Afternoon all, on a mild Friday afternoon.
It’s been a momentous and long week for all those connected to and involved with the Arsenal. Of course, the week started with a victory over Blackpool, then plunged into takeover madness with the increase in stake by Kroenke, which ultimately is now known to be to do with the sad death of director Danny Fiszman.
Arsene spoke on Fiszman’s courage in life and especially with his illness and said this:
“It is a very sad week because we closely followed his battle and I want to pay tribute to his absolutely extraordinary courage. The way he fought the illness was absolutely amazing and sometimes I wondered where he found the strength and desire to fight it. For the Club it is very sad news because he was a very influential man behind big decisions. He was always a big influence and you had to be impressed by his huge intelligence and his capacity to analyse every single problem. For the Club it’s a big loss.”
Arsene was closer to him than me or you and if we feel a loss, sadness or confusion, it would be harder for a man such as Wenger to have such an ally, friend, business partner (as such) and overwhelming character no longer with him.
Arsene spoke yesterday and confirmed today in his press conference that Song and Djourou are both back, whilst Szcznesy should be available too.
“We have no [new injuries] but we have a big doubt on Sagna. Djourou and Wojciech are question marks. Will they be fit? That all has still to be decided. We have two more days to find out. It could be a possibility that they could be available. It’s difficult to say [what their chances are]. We have a test today [Thursday], we have a big test to see how they survive the training session. That will be very important. Denilson and Song have a chance to be available as well.”
He followed that up today by saying the Song and Djouour are both available and it looks more likely than not that Szcznesy will be in goal – with Lehmann on the bench in lieu of the injured Almunia. If this is the case, then we should be able to field a relatively strong lineup, perhaps along these lines:
Eboue – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Song
Walcott – Cesc – Nasri
With a bench of Lehmann, Squillaci, Gibbs, Diaby, Arshavin, Chamakh and Bendtner
Pretty strong hey? In fact, with the absence of Sagna and Vermaelen noted, it is our strongest side, is it not?
And what should that mean? Well, it should be a WIN WIN WIN… yes, Liverpool have had their moments – Man City and Man United victories were impressive – in fact, they do seem to perform against the big clubs – so we should expect a performance from them… but at the same time, we are at home against a team that won’t defend, with virtually our strongest squad. It shall be a big testimony of our title credentials – as to say, if we can’t beat this team at home, then we’re not worthy champions…
Liverpool will want to win this game, as they’re 5 points off the pace for 5th – which would see them qualify for Europe – so I wouldn’t consider them “lying down” for us an option whatsoever, despite their hatred for Man United!
And finally, I’ll leave you with the news that we’ve named the two bridges outside the Stadium by two of the most instrumental people, Ken Friar and the late Danny Fiszman. The North bridge will be renamed after Friar and the South bridge after Fiszman, with PHW talking about them:
“These two men have had a huge impact on Arsenal Football Club. This is a small way of recognising their efforts and ensuring their passion and commitment to this great football club will be remembered through time.”
And the website also mentioned:
The renaming of the bridges at Emirates Stadium is another development in the Club’s drive to celebrate its rich history. This has included illustrating key players and events on walls and displays designed to turn Emirates Stadium into a visible stronghold of all things Arsenal.
Kudos to the club for acting on this and renaming the bridges.
Til tomorrow my friends, til tomorrow…