Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Internationals: Flamini And Diaby Injured, Walcott Scores

Arsenal midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby both suffered injury scares as a reserve side from France faced the Democratic Republic of Congo.

21 year-old Diaby, who has featured for France only three times, failed to start the game with a calf problem. France manager Raymond Domenech moved to to ensure that the injury was minor, though, meaning that the midfielder should be fit to rejoin the Arsenal squad on Monday as they host Blackburn at the Emirates.

"He has a small concern with the calf, I did not want to take a risk, so he remained at rest," said Domenech to allay the concerns of Arsenal fans.

Mathieu Flamini is more of a doubt, although it has been reported that the 23 year-old's ankle injury is not a serious one. Flamini has been one of the driving forces behind Arsenal's title push, and while Brazil captain Gilberto Silva is ready to step in in the case of a more serious injury, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that Flamini recovers in time to face Blackburn.

In other international news, Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy featured for his country for the first time in France's 0-0 draw with the Congo.

Theo Walcott also showed some of his promise by scoring a thunderous goal against the Republic of Ireland in a 3-0 victory for England's U21 squad. Walcott picked up the ball on the left flank before cutting inwards and releasing a right-footed rifle into the far corner of the net. He was taken off to a standing ovation five minutes before the end of the match.