The international break is often a vilified break from football that essentially provides more opportunities for several players to return hobbling on to the training ground from far-flung corners of the world.
However Arsenal, who have had recent reason to be frustrated with the international schedules due to the Abou Diaby France debacle, are planning to utilise the break to rehabilitate some of their recently crocked stars.
A behind closed doors friendly is reportedly in the offing, with potential opponents including Barnet and Charlton XI’s. It would present an excellent opportunity for the likes of Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Bacary Sagna to step up their recovery from respective injuries.
Yet, while it will also present a great opportunity for fringe players and youth-teamers to get some action under their belt another, more experienced player will be hoping to make a significant impact if the game goes ahead.
Andrei Arshavin finds himself in a difficult situation at Arsenal FC. Mostly the result of his own-doing with last season’s mediocre and often lazy performances he has found himself out of the side after Arsene Wenger did decent business in the summer.
Yet he is reportedly in the best shape of his career physically, smashing his PB’s in the Arsenal pre-season fitness testing and after looking the part against Coventry in a swashbuckling enigmatic League Cup display he probably hoped for a better run in the squad at the Emirates.
That has not been the case but now with Theo Walcott looking at a spell on the side-lines Arshavin could take advantage of his Capello-enforced international exile by putting in a name for himself with a hard-working performance in this friendly
While they are often tepid games with little or no bearing significance toward the result Arshavin can only seize the moment and ask to feature, then put in a superb display to force his way into Arsenal’s plans.
His contract runs out this summer and he needs to put himself in the shop window to secure a move to what is believed to be his preference, a London club.
If not rumours persist that the Russian will hang up his boots at his contract end rather then return to his homeland, as he begins to raise his family in an English way of life.
Either way, behind closed doors or not, this is Arshavin’s chance to catch the eye.
image: © Ronie Macdonald