“We are sorry for everyone, the fans, for that result, and we are disappointed we did not beat Milan – but now we have to focus on Saturday, when we play Birmingham, and we have to win that game.”
And he is right, we really must win this game if we want to win the league.
The squad tomorrow has been released and here it is:
Arsenal (from): Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Flamini, Fabregas, Hleb, Adebayor, Eduardo, Lehmann, Bendtner, Denilson, Gilberto, J Hoyte, Traore, Song.
Star Man: Theo Walcott
Theo has returned to the squad, returned to the first team and returned to his best. He had a great cameo against Milan and a good recent performance for the England Under 21s.
As predicted yesterday, it looks like young Theo Wallcott will get a start on the right hand side of midfield replacing the suspended Eboue. Almunia is back in the squad and could start. Song also returns and is our central defensive backup.
Lehmann is kind of hoping he maintains his place and it’s a hard one to call, but Almunia has done pretty well this season. Lehmann says in an interview with The Mirror:
“When I’m under pressure in big games, you can rely on me, I’ve played four or five games in a row, we will see how it goes on.
Arsene knows how vital these points can be. He will focus the squad, or rather has to focus the squad. We can realistically win the title this season and Saturday’s game is one step closer.
“We have one big advantage in our position (as Premier League leaders) and that is we do not have to look at the others. We just want to perform and get the points. I look at the game as a good opportunity to take three points and want us to give everything to try to do it.”
Away from the Birmingham game, Robin Van Persie is on his comeback trail, and Arsene said:
“Robin is not a very long away from being fit at all, but he lacks match-practice.”
Could both Rosicky & Van Persie add more depth in the run in to the league, I hope so…
In other news, we’re getting richer. It was announced today the our profits are up 54%. Here’s a quick quote from the Guardian’s web site….
“English Premier League leaders Arsenal Football Club posted a 54 percent rise in first half profits on Friday, boosted by new big money TV deals and the sale of former captain Thierry Henry over the summer. The club said pretax profit rose to 20 million pounds ($39.09 million) in the 6 months to Nov. 30 from 12.6 million a year ago.”
To throw more facts and figures and a spanner in the works, income from broadcasting alone were up by £6.5m to £24.3m for last year and our match day revenue is up to just over £40m, working out at approx £2m per game. The pre-season Emirates Cup no doubt added to this, and additional revenue from Brazil games can be included too.
However, our net debt increased from £268.2m to £307.1m as for-casted, but I’ll be much happier when there’s no debt and loads of profits… that day will come sooner rather than later I hope!!
Keith Edelman has been speaking about Arsene’s future and there an interesting article
circulating the websites and forums, which makes for good reading.
In youth news, there’s an interesting peice here on Jack Wilkshire
, a player who Young Guns has compared to Alex Hleb. And another good peice on next year’s goalkeeping position and the emerging Vito Mannone
Anyway here’s a quick line up prediction, pretty much the same as yesterday, but I do think Almunia will start now, and am hearing positives about Hleb and Adebayor too!
Ade and Hleb are suffering from a stiff neck and a foot problem respectively, but they’re both rated 70 – 30 to play, so I’m sure they’ll make it. If they don’t we may see Bendtner and Denilson take their places.
More tomorrow. I’m rather late for my evening travels…]]>