Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal: Match Preview

It's Saturday today and I've tried to wait until after the 3 o'clocks before blogging. Villa have defied all the odds and have won yet again against Blackburn. Apparently, it was awful defending - school boy errors for both the goals. Chelsea, in the meantime, continued their poor run of form with a 0-0 against Hull, and have now been leapfrogged by Villa. With Liverpool playing later today, the results today see us languishing in 5th - 6 points behind Chelsea and a very scary 8 points behind Villa, with only 14 games of the season left.

Yesterday, Arsene was very busy in the press. He 's broached quite a few subjects, some related to the Sp*rs game, and others just related to other news.

Salary Caps

Platini has been speaking about the ridiculous bid from Man City for Kaka earlier this season and discussing crazy money and crazy salaries that are been offered. Arsene said:

“My thoughts are quite simple: I am for the freedom of each company to run its company how it feels is right and to make the right decisions. That’s why one company can be better than another one. I agree completely that you cannot spend artificial money. It has to be linked with your resources. But I believe that once you have your resources you can run your football club how you want to run it.”

And that makes a lot of sense. There was talk of salaries and transfers being restricted to X% of the revenue of the club and that would be the only way to really have such a rule in place.

Beckham

Apparently, Milan bit a very small amount of just £6.7m for David Beckham. A bid that was rejected by LA Galaxy, but maybe the start of the a bidding series and eventually Milan will get their man. The player wants to move so I think it’s inevitable.

“I’m not surprised. Any person in life wants to play at the best level and going to the States is going down. You never do that without feeling not right somewhere. He was lucky because he’s David Beckham so he could rectify that and come back to the top level. I personally encourage my players to play as high as they can because that’s where you want to be, so I am not surprised he [Beckham] made that decision.”

Personally, I think the Italian league suits David Beckham. He’s not got the pace for the Premiership or Spanish league but his quality is not questionable and in a more tactical and slower league such as the Italian league, he has the platform to do well.

Arshavin

Arsene has been a little nonchalant in his signing of Arshavin, continually repeating that “if we sign him, we sign him, if we don’t, we don’t”. But I think that the stance is just a farce to cover the expectations and preserve the confidence of the existing squad. Arsene couldn’t really come out and say “we need this guy, we’re not coping”. The manager has maintained this and said:

“We have what it takes, without Arshavin, in my opinion. The team is maturing – it’s a very young team – we have shown that against Man United, Liverpool and Chelsea. This team can compete with anybody.”

It does frustrate me when Arsene says stuff like this, because ultimately, we’re 5th at the moment, 6 points off 4th and we’ve lost to the likes of Stoke and Hull – what Arshavin will bring is experience, desire, a big player mentally and maybe get some of the team playing. Arsene has been comparing Arshavin and Nasri and where they can play.

“If you ask Arshavin or Nasri where they want to play, they will say the middle because all the technically gifted players want to play in the centre. I believe Arshavin can play on the right, behind the strikers or on the left – and Nasri as well. Nasri is one of the players who have played beyond my expectations this year. He is new, he is very young, just 21, and came from Marseille to a snowy winter in England. He has adapted very well. He scores less in the last two months, but I see in training he has really made a huge improvement and is really strong. There is still much more to come out from him and I am very happy.”

In regards to tomorrow’s game, Arsene has said he won’t rush Arshavin into the first XI.

“I will have reservations yes. The worst thing for a player is not being ready to play in a game of that intensity, or getting injured before having kicked a ball for the team. I will see what kind of shape he is in tomorrow to see if he will be involved in the squad or not. We are not in a hurry with him. He will be available. But at the moment he is somewhere in a plane. He had to fly back to Russia to get a visa and he is coming back tonight. I believe he is talented, intelligent and motivated. When you have these things together, you always have a chance to make an impact. But you have to give him time as well. He is not fit at the moment because he had only 10 days preparation after a long break.”

Based on that – the likelihood of Arshavin starting or being in the squad is low – but having said that, looking at the squad, you’d expect Arshavin to be named on the bench.

Okay, I’ve got well off tangent and maybe I’ll stop now and get up early tomorrow for the Sp*rs game preview…]]>