Thursday, April 25, 2024

World Cup round-up: Partey out, MOTM Xhaka & Martinelli plays 90 minutes

After a manic couple of weeks full of surprise results and last-gasp drama, the group stages of the 2022 World Cup are done and dusted.

From an Arsenal perspective, only Thomas Partey has been eliminated while Ben White has returned to England for personal reasons. That means eight Gunners will be in the knockout rounds which start tomorrow. Here’s how the last few days played out…

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Bukayo Saka

Benched for the game against Wales, he watched replacement Phil Foden grab a goal sandwiched between a brace by Marcus Rashford. The result sealed top spot for Gareth Southgate’s side who now face Senegal on Sunday.
Total minutes played: 149 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Aaron Ramsdale

Another game, another 90 minutes on the bench. Unless there’s an injury to Jordan Pickford it’s hard to see our man getting game time from here on out.
Total minutes played: 0

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Ben White

Word coming out of the camp ahead of the Wales game was that White was struggling with illness. After the game, the FA said the defender was leaving Qatar and not expected to return. We don’t know the reason and we’re not going to speculate but we hope he’s ok.
Total minutes played: 0

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Matt Turner

The USA progressed to the knockout rounds with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Iran. Christian Pulisic scored the decisive goal seven minutes before the break and took a kick in the goolies for his troubles. Turner’s second clean sheet of the group stages sealed a last-16 tie with the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon.
Total minutes played: 270 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Takehiro Tomiyasu

After missing Japan’s shock defeat to Costa Rica with a slight hamstring injury, Tomi started on the bench against Spain. He was sent on with 21 minutes remaining to see out a famous victory that sealed top spot in Group E. Alvaro Morata had put Spain ahead after 11 minutes but two goals in three minutes just after the break by Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka completed a remarkable turnaround. Japan will face Croatia on Monday afternoon.
Total minutes played: 66 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท William Saliba

The 21-year-old finally made his World Cup bow as a second half substitute as France went down 1-0 to Tunisia. Wahbi Khazri gave the unfancied Africans the lead five minutes before Wilo’s introduction and they just about held onto the advantage as VAR ruled out Antoine Griezmann’s stoppage time equaliser. Australia’s win over Denmark in the other game saw them progress behind France, who will play Poland on Sunday afternoon.
Total minutes played: 27 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ Thomas Partey

Ghana’s big grudge match with Luis Suarez’s Uruguay didn’t go to plan for either side. After Andre Ayew’s early penalty miss, the South Americans sealed a 2-0 win but still missed out on qualification as South Korea stunned Portugal in stoppage time to snatch second place. Frustrated at the referee’s decision not to award a late penalty, the Uruguayans completely lost it after the final whistle with Edison Cavani punching the VAR monitor. All very funny. Thomas will have a couple of weeks to get over his disappointment before reporting for Arsenal training in Dubai in a couple of weeks’ time.
Total minutes played: 270 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Gabriel Martinelli

Brazil may have lost in stoppage time to Cameroon but Martinelli’s first start for his country was very promising. Playing on the left side of the attack, the 21-year-old was a willing runner with the ball and created several chances for himself to score. We might be biased but we thought he was the Seleรงao’s best player on the night and hope he gets more opportunities in the knockout stages.
Total minutes played: 93 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Gabriel Jesus

Asked to lead the line in place of Richarlison, Gabi was full of energy but rarely offered a threat in the final third. He’s not scored a competitive goal for Brazil since the final of the 2019 Copa America and he’s not scored any goal for either club or country since the north London derby on 1 October. You sense it’s playing on his mind. Brazil play South Korea on Monday and we suspect he’ll be back on the bench.
Total minutes played: 92 (exc. stoppage time)

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Granit Xhaka

Needing a win to confirm a place in the knockout stages, Switzerland took the lead and then had to come from behind on their way to a 3-2 victory in a pulsating encounter with Serbia. As an ethnic Albanian with a history of winding up the Serbs, it was little surprise to see Xhaka, who was voted man of the match, leading the shithousery in the closing stages. While there was no double eagle celebration this time, he was no less fired up about things and even seemed to want to fight his own teammates after the final whistle. Hopefully, he calms down before Switzerland face Portugal on Tuesday.
Total minutes played: 270 (exc. stoppage time)

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Mark Hazelwood

Xhaka exudes self control in a ruckus these days. Amazing.

Hair on Ram's Tail

Glad that he mostly stayed neutral for Switzerland at the end there.


You have to say that, of the Brazil second string, only Martinelli really made a case for inclusion in their first eleven. On the opposite flank, Anthony/Raphinha seemed to want to allow the opposition defence to get back so they could show off the skills they don’t have.


Brazil have now heard of Martinelli.

Number of goals scored by former Arsenal strikers in this World Cup;

Olivier Giroud 2;
Takuma Asano 1;
Harry Kane 0.


Don’t forget Serge “London is still red” Gnabry with 1


Two of our former goalkeepers have not been bad either

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I like to see that.

Szczฤ™sny was 16 when he joined Arsenal, Martinez was 17.

There’s always a soft spot when a player joins so young.

Gerry Peyton will be proud of his boys in this tournament.


I would say three of our former goalkeepers have not been bad, either, with
two of them facing each other in the last 16 today.

A Different George

And Joel Campbell, who got out when he could, looked like a first-rate football player.


He IS a first rate football player.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Seem to remember he also had a good World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

He never seemed to get his club career going though. Just constant one year loan after another.

He definitely had something about him though, pace, skill, quick close control. I always enjoyed watching him.

A Different George

As I remember, a lot of the initial problem (right after he impressed at the 2014 Word Cup) involved getting him authorised to play in England.


Just cannot understand why Arsene Wenger never gave him a chance. Perhaps he was sacrificed due to Arsene fantasy of creating a British core.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

He had plenty of chances in the 15/16 season.

He played 15 games in a row in the Premier League (starting 10 of them).

In addition to starting 2 Champions League, 4 FA Cup, and 2 League Cup games.

That being said, he was competing with Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the right-wing pecking order.


Nothing tastes sweeter than the tears of Suarez.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

40,000,001 tears.


Look like there is a “Real Madrid” clique in the team. Rodrygo preferred to pass to the right even though Martinelli was available, probably not giving Martinelli a chance to shine in a position that literally belongs to Real Madrid Vinicius.

Eric Blair

Glad to hear Partey’s body made it successfully through the tournament.


Antony reminds me of the old Denilson (the one before ours). Tricks and flicks and zero end product. No wonder Jesus was living off scraps the whole game.


Blogs, the arses are banjanxed. You’re probably aware of it but if not, just giving you a heads-up

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