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September 8, 2011 / benwolfson08

International play

The Premier League has had a two-week layoff due to international play across the world, mainly for qualifying matches to Euro 2012.

The 17-year old had three assists in England's 4-1 victory over Israel

Here are some random thoughts as I watched highlights of Arsenal’s players as well as the U.S. game vs. Belgium.

To start off… Arsenal looks like they have a future stud in 17-year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was on Aug. 8 from Southampton for a fee of around £12 million.

The comparisons to Theo Walcott are expected, both are former 17-year old prodigies who joined Arsenal from Southampton.

Walcott, now at age 22 is on the way to a breakout season for the Gunners and has emerged as a fixture in Fabio Capello’s England line-up as well.

Oxlade-Chamberlain who is on Arsenal’s first team and only has one appearance this season — in the second half of the 8-2 drubbing AFC took to Manchester United two weeks ago.

He competed for the English U-21 squad against Israel and was named the Man of the Match after coming on as a substitute after England was down to Israel 1-0. Arsenal player Henri Lansbury also played for the U-21 squad.

The moment he set foot onto the pitch Ox wreaked havoc on the Israeli defense and had three assists, while winning a penalty which set up another goal.

Meanwhile starting goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was named the Man of the Match for Poland after drawing 2-2 vs. Germany.

During the match legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, said of Szczesny, “World class from Szczesny. For me, a GK is world class when he saves the unsaveables. And Szczseny managed that.”

Arsenal’s 20-year old midfielder, Welsh international, Aaron Ramsey put on a splendid display in a 1-0 loss to England. He was clearly Wales’ best player in the game, and looked to be regaining his form.

In other news for the Red and White, another injury struck the team as the Guardian reported that defender Thomas Vermaelen would be out for six weeks after he had surgery on his left ankle on Monday Sept. 5 in Sweden.

The 25-year old is the Gunners best defender by far, and this is a tough loss to swallow for the fans. Hopefully Verm will come back healthy and until then I hope Per Mertesacker will dominate on the back-line.

Meanwhile side-lined midfielder Jack Wilshere is getting a new tattoo on his right arm

He posted this picture on his Twitter feed this morning.

That’s all for now, later this week I will blog about my tour of the Emirates, what I thought of the USMNT game against Belgium and my expectations for Saturday’s match against Swansea.

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