I love a Friday that falls before a weekend game. You begin to get that kind of giddy, child-like feeling that can only come with the anticipation of the weekend’s Arsenal game. When you combine that feeling with the end of a week’s work, then it all makes for the perfect ingredients for beer and football.
The team news was touched on in yesterday’s blog. Van Persie and Eduardo will both undergo late fitness tests ahead of the game. Gallas, Almunia and Clichy are all definitely out. It really is frustrating, to say the least, that we can’t seem to get our entire squad fit and injury free at the one time, or for any period of time at all this season. It just leaves you wondering what might have been. As it stands, the team has done well considering that the deck seems to have been stacked against them, injury-wise, all season.
I have to say that I am not a big fan of Wigan. That’s not particularly because of their players, but more because of the heritage of their manager. That being said he has taken a few of our players on loan over the years, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like the man.
Even though we are beset with injury, I feel that we still have more than enough to deal with this Wigan side. Though it won’t be an easy game, i feel that we can shade it 2-1 or 3-1. Arshavin will come back refreshed from a week break and will be ready to renew and develop his relationship with Cesc and Adebayor and to be honest it is a relationship that I can’t wait to see grow into one of the most, if not the most potent attacking forces in the premiership. You then throw Walcott and Eduardo/Van Persie on top of that and I think that we have the potential to blow any team away when all are fully fit.
I think that most Arsenal fans have given the team a hard time at some point or other this season and, to be fair, it was justified. There were times when we were simply abysmal, there’s no other way to put it. However, we are now on the longest unbeaten run of any premiership team this season and the squad must be given great credit for turning what looked to be a sinking ship around and putting a run together that could salvage our season and maybe even have something more than Champions League qualification to show for it at the end of the campaign.
Is it just me, or has the addition of Arshavin and the return of Cesc filled Arsenal fans with a level of optimism and confidence that we can achieve something that we haven’t had for a few seasons now? I actually feel like our games will be exciting again whereas before Christmas I often felt like “ah, Arsenal are playing tonight, I guess I’m going to have to endure ninety minutes of passing the ball sideways and generally doing fuck all with it and then, just for good measure, we’ll concede a late goal and I’ll go to bed narky and cranky.” Are narky and cranky the same thing? Is narky an Irish-English word?
But now, I feel that we are just around the corner from giving some team the mother and father of all beatings, like we are the LA cops and the riots are just about to kick off. Will Wigan be our Rodney King? I certainly hope so, in a purely footballing sense, of course.
Wenger has said that Gallas hasn’t played his last game for the club and with his current form, I hope he hasn’t. He got hammered earlier in the season for his antics and performances but since being stripped of his captaincy he has turned things around and he deserves a lot of credit for that. I hope that we keep him because he is a good defender and he has a lot to offer our younger players. We can argue that he isn’t suited to play alongside Kolo due to their height etc, but we are a better squad with him in it than we are without him. So, even if he doesn’t sign a new deal, I hope he stays until the end of his current one.
Bayern are rumoured to be interested in trying to lure the boss away from the club, but I think we all know that this story is a load of cock. Journalistic masturbation, if you will. How many times do our players or manager have to reaffirm their commitment to the club before the press will take heed? They’re all a crowd of ballbags. Lazy ballbags at that. Luckily, living in Japan means that I don’t get bombarded with as much shit as European based folk who get the whole tabloid and Sky Sports News bullshit around the clock. That and not getting so much grief from mates when we lose are the only two advantages of living so far from the Emirates.
Anyway, that’ll do for today. More team news and random consciousness tomorrow.