The midweek International football has sidetracked a very important time of the domestic season, but for the first time as I can remember we haven't suffered any injuries, we've got a full palette to choose from on Monday and a little bit more rest pre-Cardiff. Why on earth the game was scheduled on a Monday after the fifth round and after the draw for the sixth round is anybody's guess.
The International break has given us one overwhelming piece of good news - the return of Eduardo. He played in yesterday's win for Croatia and set up Nico Kranjar's winner. It won't be long until we see the Crozilian back in the starting XI. Arsene spoke on his return:
“He is back and ready to go. I don’t know [about Cardiff]. I don’t want to promise anything. I want the freedom to pick the team I want to pick.”
That’s very good news. I don’t expect him to start against Cardiff, I’d expect Bendtner and Van Persie to appear, not because I want them too, I’d rather see Vela involved, but because Arsene has this unfathomed faith in Bendtner. However, with Arshavin illegible and Eboue suspended, we have no other choice but to play the Mexican on the wing. Ramsey and Diaby are also out, so the team has basically picked itself.
“From last night’s internationals we have a small alert on Aaron Ramsey. He picked up an injury with Wales and we’ll see how he is on Friday. From what I heard he has stretched his medial knee ligament. It is hard to tell anything when you have not seen the player yet. Abou Diaby has still not recovered. Apart from that we have only good news on the players who went to international duty. But of course Adebayor is out for three to four weeks and Clichy has not practised properly yet. We have not put him into any duels because of his head. But he should be alright for Monday.”
If Clichy isn’t ready then Gibbs will be ready to deputise. We’ll see a few youngsters on the bench too.
In other news, Chelsea have of course appointed Gus Hiddink as their new manager. Very interesting – he’s a good manager on all accounts. But he’s never managed at the highest level. Australia, South Korea and Russia have all been underdogs – PSV as well in Europe. But he’s done a good job and got a lot of pedigree. He knows Andrei Arshavin better than most people, and was very complimentary of the player.
“If you consider all parts of the equation, Zenit, Arsenal, Arshavin, it was a good decision for everyone. Zenit did a lot for Arshavin but he paid them back and at his age (27) it was time to make a change.
“The move will bring great dividends to Arsenal and Arshavin, as well as Russian football as a whole. We talked about Arshavin, what he’s like as a player, as a person.
“Arsenal’s playing style, a short-passing, fast game, will suit Arshavin. He is what you call a game breaker, he can decide the outcome of any match. I would say those qualities, along with being a very smart and mentally tough player, have convinced Arsene Wenger to sign him.”
Can anyone else just simply not wait for the Russian’s debut?????
I’m off to sunny Spain on Saturday, so in between his very busy weekend, I’m hoping JAT’s around to look after you guys…!
Okay, back tomorrow…]]>