With the final of the Euro 2012 championships looming on Sunday, a raft of Arsenal’s players have been utilised for their countries over the last three weeks in Ukraine and Poland. The tournament has seen some of the Gunners’ summer signings showcased also as the squad looks to be bolstered ahead of the 2012-13 Premier League campaign. FREEbets.org.uk‘s odds and predictions have been impacted by the presence of some of the Emirates Stadium side’s players; here is a breakdown of how they have faired this summer.
Per Mertesacker – The experienced centre-half had to watch on as Joachim Low preferred Bundesliga pair Holger Bastuber and Mats Hummels. An inconsistent start to his time at Arsenal may well have played a part in the defender losing his spot in the team.
Laurent Koscielny – Initially overlooked for the starting line-up, Koscielny deputised for the suspended Phillippe Mexes in France’s quarter-final against Spain. Despite Les Bleus putting in a limp performance against the world champions and being eliminated, Koscielny did nothing to hurt his chances of further inclusion in the future.
Tomas Rosicky – Had a strong second half of the 2011-12 season with the Gunners, but struggled with injury throughout the Euro 2012 campaign. Despite this he acted as a senior figure both on and off the pitch to help a transitional Czech Republic team to the knockout stages.
Robin van Persie – Arsenal’s captain did not live up the expectations place on him after a wonderful 2011-12 domestic season. Netherlands were poor throughout the tournament, with a lack of potency in front of goal the reason for this; RVP must harbour some of this criticism despite scoring against Germany.
Wojciech Szczesny – One of the most high-profile players for co-hosts Poland, Szczesny got sent-off against Greece in the opening game after conceding a penalty. Suspended for the rest of the competition as the Poles were eliminated in the group stages.
Theo Walcott – Not fully given a chance to star by Roy Hodgson, Walcott had to make-do with substitute appearances for England. Played a pivotal role in changing the game against Sweden in the Three Lions’ favour by scoring one and setting Danny Welbeck up to score the winner in a 3-2 thriller.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Again was limited to cameo appearances for England, but did start the opening game against France. The Ox put in a promising performance against Les Bleus, and the experience of an international tournament will only benefit the gifted youngster.
Nicklas Bendtner – Unlike Van Persie, the Danes’ best performances seem to be saved for his country rather than club. The Gunners fringe forward bagged a brace of headers for the Scandinavians against Portugal, but was also fined for revealing his underpants with a betting sponsor on them. Will have done enough to stoke interest in him this summer, as a transfer looks likely.
Andrei Arshavin – Sent back to Zenit St Petersburg on loan by Arsene Wenger in January, Arshavin looked sharp and match-fit for Russia in the tournament. Although the eastern European powerhouses were eliminated in the group stages, the playmaker did enough to suggest that he could still potentially have a role to play in north London.
Lukas Podolski – One of Germany’s most experienced campaigners, Podolski was expected to be a driving force in the side’s quest for glory. Started all games except the quarter-final against Greece, and scored against Denmark but did not show the scintillating attacking ability that prompted Arsene Wenger to buy him this summer.
Olivier Giroud – Had to play second fiddle to Karim Benzema for France, but did still get opportunities to occasionally play. Showed enough to suggest that he could well be an important player for the Gunners next term and can take a chunk of the side’s goalscoring responsibilities away from Van Persie.