Right, seeing as it’s New Year’s Eve I figure that it’s time to start looking ahead and being positive. Time to try and put the clusterfuck that was the Wigan debacle behind us and focus on getting maximum points from our first two games in 2011.
2011, Jesus. Is it just me or does saying that make you feel like you are living in the future? Must mean that I am getting old. Balls.
Anyway, looking ahead to tomorrow’s game I think that we will again see a raft of changes made to the starting eleven. Unfortunately, barring some David Seaman-esque accident at home, I am pretty sure that Fabianski will start in goal despite the fact that his lack of organisational ability and weakness on aerial balls is a big part of our defensive issues. Though, in fairness, the four players playing in front of him don’t exactly do him any favours in terms of offering any form of protection.
I think that the starting team will be:
Sagna Djourou Koscielny Clichy
Fabregas Song Nasri
At least that is what I hope it will be, given the players available. I think that Djourou is better than Squillaci and also that Koscielny looks to be more comfortable playing alongside him. I hope that Nasri will be moved back into the middle as that is where he is most effective as I think that we may see Wilshere getting a rest, though hopefully he will still be on the bench. Moving Nasri into the middle would allow the starting of Walcott and Arshavin out wide. Arshavin is a player that can deliver a goal or an assist no matter how little overall contribution he makes to the team effort. His work ethic annoys me, but you can’t really say that he doesn’t offer an end product. Walcott’s pace would pose Birmingham a big threat right from the off.
That would leave the likes of Szczesny, Squillaci, Eboue, Denilson, Wilshere, RvP and Bendtner making up the bench. Quite a strong bench.
Diaby will be out for a number of weeks following the injury he picked up against Wigan. So, we probably won’t see him playing again until mid-February if his previous recovery rates are anything to go by. I’m not all that bothered by his absence, to be honest, and wouldn’t shed a tear were he to be offloaded at some point in 2011. Vermaelen, Gibbs and Almunia remain unavailable.
There are reports going around that Nordveit has joined Borussia Monchengladbach on a two and a half year deal. The initial reports were that he left for a fee of €800,000 but @YoungGunsBlog (website link) is today reporting that the club have foregone any fee in place of getting a hefty sell-on percentage clause inserted into the deal.
Ryo Miyaichi is currently taking part in the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament (全国高等学校サッカー選手権大会) for his school Chukyodai Chukyo Sigh School (中京大中京 or 中京大中京高校) after which he will join up with Arsenal. The games are being shown on Nippon TV (日テレ), ch4, here is the link for the website. It’s in Japanese.
Thanks for reading over the past year. Here’s hoping that Arsenal can bring home some silverware in 2011. Any silverware will do, as long as it isn’t just the Emirates Cup. That would suck balls. Whilst I’m hoping for things in 2011, would somebody please beat ManUre in the league before the season ends? Don’t want that lot calling themselves The Invincibles.
The blog will be turning two years old in March, bloody hell, time flies!
Finally, I have a question that has been bugging me for the last day or so. I have a very hazy memory of being at a game at Highbury in the mid-90s, sitting in the North Bank as usual, Keown and Selley went for the same ball in or around the half-way line, Keown ended up kicking(?) Selley and Selley had to go off injured. Did this actually happen or has my memory been destroyed by the amount of boozing that I have done in the intervening years? I’m not talking about the serious leg break that effectively ended Selley’s career prospects. Neither my brother nor friend that were at the game with me can remember any such incident, nor can @DarrenArsenal1 or @sms_adrian, so it may be that I have gone mad. Tried a Google search last night, but to no avail. Anyway, if you can remember anything about whether or not this actually happened, please stick it in a comment.
Right, I’d best be off. Have yourselves a great New Year’s and I’ll see you on the other side, hopefully with three more points on the board.
Take it easy.