I write this at about 2.30pm, and yes, I am very late to leave to get down to the Emirates in time for the Emirates Cup game against Athletico Madrid, but as I don’t intend being back to anywhere with a computer in the next 12 hours, I thought it important to take some time out quickly to write an article! I’m sure they’ll be a few comments on how we did post game too
Arsenal v Atletico Madrid
Emirates Cup, Emirates Stadium
Saturday, August 01, 2009, 16:15
The annual Emirates Cup kicks off today and Rangers take on PSG in the first game, before our beloved Arsenal take on an Athletico Madrid side boasting the likes of Sergio or “Kun” Aguero, Diego Forlan and many other big names – an ex gooner too in Jose Antonio Reyes. If you watched any of the pre-match stuff, you may have heard the interview with Makelele, where he talks about Arsenal and the potential signing of Biase Matuidi as well as bringing back Patrick Vieira in some capacity – both positive indications that these two moves may be possible.
Arsene himself, in a pre-match conference said he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing Vieira back or ruled it in – which in my book is very positive – as normally Arsene rules out everything! Here is what the gaffer had to say:
“There is a football decision and there is a psychological impact of a player of that stature that could come in. But at the moment we need to look at the level of experience in your squad to make this kind of decision. We are nowhere near to making a decision like that, but it is a possibility. We do not rule it out and we do not say we will do it – that is my decision at the moment.
“I speak to Patrick, I speak to many players who have been here because I keep good connections with them. He has gone through a difficult period as well in the last season. I am aware that he wants to come here. I think Patrick is a legend here and he would always like to come back to this club. That would be his first choice.With emotion you always like the club you spent time. But as a professional as well, you always give 100 per cent for whichever club you sign for.”
And from a footballing point of view, you have to consider whether it would be a good move – whether a 33 year old Patrick Vieira could or would bring anything to the side – as Arsene said, it coul dbe more psychological than on the pitch – don’t get me wrong – I have a lot of time for Paddy, and if he came back I’d be over the moon. However, the deliberation from Arsene is that if we had a central midfield pool of Matuidi, Vieira, Cesc, Song, Denilson, Ramsey – and only two could play, then someone wouldn’t be happy. Oh, yeah and Diaby.
In other news, despite Arsene saying we’re not close to a signing, the president of Bordeaux has admitted that Arsene has spoken to him and made an offer for Chamakh – an offer too low for them to accept. You’d expect more in this department in the next fews days – I believe everyone believes if Arsenal do meet the £7.5m asking price, then the player will move in the next week or so.
Back to the cup and it looks like Clichy will be out for a while, he’ll miss this tournament and potentially miss the start of the season, but with Traore, Gibbs and Silvestre around, it may be a position that can be covered – based on the pre season friendlies, you’d probably expect to see Traore at left back and Silvestre as back up.
My line up today would be:
Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Traore
Wilshere – Denilson – Cesc – Rosicky
Arshavin – Van Persie
We’ll see what happens later today…
Now I am even later, so adios for now, I’ll be back on the comments post match!