Good evening everyone! Or should I say good morning because you may be reading this in the Morning or it may be your morning when it’s my evening or my morning when it’s your evening or if you live in Fiji then it’s across a date line, so good evening for tomorrow…? let me start again.
Howdy everyone! Well, it’s Friday and that means many many things… firstly, Arseblog Arsecast 66 is out today and a worthy listen…
There’s a lot that’s happened today so let’s start with a round up of the new and then look forward to the Aston Villa game.
Taylor breaks his silence…
Martin Taylor has today broken his silence on the Eduardo affair. From what we’ve heard from the Birmingham camp since the incident, he is supposed not a vicious player, although the tackle was definitely over the top. As shown pictorially many times and highlighted in last Sundays blog, his tackle was very much mistimed. His silence was the right thing to do – he waited until things calmed down and then said his piece. Believe me, I am not happy, but he has shown to be more dignified than his team mates Kelly and Larsson. His statement today was basically an apology, remorse of the incident and an olive branch to Arsenal fans… here’s what he said and was quoted in the Independent:
“I will be really happy on the day when I see he is back in the Arsenal and Croatia line-up and when he is scoring goals again. The injury was terrible enough. When he gets back to fitness and he puts the ball in the net for Arsenal for the first time, we will all feel much better. People will be able to see that accidents like these are the nature of football and you can recover from it. I went to see him on Saturday but, unfortunately, he was still recovering from an operation, so first thing on Sunday morning I went to the hospital. Although there was a language barrier, I just said that I didn’t mean him any harm at all and that I hoped he made a quick recovery. He took it on board and nodded. I was just really glad we could communicate. He is obviously a really strong man. Since then, I have read in the papers that he would be happy for me to visit him. That’s something I’d like to do.”
Well, that’s a little better from Taylor and I’m glad he went to see him – Eduardo is a gracious man indeed, I would have accidently rolled my bed over his foot, but then I’m not in his position, so that would probably be the wrong thing to do! Alan Smith also speaks to Sky Sports about how he’s been in his position and how much of a bad injury it was, thanks Alan… obviously we didn’t know!
Ladies finally lose…
Well they say all good things come to an end and our Ladies team finally lost today 1-0 to Everton in the league cup final. Before today it was 58 game winning run in domestic football, yes 58 games. Although it won’t upset the season and may refocus some of the players, it wasn’t expected and a bit of a shock to the system.
The match report is available here.
The club has moved to shed some light on what the “blocking state” business is all about. Yesterday’s blogcommented on Usmanov’s increase of his stake, and and the club today outlined what it’s all about. The actual “25% blocking state” has no immediate affect or impact on the daily club duties but has a say in any major decisions that have to be made.
Most importantly, a 25% holding would have no impact on the day to day running of the Club, on buying and selling players or any contractual or sponsorship agreements.
“There are some important decisions affecting the business that need shareholder approval, however the majority of these only require a simple majority of shareholders to vote in favour. These decisions, which are known Ordinary Resolutions, include the appointment of directors; the payment of dividends, approval of the accounts etc. There are some unusual decisions which require the approval of 75% of shareholders. These are very rare and are known as Special Resolutions and include winding up the company or changing its name.”
A Cultured Left foot talks more about this and Arsenal.com have the full press release.
Flamini Contract Update
Flamini has yet to sign a contract and it’s a worrying situation. I can’t figure out why he hasn’t signed and why the club has left this run for so long. I have to say his all action performances have been something that been a massive plus for us this season and he has been our most improved player.
Juventus today played down speculation that they are interested in signing him and hopefully it’s true and we hear that he’s signed a new 5 year contract very very soon… apparently Juve’s sporting director, Alessio Secco, has contacted Arsenal to let them know – how nice, how weird?
“There is nothing true. He’s a really good player, but we have never looked at him. Our chief officer has contacted the Gunners to reassure them. It’s a gesture that was needed considering the good relationship there must be between two big clubs like Juve and Arsenal, and that has been appreciated.”
