LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Per Mertesacker of Arsenal with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on October 2, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Welcome to week two of what may be the worst International break ever. At least last time we had the promise of transfer activity to help with the tedium; now, we're (or at least I am) waiting desperately for highlights of Arsenal U-18's 3-0 smashing of Chelsea (yeah, take THAT!). This week promises to get a little more exciting though; the young, exciting and very lovable Armenia travel to Ireland with a playoff place on the line, while Belgium have to match Turkey's result against Azerbaijian. The problem for the Belgians is that they're away to the unbeaten Germany, who have scored 31 goals and conceded 6, and beat Turkey 3-1, with Per Mertesacker playing 90 minutes. They're going to win the Euros, aren't they?
Oh, and Scotland could qualify. But they're playing Spain, so they won't.
Anyway, there were 16 Arsenal players involved with Internationals this week. Here's some of the highlights:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a hattrick, and plays again on Tuesday against Norway U21's. Hey, Marouane Chamakh scored! Yeah, it was against those giants Tanzania, but at least he's starting to score again. For the record, Morroco won 3-1, so Chamakh will be off to Gabon/Equatorial Guinea in January. Chamakh's competitor, Park Ju-Young also scored twice against Lukasz Fabianski and Poland in a 2-2 draw. That makes it 6 goals for South Korea since he signed for Arsenal. Maybe we should, you know, play him? To round off the Arsenal scorers, Aaron Ramsey scored from the spot as Wales ended Switzerland's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 with a 2-0 victory in Swansea. With Gareth Bale, the aforementioned Ramsey, Joe Allen and the ever present Craig Bellamy, Wales actually have a decent side, and managed to achieve what England didn't, beating Montenegro and Switzerland at home. Don't be surprised if they qualify for the play offs in 2014.
Theo Walcott played 75 minutes in England's 2-2 draw with Montenegro, putting in a beautiful cross for Ashley Young to head home. Walcott was taken off after Wayne Rooney showed off his first class idiot skills and got himself sent off for kicking out. Great job, Wayne! Gary Cahill looked rubbish and England blew a 2 goal lead. So, ENGLAND IN CRISIS, CAPELLO OUT! Gervinho made it 3 out of 3 in Arsenal wingers involved with international goals, as he set up former Arsenal man Kolo Toure. The Ivory Coast won 2-1, and Gervinho will join Chamakh in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea. Alex Song and Tomas Rosicky played 90 minutes, both in losing efforts.
FInally, a special mention to Dutch manager, Burt van Marwijk. Despite having qualified, and being at home to Moldova, van Marwijk had Robin van Persie play the entire 90 minutes.
That concludes this week's international round up. Use the space below to comment on anything interesting that happens on Tuesday, or on FIFA 12, or on the new Football Manager 12 demo. The team talks are awesome!