The final line up of Arsene's best looks like this:
Sagna – Keown – Adams – Clichy
Ljungberg – Vieira - Fabregas – Pires
Bergkamp – Henry
Wow, now that would be some team. Actually this was a great team. It’s pretty see that 8 out of the 11 played in the same team which saw us dominate football for a while. Cesc, Clichy and Sagna the only additions from the current crop. It’s been an awesome little exercise we’ve done this week and side-tracked us from the disappointed of the last league game.
But now it’s time to return to all this current Arsenal and a look at the news circulating the papers today. Apparent Gallas has been speaking to the French media and talking about the unrest in the Arsenal camp. Talking about the petulance of some of the younger players. If you haven’t read it, this is what Gallas had to say:
“When, as captain, some players come up to you and talk to you about a player…complaining about him… and then during the match you speak to this player and the player in question insults us. There comes a time where we can no longer comprehend how this can happen. I am trying to defend myself a bit without giving names. Otherwise I’m taking it all (the blame). It’s very frustrating. I’m 31, the player is six years younger than me.”
“There was a problem at half-time. The only thing that I could say at half-time was, ‘Guys, we resolve these problems after the match, not at half-time.’ We have to understand that to be champions, you have to play big matches every weekend and fight. We are coming up against teams who are not scared to play football against us, who are not scared to take us on at our place, and this is becoming dangerous for Arsenal.
“We are not brave enough in battle. I think we need to be soldiers. We have to be warriors. There are teams who can do it well against us, and we have to be able to face up to these attacks. I have to win something this year. I have to win something, Arsenal has to win something. It’s four or five years since Arsenal won anything – 2004 (the league title). That’s nearly five years, and that’s not good.
“For me the title is not over, it’s true that we are nine points behind Chelsea, but you have to be optimistic and you can’t give up.”
Interesting words from the captain and quite an strange way to talk about the squad. I’m not sure if this a symptom of the younger generation of the lack of real captaincy that Gallas is all about. They say you should lead by example, but his example has been so bad, that maybe he’s lost the respect of the squad. Some of the things he’s said are true, and I’m not too upset in what he said, maybe the manner of how he’s said it.
Which leads me to another question. Does Arsene allow Gallas to speak like this in the press? Does Arsene accept abuse of younger players directed at his captain. Interesting thoughts.
So onto the weekend, and we have quite a few injuries and suspensions rattling up and there will be quite a few players missing. With Van Persie sent off at Stoke, having missed the United, Wigan and Villa game, he is welcomed back into the squad, and there is an emphasis on welcomed. Ade is back, and rested, so we’ll have the front two back in action. In midfield, we’re missing Cesc to suspension and Theo to a long term injury to his shoulder. We may see Nasri, Denilson, Song and Diaby, even though I’d rather see Nasri, Ramsey, Denilson and Vela. Arsene said about Theo:
“Theo had a dislocated shoulder and he had surgery today. He will be out three months,” confirmed Wenger at his pre-match press conference.
“But there is no [long-term] concern about that. Once the surgery is done and it is solid, there is no concern at all for the future of Theo Walcott. Not at all.”
At the back, we’ve lost both Sagna, Eboue and Toure so it will be a back four of Clichy, Silvestre, Gallas and Djourou. Interesting times and a very difficult game on the weekend. Man City are hurting after a bad start to the season and you’d expect players like Robinho to raise their game for a visit of the Arsenal.
Good news, though, is that Eduardo will be back in training by the end of the month and that’s the best bit of news I’ve had all day. Arsene said:
“Eduardo is doing very well and is one week away from joining in training.”