to do,but its enough… i am sick of his lies….

    • Why does AW need to say anything at all?

    • dude if u are sick of wenger u can fuck off 2 paris and jump from d eiffel tower….

    • A bit contradictory that you say Wenger is silent and he is also telling lies. That would be a feat.

      Wenger has no reason to say anything at this point. We have always done our transfer business privately. It is the correct way to act and if you are a lifelong gooner you will be aware that it is how we have always acted.

  3. http://arsespeak.com/2010/06/02/the-economic-vindication-of-arsene-wenger/
    Everyone needs to read this. We are so lucky to have arsene wenger

  4. @lupe, i can say nothing except the fact that u are a brainwashed loser….aint u tired of wenger, aint u tired of saying we will win next season….we all know why we aint winning and if we dont correct the mistakes, we aint gonna win shit….a friend told me that we’ll win the double this season…emirate cup and amsterdam cup…lol
    Sincerely, if u were a chelsea or manu fan, will u ever think arsenal will win the league with the likes of denilson et al….They are all good players but they aint arsenal standard….can u imagine wilshere saying that he deserves a place in the first team….Guy, we are all tired of wenger, we just aint got no choice….I would be happy when he leaves even though i know he has done his best for arsenal but sincerely, he’s lost it!

    • tha teaser, you are one of the loud minority. Most of us appreciate that as the ‘new boy’ to the global ‘big clubs’ league AW has done an amazing job. We have been pretty close to both PL and CL success in the last few years whilst still being run on a financially viable basis. Sustained success is the long terms aim of this club (my club for nearly 40 years) and we are on target. If you’re a short term glory hunter then arsenal is the wrong team for you.

      • Precisely. Gazidis commented on this very point in his recent Q&A, with the quote “we could have been short term heroes, but at the long term detriment of the club”. That is how we differ from everyone else, and it is a good thing.

  5. brainwashed!…thats all i can say….arsenal’ll never win any trophy but they’ll keep making profit…and then keep making emself Barcelona academy…

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