After a short holiday, a normal blogging service by yours truly resumes. Plenty to look at from yesterday and a quick preview of matchday 3 in the Champions League, Marseille away.
The next line may confuse you so read it carefully, ‘Arsenal first team player signs contract extension…’.
No seriously, Thomas Vermaelen has signed a contract extension to his current, believed to be 4 more years.
“I am really happy to have signed a new contract with Arsenal. I always had the intention to stay here. I feel there is a big belief in me from the Club, from the boss and from the fans and that is one of the reasons why I stayed. Arsenal is a fantastic Club. We have great supporters, we’re doing well financially and we are playing with some quality young players now and they will develop, which is very good for the future.”
Fantastically on the same day, the now financially sound Thomas Vermaelen, (5 starts last season) signs a new deal, Arsenal also announced the opening of a brand new Medical Centre (Diaby House) at the training ground. Colin Lewin revealed, ‘The new equipment will help as much with preventing new injuries’.
We hope and we pray.
All jokes aside Vermaelen signing a new contract is fantastic news on a number of levels for the club. Firstly TV5 is one of the best defenders in the league, yes I know he’s had an injury ravaged 18months but we have to believe he will get back to his best sooner rather than later. In Tommy’s debut season in the premiership he was voted in the PFA team of the year and he is still only 25. The guy is a class act and him and Mertesacker have the making of a great partnership.
Secondly, TV5 signing sends a message out to other players entering the ‘negotiation’ period of their contract, namely RVP and Theo. I truly don’t believe the fact that TV5 and RVP are buddies will have any bearing on RVP’s contract decision, he’s a professional player and he won’t base the decision of his final ‘primetime’ contract on the back of a friendship. Ask Cesc.
On to tonight’s game, a sexy French tie in store, Marseille in the Stade Velodrome. Marseille currently are suffering in the league, sitting 15th and with big players struggling to perform to the level they should be… sound familiar?! No real surprises in the squad news, Ramsey does return from ‘hamstring fatigue’, Coquelin is preferred away from home to Frimpong again (Not Dench) and Gibbs is facing 2 weeks out with an abdominal strain. Santos should deputise.
I expect the team to be:
Jennkinson – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Santos
Arteta – Song – Ramsey
Walcott – RVP – Gervinho.
I know little about Marseille but I do know they have some potentially class players who could win a glamour tie like this in an instance. Given both team’s current form, I imagine both teams have players who have the (in)ability to ‘lose’ the game in an instance for their respective teams. Marseille have a strong defensive record in the Champions League having kept 7 clean sheets in 8 games, therefore chances maybe scarce tonight so we can’t afford to be wasteful in front of goal if opportunities do fall our way. I’m expecting an extremely cagey game tonight from two teams slightly low on confidence, with that in mind I fancy a draw.
Other another note, it was Marseille’s corruption in the early 90’s when Le boss was in charge of Monaco that left more than bitter taste in his mouth and stain on the whole of European football. On top of that, Marseille have give us the greed of Na$ri & Flamini and the grotesqueness of Drogba. So I hope we completely smash them to bits.
Come on The Arsenal!!!
Enjoy it Gooners.
Comments welcome on twitter, @tottz82