The big news this morning is the blow that Theo Walcott took from San Marino’s keeper Aldo Simoncini. I’ve only seen videos and photos but it looks a terrible foul by Simoncini and one which should have been a straight red card. He wasn’t even booked, probably and ironically, because “Simoncini won the ball”.
Unironically, The Daily Mail, who normally have little love for the Arsenal and are quick to defend red card tackles as long as the player “won the ball”, published a pretty scathing review of the tackle and have the best photos of the incident. Go figure.
Walcott walked off the field but then suffered difficulty breathing and had to be stretchered to the changing room. From there he went to the hospital and spent the evening. At least those are the reports I’m hearing. Accuracy doesn’t really matter for this story, what matters is that Gooners panic and say things like “I never thought that West Ham would be Theo’s last game for Arsenal” and “sad end to his Arsenal career, but fuck him I never rated him anyway.”
I suspect that since it’s October and since his rib is reportedly not broken, we may have Theo to kick around for a few more games. Maybe. We’ll see.
England looked comically poor against San Marino and the score line certainly flattered the home side. The highlights are available on 101 Great Goals and while you watch them, remember these are the highlights. The Ox got on the score sheet for England’s fifth and it was the pick of the litter. Cleverly loses possession while dribbling straight at Ox and the ball goes to the Arsenal man, who simply passes the ball into the upper corner to become “the fourth youngest ever England goal scorer”. After the game, Ox said that he felt relieved to get his first England goal because apparently his dad has been giving him stick about it.
Meanwhile in the Welsh game, Gareth Bale continued the trend of proving me right by both getting fouled and diving at the same time. As I wrote a few days back, there exists the possibility that a player is fouled and also dives. Here in this gif you see that happen again. I know that no one agrees with me but I definitely think Bale should have been booked and that he was fouled.
The other thing that happened in that Wales game is that Aaron Ramsey missed a bunch of chances. Petulantly stripped of the captaincy by Welsh manager Chris Coleman after Ramsey said he didn’t want to play with the man who broke his leg (Ryan Shawcross), the Arsenal man showed real class to play on and keep the Welsh team driving forward. Shame he didn’t get on the score sheet. That would have been the ultimate middle finger to Coleman.
And finally, I’d just like to remind everyone that this guy named Falcao is really good. Really good. Love to see him at Arsenal.
Other stuff happened yesterday too. Discuss that and tell me that I have my head up my ass for believing that a player should be booked for simulation even if they are fouled in the comments below.