Sorry for no posts for the last few days, I was too annoyed after the Chelsea game to write any kind of balanced post so thought it better just to say nothing. There were some positives to take from the game; Fabianski played alright, we weren’t steamrollered out of the way like in previous encounters, we started well and created some good chances (which really ought to have been put away.)
The obvious downside being that for all of our possession, we generally failed to do anything with it and again our defence didn’t have the best of games. Squillaci looked a bit suspect again and Clichy left us a bit exposed at the back by getting caught forward meaning that Koscielny had to move wider to cover for him. Anyway, I don’t really want to go into the game too much now as it is in the past and we just have to forget about it. However, it does leave me a bit less optimistic about our defence for the remainder of the season. After showing signs of adapting quickly over the first few games, our new centre backs have been shown to be a bit wanting of late but I think that the return of Vermaelen, whenever that may be, should help us become a bit more solid in that area.
Alex Song is a player that has been a bit of a disappointment so far this season and just hasn’t matched the form that he carried through for the majority of last season. He seems to have lost his focus a bit and has forgotten that his main role is to be the defensive midfielder, not the guy that pops up from deep to score a goal. He has also given away a lot of totally needless fouls so he needs to be a bit more intelligent and stop picking up silly bookings.
Thierry Henry has gotten himself quite the new pad in New York, and it only cost him a cool $14.85m. It’s well for some.
Robert Pires is back training with the club and has been talking about his arrival at the club and how he was wondering whether or not he had made the right decision as he sat on the bench away at Sunderland. He went on to say that he had his best years with us. A sentiment I wholly agree with and he is a player that we should never have let go, though his Champions League final substitution hammered the nails into his Arsenal career’s coffin.
Nicklas Bendtner has revealed that he hopes to be back in first team contention in the next two weeks. Whether or not he makes the bench for the Birmingham game remains to be seen. It will be good to have the big Dane back in the squad.
Jeremy Wilson spoke during the week about how the property side of business at Arsenal is set to provide Wenger with an extra 50m over the next three years or so. Though, some of that money will go towards new pitches and the Robin Van Persie medical & rehabilitation wing at Colney, the remainder should be available for Wenger to spend on players, should he choose to do so. Hopefully the bulk of that money will go towards strengthening the spine of our team, starting with a new goalkeeper. I’m not sure how based in fact and reality the above figure is, but you would hope that a conservative estimate would leave about 20m for investment in players. The big question being, will Wenger choose to spend the money that is clearly available to him? I feel that if this season doesn’t deliver a trophy, then we will see some clearing out of the dead wood in the summer as the boss has already said that we can no longer use the excuse of being a young team. He knows that it is time for the team to deliver and, if not, bite the bullet and make the necessary changes that could turn the corner for this team.
Speaking of which, Vito Mannone has been speaking about his frustration at not getting much playing time at the club. To be honest, you couldn’t blame him as it must be very hard to sit there and watch both the no1 and no2 goalkeepers making umpteen mistakes but yet he still doesn’t get the chance to prove himself. He has his eye on a move to Milan, but I’d be surprised if he got that without much playing experience under his belt.
Friday saw some unexpected back-up for Wenger’s views on tackling come in the form of comments from former Liverpool pikey, Danny Murphy, who basically echoed everything that Wenger said about tackling a few weeks ago. I bet there won’t be any castigation of Murphy in the papers like there was for Wenger. What is needed now are some more players to come out with similar statements. Though he did name Wolves, Blackburn and Stoke as the three main culprits, so it will be very interesting to see whether those three clubs and their despicable managers have anything to say on the matter. It’s no coincidence, in my opinion, that it finally took a tackle by a foreigner to make people start to realize that dangerous and reckless tackling needs to be dealt with. There certainly wasn’t the same level of castigation and outcry after the recent Henry and Wilkinson tackles. Funny that… Though you still get the unfathomably dimwitted views of monkeys like Shawcross that come out in defence of said tackling. I suppose it is because he knows that if he can’t make dangerous tackles, he becomes surplus to requirements in the world of football.
Chamakh has been talking about how Cesc was a factor in his deciding to sign for us and who could blame him for that? If you had to choose between playing in a team with Cesc, or playing in a team with Cattermole (Sunderland) or Rodriguez (Liverpool), it’s a bit of a no-brainer. The papers have also been leading with his describing Wilshere as ‘adorable’ off the field, but he was just trying to say that Wilshere is a top bloke, a really nice guy. However, it makes for better reading (and more website hits, which generates more advertising revenue) if it is translated literally rather than analyzing what he said for context and meaning.
The Goon Blog has been talking about the imminent arrival of Wellington Silva in January and also arse2mouse’s post about Danny Murphy’s comments regarding the dangerous tackling in the Premier League and how the managers of teams like Wolves, Stoke and Blackburn should shoulder a lot of the blame for said tackling. Both posts are a good read, check them out.
Barney Ronay has a good article about Wilshere in The Guardian in which he discusses the English desire to overwork their latest and greatest footballing prospect. IT’s just ridiculous that the player should have to play for both the U21s and senior squad in the space of four or five days. He should only be in one squad, not both and he should be treated with care and respect, not exploited until he breaks down with injury, like what happened with Walcott.
Apologies if some of the news in this post is a bit dated, I wrote bits and pieces day by day during the week, without feeling that there was enough to publish.
This international week has already gone on long enough and it is still a whole week until the return to Arsenal. Not sure how I am going to fill my time between now and then.
Right, that’ll have to do for today, hopefully some news will crop up over the coming days that will warrant a post, but what with it being international week, that’s unlikely to happen until Wednesday or Thursday when the players return to the club and we get some team news ahead of the visit of Birmingham.
Take it easy.