Despite the stalemate at the JJB, Arsene is confident about the squad. And I agree. Our game was thwarted some what by pitch, more on that later… but on the whole, we played well, defended well and were unlucky not to win. If you look at our squad on Sunday, we were injury ravaged.
Gilberto was obviously lacking match practice. I’m sure he will get it back as he’s played his fair share of games, and started the game well, fading near the end. Toure has just come back and will be ready for next week. Van Persie looked out of sorts, but then again, that’s what happens when you haven’t played for 5 months. You should see how unfit I am! Bendtner is getting better and with a few more games under his belt he’ll be sharper.
Young Theo will surely be back in a few days and adds another dimension to our play with his cameo appearances. Diaby has also been getting better and although he was unavailable for Saturday’s game, he will back next week too. Denilson was also missing with a tight hamstring, but he will be back in training next week.
Saturday’s game against Middlesborough will be picked from the following group of players: Almunia, Lehmann, Sagna, Clichy, Toure, Senderos, Gallas, Djourou, Hoyte, Gilberto, Diaby, Denilson, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Walcott, Bendtner, Adebayor and Van Persie. What a squad… It’s a shame we didn’t have Diaby and Walcott around for the Wigan game, but with all these players returning, we are surely about to take off!
“I am sure we will take-off again. We have to keep our calm, focus and belief. I don’t know, we shall see at the end of the season (whether it was two points dropped or a point gained). You go through a patch like that sometimes. The negative is that we have a deficit in points. The positive is that we didn’t lose a game. “
“But the team is still focused. We want to remain calm and determined then we’ll have a very good chance to do it.”
Rosicky will be out for next Saturday but then back in training the following week too, so soon enough and timely enough, we will have the full comrade back in action.
Now, The Pitch
Okay, now seriously, what on earth was that pitch about? I was watching the game live on Sky Sports, and before the game Steve Bruce was interviewed and could hardly hide his smile. He admitted that he hoped it put us off our game. The problem is the type of football we play. We play along the ground, quick one touch and movement.
You could see that Hleb struggled. The “Bendtner Bobble” as it has now been dubbed obviously prevented him from controlling the ball. It’s a psychological thing too. When a player feels he has to battle the surface too, it takes part of the mind.
Inevitably, people will say Wigan had to play on the same surface. But they not renowned for getting the ball on the floor and passing it around, are they? Many people have said that we should have changed tactics and put the ball in the air, but if someone wants to win, then surely they should play to their strengths? Arsene speaks:
“The pitch did not help Wigan or us. It is not a professional football pitch. We were focused and prepared to adapt. We knew the pitch was not that good. But it is still a handicap. If I give you a bike with one pedal you can still focus and prepare to adapt but you will still not be quicker than with two pedals. That is logic.”
Edelman Is The Man
Okay, so not the best headline… But our chairman is a confident man. He has been talking about our brand of football and the style of play is keeping Arsenal up there and will help keep our stars and lure bigger stars (or future stars). Sometimes a win such as the one in the San Siro casts beady eyes on our squad. With Flamini out of contract this summer, the sooner that one is sorted the better. Adebayor has also been attracting interest from a Milan team in need of an overhaul. Edelman speaks:
“I think we do play with a unique style. There is more to life than just money and a lot of our players like being here. These kinds of players want to play that way. The club is very stable. We’ve always delegated the playing side to Arsène and he has always had a lot of freedom there. In a lot of other clubs, there is not as much clear water as there is at Arsenal.”
Midfield Duo Speak
Cesc Fabregas has been talking about “Le Boss” and how he’d suit Barcelona, for his stature and type of play. I hope there’s no “underlining” theory behind this, and I’d rather take it as a compliment.
“Without a doubt, if I were a player of Barca I would recommend him. He is the best coach I have ever had and the more time I work by his side, the more I learn.”
Midfield maestro Mathieu Flamini has been talking about the Wigan game about how we didn’t do our job on Sunday. He says that there is no reason why we couldn’t win, refuses to blame the pitch, but says we’re going to try harder and give a performance against Middlesborough. Read more on this on Arsenal.com
Now For A Quick Round Up
A quick round up of other news in the World of Arsenal. The header of the World of Arsenal has changed to include a great picture of the stadium and a new Videos
section has been added. More to come through out the rest of the season!
It’s seems that on one side we’re beating the Champions League holders AC Milan in their back garden and on the other side, Arsene is busy snapping up the young and up and coming talent from around the world. Young Guns follows up on the previous story about Miralem Pjanić with an exclusive story. Apparently, we have agreed a fee
with Metz for the talented forward. He has been in red hot form and has scored 9 goals in just 21 appearances this season. This is just a day after we snapped up young 15 year old Ignasi Miquel
, no rest for Arsene. Check out this link
for an international round up of the youth scene by The Arsenal Way.
Finally, another news story / rant goes into the Boring Lehmann Files, read more here
Okay, that’s it for today… for those of you who missed it, check out the footballing squirrel