Massive Monday: PFA Team, PFA Young Player, Derby vs Arsenal Team News, Line Up & Predictions… and More!

PFA Young Player of the Year

And the award for the PFA Young Player of the Year goes to, none other than our very own… Cesc Fabregas…
It’s been a year where we’ve fought hard as a team and played well together, and Cesc has stood out for a number of reasons:

1. His energy

2. His passing range

3. His tackling

4. His positional skills

5. His early season goals

6. His impact on the team

Without doubt, he’s grown as a player this season and this accolade is recognition of an excellent season.

Cescy spoke on his award:

“I am very proud because it is always satisfying for yourself, but all the team worked really hard this season and it’s been disappointing at the end.”

“But at least someone can get something.

“But this is for all the team, and all the fans, because all together we have had good season even though we haven’t won anything at the end.

“This is thanks to them as well.”

PFA Team of the Year

The PFA team of the year featured no less than 4 Arsenal players. When you consider that the team had only one Liverpool player, no Chelsea players and three United players, it’s quite an accolade for this young team.

The four players were:

Bacary Sagna, Right Back

Gael Clichy, Left Back

Cesc Fabregas, Central Midfield

Emmanuel Adebayor, Striker

Congratulations to all four who have performed admirely this season.

The full team was:

David James (Portsmouth), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

Flamini Decision Looming

It’s crunch time for Matty Flamini and Arsene had given him a deadline of the end of April to sign or not sign. That deadline is Wednesday… It’s critical that Arsene and Arsenal know whether he wants to stay or not, so they can plan the summer transfer activity. Remember, this summer is Euro 2008 and it’s wise to get players before the tournament on a budget or after when they’ve proven themselves. Either way, if Flamini leaves, Arsene got to act quickly to replace him…

Arsene said last week:

“The deadline is next week, the end of April.” said Wenger on Friday. “I said it would be the end of April and that will be it. I believe he wants to stay and we want him to stay. We have made him an offer, if it’s not good enough we will know soon.

“I respect our wages structure. We do not play – a little bit more, a little bit more. We have made an offer. We think it is decent and that is it.”

2 and a half days to go Matty… what’s it going to be?

Henry Would Come Back to Arsenal

But of course, that’s if Barcelona don’t want him… You may have read some of those headlines, but after just one season at the Nou Camp, you can’t really the Frenchman moving again. It had allied fears that both Liverpool and Chelsea were interested in bringing him back to the premiership.

Arsene spoke on this and confirmed that he’s not really thought about it, but you can never say never with Henry.

“I read the statement, he said he is happy at Barcelona but if he comes back he will only play at Arsenal. I find that a really very good statement.

“But although you can never say never, at the moment I do not think about [re-signing him].

“However I still think he has a lot to offer as a player. The whole team in Barcelona has not worked completely this year, they were never in the race for the championship. Every player has been a bit devalued. But I still think he has a lot there.”

Okay, Team News, Line Ups, Predictions, Derby vs Arsenal Preview

It feels like an age ago that we last played. A game that I had the privilege of attending and it was an awesome atmosphere. We played very well and it’s was the release of some built up tension. With 2-0 flattering the away side.

Today sees us take on bottom of the table Derby in what should be an enthralling encounter. With Chelsea beating United this weekend, a win would take us 4 points behind both with 2 games to go… it effectively means we’re still in the title race mathematically, but realistically I can’t see both teams losing both of their last two games, I think we just want to finish as close to the top as possible to demonstrate how we’ve grown as a team.

Arsene has promised to give Fabianski a run out in the last three games to see how he’d fair in the premiership and obviously he needs to know as Jens will be leaving this summer. Can Fabi step up to challenge Almunia?

Speaking on Fabi’s last game, the defeat to Sp*rs, Arsene said:

“It had a big effect on him. Lukasz is an intelligent and sensitive boy and sometimes these two qualities go against you. But he’s got over it. It’s a learning process of every top level player goes through. For me a career is always how well you deal with the lows in the game.”

It will be good to see him today.

With our recent bout of injuries and suspensions, the players out of contention are Diaby, Rosicky, Eduardo, Flamini, Sagna and Hleb.

I’d expect to see Eboue & Walcott on the wings, with Denilson and Cesc in the middle. Kolo may continue at right back as Arsene may opt to play Song again to give him some match practice. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bendtner & Van Persie line up, although maybe Ade will ask Arsene for more time to get his 30 this season… this is how I see the team lining up today:

Fabianski
Goalkeeper
Toure
Right Back
Gallas
Centre Back
Song
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
Eboue
Right Wing
Denilson
Defensive Midfielder
Fabregas
Attacking Midfielder
Walcott
Left Wing
Bendtner
Striker
Van Persie
Support Striker

With Almunia, Senderos, Djorou, Gilberto and Adebayor on the bench.

But the boss may have a few more ideas. Rumours suggest Traore, Eboue, Senderos and Song could be our back four, but I’d suggest Arsene wants to win as well as give the kids a run out, so we really will have to wait and see what Arsene has in store for us. Kick off is at 8pm on Setanta Sports…

Alright, I’ve been rambling on for a while now… I think I best get back to work… Come on you reds… more later!!!]]>