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.
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.