October Internationals Player Ratings & Man of the Match

Talking Points

For some of our players this international break actually carried some weight. Some were climbing up the record boards, while some were reaching milestone appearance numbers but nothing beats sending your country to the World Cup does it? See how the Arsenal boy’s got on below.

Olivier Giroud – 7

Olivier Giroud showed why he should be in Didier Deschamps plans come summer time after scoring in France’s 2-1 victory over Belarus. Oli G’s goal saw him overtake Public Enemy #1 of Deschamps, Karim Benzema to become France’s 7th all-time top goalscorer with 28 goals.

Alex Iwobi – 8

Just seven minutes after coming onto the pitch as a sub, the 21-year-old guided Nigeria to Russia with a very well taken goal which saw the Eagles beat Zambia 1-0. A very efficient performance.

Alexis Sanchez – 7

Like Alex Iwobi, Alexis Sanchez came up with the goods to jet Chile half way across the world next summer. Chile had been leading 1-0 until the 82nd minute until Ecuador’s Romario Ibarra levelled things up. Thankfully for Chile though, Sanchez was on call to slot home four minutes later… Much to the disbelief of this fan:

David Ospina – 5

Unfortunately for Colombia’s number one he couldn’t keep out two late efforts from Paraguay who came from behind to cancel out Radamel Falcao’s opener.

Aaron Ramsey – 6

It was a bitter-sweet international break for Aaron Ramsey. On Friday he christened his 50th appearance for Wales with a lovely assist for Tom Lawrence’s goal in their 1-0 win over Georgia. However, that assist would prove not to matter on Monday night when James McClean’s goal in Cardiff saw Ireland take Wales’ place for a play-off spot in Group D.

Sead Kolasinac – 6

Sead didn’t have the most outstanding international break. Firstly he featured in Bosnia’s 4-3 loss against Belgium before being subbed at half time in their next game against Hungary, which they won 2-1, all goals coming in the second half.

Granit Xhaka – 7

This Swiss was another player to help his team earn their boarding pass for Russia 2018. Xhaka got the ball rolling for Switzerland in the first game of the break with a goal from close range in their 5-2 win over Hungary which confirmed their place in next summer’s tournament.

Nacho Monreal – 6

Out of their two games during the break Nacho Monreal played one of Spain’s games. The game he participated in saw him help his nation to a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Israel in Jerusalem after they had already qualified for next summer’s World Cup.

Mohamed Elneny – 6

In one of the most shared games on twitter over the past few days, we got to watch Mohamed Elneny watch Mohamed Salah stick Egypt’s hat into the World Cup ring for the first time since 1990. Hopefully we will see Elneny progress further on the World stage.

Shkodran Mustafi – N/A

Unfortunately for Shkodran Mustafi, who has been in good form of late, he could only last 36 minutes of Germany’s 5-1 win over Azerbaijan. Mustafi was forced off with an injury which Germany manager, Joachim Low, has spoken on:

“With Mustafi it seems that it is a muscle tear or some muscle fibre tear. In any case it could force him to a longer break.”

Man of the Break:

For me, the man of the break is someone who has been in and out of the first team this season due to a little injury. Alex Iwobi. The 21-year-old seems to be very confident and in a great run of form at the moment as he followed up his goal against Brighton by sending his country to the World Cup. Not a bad month so far for the youngster, who is now able to tick off something on the bucket list of millions of people around the world.

About the Author

Art de Roche
Hi I’m Art and I’m currently studying Sports Journalism at the University of Gloucestershire. I support Arsenal and try to get down to the Emirates a few times each season hoping that we can finally win the Premier League again. But hopefully I write a bit more often than Arsenal win Premier Leagues!