Update, game postponed
Arsenal: “Despite making every effort to stage tonight’s match against Bolton Wanderers, the sudden and unpredicted adverse change in weather conditions in the Highbury area has left us no choice but topostpone the fixture. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and wish to state that this decision was not made lightly and supporters’ safety and travel arrangements were major factors in our thinking. The Club will announce the revised date for this match in due course and all tickets currently held will be valid for the rearranged fixture.”
Boys and girls, it’s finally here – the game in hand. With the game tomorrow looking like the only game going ahead, with the Man United versus Man City game already postponed. I don’t have to stress how important the game is tonight – as we all know a win will see us leapfrog Man United and go within 1 point of Chelsea. And after the losses to Sunderland, Man City and Chelsea who would have thought we’d be anywhere near Chelsea?
Team news ahead of the game is that both Arshavin and Denilson are back in the squad and if they are fit, then I’d expect them both to start. Denilson is the cover for Song whilst he is away and many people thought he would not be available for tonight’s game – which has caused worry, because without Denilson and Song, who can play the defensive midfield role and offer a physical presence – the question doesn’t have to be answered for tonight, but may have to be answered at some point during the month.
Arsene has been waxing lyrical about Denilson and I know a lot of fans haven’t taken to the Brazilian yet, but he was one of the top ten best midfielders in the league last year in terms of passing ahead of the likes of Xabi Alonso etc.
“Alex Song has been very consistent but we always knew before the season that he would be missing during January. We have players who can play in the same position. Denilson is an all-rounder. He can play this role and come in for Song without a problem. People don’t notice how important he is for us, he can play in every single position in midfield. He has 150 games in the Premier League and is very strong in reading the game and winning the ball back. Although Song and Denilson can play together, they have similar qualities.”
Okay, time to guess the squad and having read a few of the comments last night, I do concur with the general consensus:
Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Traore
Denilson – Diaby
Nasri – Ramsey – Arshavin
After some not so good performances this season, it’s good to see Eduardo getting back into it and scoring goals. He’s reclaimed the striking role and should start up front. Carlos Vela has been equally impressive on the left, and is starting to figure in my thoughts as an impact sub – with some many games coming up, I’m sure we’ll see more of the Mexican too.
[Update: Wednesday Morning - Game is still going on, but rated 50:50, depending on what can be done to ease the transport system this morning, we'll get another update soon]
Talking about transfers, Arsene has been quoted quite a lot to buy players such as Dzeko or Chamakh, and he’s not going to bow down to the clubs demanding high fees.
“It’s my responsibility to spend the money in the right way. Why should I splash it out and pay 10 [million pounds] for a player who is worth five? It’s normal that you buy the players for the right price. If [Lionel] Messi is available maybe you would spend the money. But you look at the financial situations of many clubs in England and it is because when the income was one they spend two. There is an abnormality of the market because one or two clubs don’t need to look at the money, they just put the pressure on everybody else.”
Of course, the problem is that the clubs don’t want to sell their best players. Why would it be in the interests of Wolfsburg to sell their prize player for half the price they want? If they value him at £20m, no-one will buy him and he will therefore stay and provide quality to the team. Of course, if a player wants to leave, expresses a desire to leave, or becomes unhappy, then it becomes a different story.
Okay, time to sum up… Snow? Falling? Will the game still happen… let’s wait and see what happens… will Bolton fans get to the game? Never mind that, will Arsenal fans even get to the game?
Snow, snow, go away, come back another day!