Morning, apologies one and all, I missed my slot yesterday. The office was like London in the blitz, if you moved the blitz forward in time to just after the apocalypse. Period end, you see.
So there was some Arsenal related transfer news, and it did involve a defender. However, much to nobodies surprise it didn’t involve us buying anybody, rather already on loan Kyle Bartley has been loaned up to Rangers in middle earth. I don’t know what to make of that, he was playing every week for Sheffield and earning praise from opposition fans up and down the country, and now he’s going to sit on the bench in the rain in Scotland. Hmm… I wonder if it is in any way a sweetener for a potential summer deal for Madjid Bougherra.
I guess the big news of yesterday was Fernando Torres moving to Chelsea it what can only be considered Chelsea’s final push for the Champions League (remember, Torres is not cup tied and is perfectly eligible to play). The squad is ageing and certainly looking threadbare when Lampard is out – the addition of Torres must surely be the final throw of the dice for Abramovich, chasing the dream of European glory. It’s an interesting move for Chelsea and surely also marks the beggining of the end for Drogba. It’s difficult to see how the players will fit into the current system, and Chelsea don’t have the personnel for a 4-4-2. So Who will play on the wide of the top 3? Anelka can, but Torres or Drogba? I’m not so sure. Whatever you think of the move, the cash has certainly raised eyebrows. £50m? For a sulky git badly affected by two seasons of perma-injury and bad form?
Andy Carroll has stepped into Torres tiny shoes with his own leviathan sized boots at Liverpool for an equally staggering £35m. I guess, in a way, if Torres had gone for £30m, and Carroll for £15m it wouldn’t have been so mental sounding, and Liverpool would be in the same position as now – 1 in, 1 out and £15m profit. Newcastle have ultimately won though, pocketing £35m for a player who only managed 17 goals in the championship last season and who injured himself on a bar stool whilst pissed out of his tiny mind. Carroll will also do fairly well with a sizeable wage increase, a series of self defence lessons from Stevie, and a home in the only city on earth where his haircut is actually fashionable.
Putting the moves into perspective…
Torres = £50m
Carroll = £35m
Szczesny + Clichy + Djourou + Vermaelen + Sagna + Nasri + Walcott + Fabregas + Song + Wilshere + RVP = £44m
Manchester United fans will be happy at least, after the club stood firm against several big money offers for the services of Howard Webb.
A quick note on the Huddersfield game: breaking news from the referees camp, suggesting the referee didn’t give a red card when he gave the penalty as the player fouled was Nick Bendtner and so it was unclear whether or not it was a goalscoring opportunity, even from 7 yards. I’ve read a bit about Cesc asking for the red card and I’ve read plenty saying he was right to do so. He wasn’t. The referee isn’t going to change his mind because a player tells him to, in fact he can’t be seen to be bowing to pressure, so he is even less likely to change his mind. It leaves a bad taste seeing any player ask for a fellow professional to be sent off, and it’s something I fully believe Cesc should cut out of his game.
Anyway, enough of the past, into the future with Arsenal playing host to Everton tonight! Everton have been a strange team so far this season, putting in decent performances and terrible performances, consistency not being the word for anything much at all Evertonian – however they have hit a stride of sorts, entering reasonable form and they are a hard working solid team.
I suspect Arsenal will make only one change (necessitated by injury) from the team that beat Wigan, Nasri having triple fucked his hamstring chasing a lunatic long ball from Almunia at the weekend. I’d expect him to be replaced by Bendtner. Arshavin has more talent, Bendtner is scoring…. which of them plays I’m not 100% byut I expect the Russian will be sat looking forlorn on the bench.
It’s entirely possible he might try pushing Robin to the left and drafting in Chamakh, but I suspect he fancies Bendtner more and it would make better sense keeping Robin central so that he may continue and build upon his form.
The important thing is this team is on fire, unlike the stuttering second string, so it’s vital we keep the first 11 as settled as possible before massive games against Barcelona or the Carling Cup final. Last season we gained a point with a late equaliser, we need to put that to bed and get three points to maintain a solid challenge for the title – there’s still a long way to go, and with City/Chelsea strengthening, it’s not going to get any easier.
Fingers crossed, @kieran_delaney