Ah, the bloody frustration of having 600 words written only for the installation of the latest version of iTunes to restart my computer before I had saved the draft. Bye bye, writing. Microsoft, you can suck my balls for not having an auto save feature in Windows Live Writer. Why I oughta!
Anyway, I suppose I should just jump straight into the Nicklas Bendtner story that is being reported by both John Cross in The Mirror and David Hytner in The Guardian, today. In a move that simultaneously smacks of over-cockiness and a lack of intelligence, our big Dane has said that he will look to get a transfer away from the club if he isn’t given more playing time. Now, had he been fit and available for selection for the majority of this calendar year, that wouldn’t be an unreasonable thing for him to say. But, the fact is that he hasn’t been fit for the majority of this year and has only just recently returned to training following his long-term groin injury. So, for him to come out so soon after returning to fitness with a statement like this is, at best, ill-advised. I suspect that part of the frustration that has led him to make the statement is borne out of seeing a clearly unfit RvP come on as a substitute in the Newcastle game instead of our overly confident Dane. To be honest, I have absolutely no sympathy for his plight as had he not gone off to the World Cup still carrying said groin injury, he would probably have been fit to start the season and would have had more playing time by now.
“If the situation doesn’t improve – if I keep sitting on the bench at Arsenal – I must leave. It’s as simple as that. My first priority is – as it has always been – to play for Arsenal. I’ve had a lot of patience and won’t be warming the bench anymore. I want to play regularly and I hope it will be for Arsenal.”
Regardless of his reasons for making the statement, he would do well to keep his mouth shut and do his talking on the field in the form of goals, a sentiment echoed by Wenger in the same articles that I have linked to below. Bendtner is a player that divides loyalties, he is either loved or hated by the fans. There aren’t many sitting on the fence, and I have a feeling that he could well lose some of his supporters with an outburst like this. When you consider that Chamakh has made such a great start to his Arsenal career scoring goals and winning penalties, it is just right that Bendtner (and RvP) will have to be a bit patient before getting back into the starting eleven. They can’t realistically expect to walk straight back into the team. If you would like you read the Mirror’s article, click here, and if you would like to read the article in The Guardian, click here.
A piece of potentially Arsenal related news is that David Moyes has revealed that he no longer thinks that Pienaar will sign the contract offer that has been on the table for some time now and that he is set to leave on a Bosman at the end of the season. He is a player I like and he could do a good job for us. The fact that he would be going on a free would mean that we would still have a sizeable transfer kitty to strengthen the defence and goalkeeping departments.
Looking at tomorrow’s game, it will be the final game of Koscielny’s two match ban and hopefully his will be the last suspension that we pick up for a while. So, as I said yesterday, we should line up with Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Wilshere, Nasri, Arshavin and Chamakh.
The referee for the game is Howard Webb, who so far this season has refereed nine games in which he has given thirty-three yellow card and no red cards, which averages out to about 3.7 yellow cards per game. To be honest, I am not a fan of Webb at all. To me, both Webb and Clattenburg are the refereeing equivalent of our big Dane; arrogant, overly-confident, cocky ballbags. I don’t mean Bendtner is a ballbag, just making a comparison of their cockiness.
An interesting statistic ahead of tomorrow’s game is that, should we manage to keep a clean sheet, it will be the first time since May 2005 that we have kept three consecutive clean sheets away from home. Is it any wonder that we haven’t won anything for so long?
There was an interview excerpt with Cesc and Walcott on the BBC website yesterday and it may appear in a fuller form on today’s Football Focus, I think. Though don’t quote me on that.
Lee Dixon talks a bit of sense on tackling, here, and he is big enough to hold his hands up about MOTD not showing, or even mentioning, Karl Henry’s tackle on Arshavin on Wednesday night.
Finally, as you may, or indeed may not, have noticed there is now a Paddy Power banner on the right side of this page. If you click on that banner, it will take you to their site and you can get a FREE £10 bet with them if you sign up for a new account. There is no pressure on you to continue betting with them afterwards. The one thing I will say is that putting a few pounds/euros down on Premier League games really helps to make the games a whole lot more fun and interesting. I’m a BIG fan of the goal scorer markets, going back to the days when Freddie couldn’t stop scoring in the season run-in way back in 2002. So, get your finger out, click on the banner, sign up and put your FREE £10 bet on Arsenal this weekend. Remember, you can get Everton/Arsenal (half-time/full-time) at 22/1. Pretty good odds! Arsenal are 5/4 to win, a draw is 9/4. Fabregas and Arshavin are 15/2 for first goal, Walcott is 8/1 and Nasri 9/1. Good luck!
You can follow me on Twitter here: @colm_smyth
That’s about all I have time for. Have a good weekend.