Wednesday is upon us and as it’s International week AGAIN – oh man… so, time to talk about things we don’t really talk about starting with the auction of the Poppy shirt, which has been organised to raise money for two charities – The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes. The two shirts on auction are those of Van Persie and Andrei Arshavin and the club aims to raise as much money as possible for the two aforementioned causes.
Out chairman talked about the money raising efforts saying this:
“I know all the players were very proud to wear these special shirts and remember those who’ve given their lives for our freedom. We hope the Poppy shirts can raise vital funds for Help For Heroes and The Royal British Legion, both fantastic organisations who help those who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces.”
One thing I found strange is that Man United did not follow through with the plan of wearing and auctioning the shirts. They say they already do stuff for charity so opted out. 18 out of the 20 clubs in the league wore the shirts, so it was strange to see one of the biggest clubs in the league not to follow through considering the revenue they could have brought in for the charities.
Time to talk about Cesc – our captain extraordinaire, who has been in amazing form this season – can you believe the form he has been in? He has scored 9 and assisted 10 goals this season and that’s an amazing return from 11 premiership games and 6 champions league games. Personally, the dedication and strive that the young Spanaird has shown have been exemplary. Do you think his form has to do with the formation change or a natural ability improvement, do you think the captaincy is maturing Cesc into the player that Arsene always thought he could be? Or maybe a bit of all three…
Cesc commented on his form and the change in his game since he was made captain.
“The captaincy hasn’t changed me at all. My team-mates have done a great job for me as well, to be honest. They showed me they believe and help me with everything. There has never been any trouble so I am very happy with how things are going. The issue with William is gone for us. We don’t think about it anymore and are happy with the way things are going at the moment. The dressing room has always been really together and kept believing. Even if we didn’t win anything last year, we were really close and in all the competitions right until the end. So the mood in the dressing room is always really positive.”
The dynamic of the team has change and it’s clear to see that William Gallas has returned to the form that made Arsene sign him all those years ago. The astute recent signings of Arshavin and Vermaelen and the departures of Ade and Kolo have reshaped the team. With the change of formation to 4-3-3, Cesc is starting to revel in a more forward role, which means he can contribute is a very effectual half of the pitch. Although he has 9 goals and 10 assists, he has actually been involved in 28 of our 36 goals in a tertiary manner, i.e. the secondary assist, playing the pass for the person to assist. Now that is some serious form and some serious attacking threat.
Personally, I believe the captaincy has galavanised Cesc – he looked possessed this season, desperate to win something – and coupled with the formation change which allows him to play a more freer role, he is now liberated in a team boasting an abundance of skills and panache.
And finally, congratulations to Nik Bendtner, who has been voted the Danish player of the year. I think the award is actually voted for by a confederation of people representing a panel of judges, but Nikki B took time out to thank the fans…
“It is an immensely great honour to be awarded Player of the Year by the fans. I want to thank all those fans who voted for me. I would also like to thank my parents who have believed in me all the time, and I wish to thank my coaches and my team-mates who made this possible for me.”
Niklas had surgery on his groin yesterday and is expected to be out of action for the next 4 – 5 weeks. Good luck on your recovery Nik and congratulations on your award.