Not a blog, but…

Hello all. No blog today as I’ve been flitting in and out of meetings like a very flittery thing, or a butterfly executive.

I’m already in Islington and going to grab some food before the game – this is my first ever attempt at blogging from my phone, so let’s hope it works.

I will endeavour to microblog during the match over on twitter – see the big shiny link in the sidebar.

Come On You Gunners!

Arsenal will never sign Yaya Toure

If I owned a house, I would stake it on the above fact.

While I’m here, I might aswell break it to you that we will also never sign Stephen Appiah.

Today the News of the World runs its billionth “Yaya Toure to join his brother at Arsenal” story, and one that even by their standards is spectacularly devoid of any kind of fact.

If Arsene rated Yaya, he would’ve bought him when he cost little more than a few hundred thousand pounds.  I myself saw the younger Toure head in a goal at Underhill in an Arsenal shirt a few pre-seasons ago.  Arsene won’t now go back and pay big money for a player he neglected to sign for next-to-nothing – just as he would never have contemplated competing with Spurs for Wilson Palacios.

It is a story I am a fool to have wasted breath over.

Not much, though.  Till tomorrow.

Monday Bloody Monday

Hello old friend.  There won’t be a match preview today, as we don’t play till Monday.  That means we’ll be playing our fourth round tie after most sides have played their fifth round tie.  Confuddling, eh.

This whole ‘waiting till Monday’ rubbish gets old quickly.  Plus it leaves one in the position of having to spend a weekend longing for Monday, which is not simply confuddling – it is plain wrong.  I am fairly confident that by the time Arsenal play Cardiff, it will have been approximately 457 years since our last game.  At least, that’s how it feels.

Not a huge amount of news floating about this week, but Arsene did speak to ArsenalTV yesterday, in disguise as Fabio Capello.  Unsurprisingly, he leapt to the defence of sacked colleagues Phil Scolari and Tony Adams, saying of the former Arsenal skipper:

“I believe that Tony will be a very good manager and I don’t believe he was given the needed time.  It is a big surprise that so quickly they made a big decision because when they made the decision to give him the job they knew he has worked there for a year and a half and they knew him. When you give a young manager that much responsibility you have to give him time.”

That said, reports coming out of the Portsmouth dressing room don’t reflect too favourably on Adams’ time in charge, and it’s hard to see him getting a plum job anywhere now.  Perhaps if he swallows his pride and accepts he needs more time as a lieutenant there might be a place for him on the Arsenal coaching staff in years to come – Arsene clearly thinks highly of him.

Elsewhere, Eboue is suspended and idiotic, yet it’s a good thing that Arshavin is not available on Monday.  Interesting.  I suppose the only sense in which I’d consider that a good thing is if it allows us anoter glimpse of Jack Wilshere on the right-hand side.

That’s all for today.  Come back tomorrow, when there’ll invariably be even less news.

Eduardo may not be quite as you remember him…

Some of you may have been wondering what happened to yesterday’s blog.  Apologies: I was on International duty.

Returning striker Eduardo has warned expectant fans that he’s not quite “The Old Eduardo”.

He’s not kidding:

Eduardo's new look

Funky new look aside, Eduardo’s twenty minutes against Romania was certainly the highlight of a decidedly (and as far as injuries go, pleasingly) uneventful International break – Arsenal.com has all the details.

Although Arsene sounds cautious, I still expect Eduardo to make his long-anticipated return to the first-team at some point in the game against Cardiff on Monday.  Early team news suggests that Abou Diaby will miss out, but Gael Clichy should have recovered from the cut he picked up against Tottenham.

Amaury Bischoff, who scored for Portugal U21s this week, has spoken of how Arsene Wenger saved his career.  The next few months are crucial to Bischoff: he only signed a one-year deal, and having finally reached something approaching full fitness, he now has to prove he’s worth a contract extension.

Andrey Arshavin, meanwhile, has expressed his desire for new Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink to remain at the helm of the Russian International side.  I can’t say I agree: one can hardly imagine Hiddink being particularly helpful when it comes to not over-using one of his rivals’ star players.  That said, I do think the Dutchman is a good appointment for Chelsea, and he’ll certainly make the fight for a Champions League place a very tough one.

That’s it for today.  More tomorrow after Arsene’s press conference.  Doubtless he’ll have plenty to say about the sacking of his pals, Adams and Scolari.

Some stuff about our strikers

First off, congratulations to Emmanuel Adebayor who has become the first Arsenal player (and indeed the first Togolese player) to be officially crowned the African Footballer of the Year for 2008.  In the calendar year he scored more than thirty goals for the club, but his form undoubtedly dipped towards the latter end, and he has a lot of work to do to justify his new title.

As I suggested yesterday, hopefully his form will be improved by renewed competition from Eduardo da Silva.

Eduardo is enthusiastic to make his comeback

The Croatian is in line to make his return to competetive(ish) football tonight for the Croatian national team against Romania.  Hopefully he, like all our players, will come through unscathed.

Another forward close to a comeback is Theo Walcott, who could be available by the end of the month.  With Andrey Arshavin seemingly being earmarked for a spot on the right-hand side of midfield, perhaps Walcott will begin his long-predicted evolution into strikerhood.

Robin van Persie set up or scored each of our goals in January.  It is therefore not remotely surprising to hear that he has been named our first Player of the Month of 2009.

Van Persie is likely to be partnered in the next few weeks by Nicklas Bendtner, who is confident about his ability to fill in for the ailing Adebayor:

“Of course, chances for me have improved with someone else out injured. But I still hope that he will be back soon, as we need him in the team. I still feel that when I play my best, I should start, regardless of who is fit or who is injured. I have the same attitude every time, and each game I try to prove that I should start.”

 

Only a short blog today, because I’ve been spending all day praying for the safe return of Eduardo & Co.  We’ll know tomorrow how successful I’ve been.  If they all come back fit, I reckon that’s pretty conclusive evidence for the existence of a God.