Le Grove takes the words right out my mouth when he says:
“I don’t understand why it always seems to take for ever when signing a contract, how much? How long? and where do I sign? Doesn’t seem overly complicated does it?”
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Preview and Team News…
In yesterday’s blog, I outlined the team news for the game and there were a few things which needed clearing up, which Arsene has moved to clear up today. The return of Van Persie looks a little unlikely for Saturday, although we have Diaby back in the squad. I expect the starting line up to remain much the same as yesterday with Diaby taking Van Persie place on the bench… as our squad is so stretched, VP will surely be on the bench for Tuesday game in Milan.
The revised squad of 16 for Saturday’s game is:
Goalkeepers: Almunia, Lehmann
Defenders: Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Hoyte
Midfielders: Cesc, Flamini, Hleb, Diaby, Gilberto, Denilson
Strikers: Adebayor, Bendtner, Walcott
Arsene has played Diaby up front before, and his goal against Diaby shows he has an eye for goal, but at this moment, it’s more likely to see Walcott up front and Hleb and Diaby on the wings if needed.
Arsene spoke about Van Persie today:
“We will not rush Robin van Persie back but the news is quite good. It is very difficult to say. We go step by step. But he should come back into normal training, very, very quickly now. Maybe I am being a little over-cautious in my statements but I do not want to put any special pressure on him. But the fact that Eduardo is out is one more reason to [get him back]. Also he deserves that championship as well and that is another reason – to do it for him.”
Our injury list now comprises of Eduardo (broken leg), Alex Song (knee), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Kolo Toure (knee) Johan Djourou (groin), Emmanuel Eboue (suspended) with Van Persie not ready for selection.
My first team prediction for tomorrow is:
With Lehmann, Hoyte, Gilberto, Denilson and Diaby on the bench. Although Gilberto, Denilson and Diaby are primarily central midfielders, Gilberto can play in defence, Denilson on the right of midfield, Diaby on the left and possibly up front, so there is some variation on the bench… well, kind of…
Now doubt, Aston Villa do have the ability to cause us problems, and with Young, Agbonlahor and Carew, they do have a front three to give any team problems. We’re more suspect in the air than most teams and Villa will be looking to make the most out of that… Sagna and Clichy will be busy with the two quick wide boys, but we have to spend time concentrating on attacking than defending…
Let’s see what Arsene has to say at his press conference, more team news tomorrow.
In other news, Young Guns has done a piece highlighting our players to watch in 2008. The blog talks about 5 young players to keep an eye on – Carlos Vela, Nacer Barazite, Pedro Bothelo, Jack Wilshere and Benik Afobe. A very interesting read and a brilliant insight to 2008.
Arsenal Youth talks about Rhys Murphy and his return from injury – he’s a player who scored 17 goals in just 21 games for the under 18s last season. Read more here.
Gunnerblog talks about the carling cup player of the year and how Eduardo deserves it on Merit and GunnersLive talks about Walcott and his plans for the rest of the season and the unity of the squad. The team went bowling and then to see Eduardo – it’s like one big happy family.
AllGoonerdUp talks about the love in our squad, the 8 points clear turning into 3 points and a little history of injured strikers and East Lower talks about our attacking options.
For those of you who are new to worldofarsenal.co.uk, some of the recent posts included a tribute to Eduardo and a look into the attacking void left by the absences of Eduardo and Van Persie in the run up to the league title.
Well, it’s been a long day and just enough time for me to tell you that for those of you unable to make the game on Tuesday, Arsenal are holding a live screening at the Emirates. £15 gets you in and a cup of tea, but the atmosphere should be awesome… tickets are available from the Arsenal.com site or by calling this number: 0845 262 0001
Okay guys, I hope you all have a good Friday, not long now til we see the boys in action… ’til then!]]>