It’s great to have proper football back after the mind-numbing international break. It’s time for Arsenal to get themselves back into the title race. Okay, I know that we aren’t exactly out of the title race as there are still so many games left, but the fact is that given our start to the season, we need to start hitting our stride and putting a good run of wins together in order to keep as much pressure as possible on those both in front of, and around, us.
I think that the international break would have felt an awful lot longer were it not for the goings on at Liverpool. I’ve had many a hearty laugh at their plight this week. It’s even funnier that the fans have been displaying signs saying `Yanks out` and now they’re dying to jump right back into bed with another group of Americans. What could possibly go wrong? Though, honestly, I am hoping that the hedge fund, Mill Financial, gets control and leaves the club in limbo for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, back to Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey has been talking to ATVO about his nearing a comeback and it is great to know that he is back in training and within touching distance of a return to the squad.
In his interview yesterday, the manager revealed that Vermaelen and Sagna are both ten days away from fitness. Fabregas is described as being ‘very, very short’ but may have a chance for the mid-week game. However, Wenger may just have been describing Fabregas as he stood next to Kobe Bryant when they met recently. Almunia is still a few days away from being available and RvP was just just described as being ‘a bit longer’, which should give him good bragging rights in the dressing room, I’m sure.
I must admit that I think the Fabregas injury is very strange, and surprising, news as the player declared himself fit and ready just two days after the Chelsea game. That was ten days ago. Maybe he aggravated it during his recent trip to Capri? Who knows. But, it is a blow for the team that he isn’t yet 100% fit. When will we ever have a fully fit squad? To be honest, I can’t remember the last time that we were able to field our strongest team. At least the international break was kinder to us than usual. It’s been a while since that has happened.
Two players that are available again are Bendtner and Gibbs. It is great to get both of those players back. The return of Bendtner means that we have a bit more choice up front. It also means that, should we get the inevitable injury in that department, we will at least have cover. Walcott is also back in contention again and he should offer us a good attacking threat down the wing with his pace. If he is involved tomorrow, it will probably be from the bench. Fingers crossed he can improve his delivery of the final ball.
The return of Gibbs will help to keep Clichy on his toes. I think it was in France’s first game of the international break where Clichy failed to find a single French player with his balls into the box. I suppose there is some comfort in knowing that his final ball isn’t just rubbish for us. Some comfort, eh? I really think that we should use this season to give Gibbs some good experience in order to move Clichy on in the summer and make Gibbs our first choice left back from next season onwards. Clichy simply makes too many mistakes defensively and going forward he doesn’t make any kind of telling contribution either.
I hope that some payers used the international break for a bit of good ol’ self reflection on their form to date this season. It is clear that Song needs to concentrate on doing his job as the defensive midfielder. Protect the defence. Don’t pick up yellow cards for pointless fouls.
Diaby is a player that could be great, but just doesn’t seem all that bothered about becoming great. He speaks about wanting to win the Ballon D’Or, but someone should tell him that you actually have to work hard and play consistently well over a whole year to achieve that. So, Abou, time to get the finger out if you are to achieve that ambition. Recently, I am not sure which made me laugh more, that Diaby comment or the plight of Liverpool. Probably the latter, but only just.
Anyway, time is short so that’ll have to do for today. More tomorrow.
Take it easy.