Archive for December 16th, 2006

Many Happy Returns

67 comments December 16th, 2006

And the happiest of all is that of Lauren. Nearly a year after his knee operation, the former Cameroon international has finally returned to the field, captaining a reserve side for 55 minutes against Hoang Anh Gia Lai from Vietnam. Lauren’s aim was to make a return to the first-team in Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie with Liverpool, and whilst he might be slightly short for that, it’s good to know he’s well on the road to recovery, especially after suggestions that he might still have been some months away.

In Lauren’s absence, Emmanuel Eboue has excelled, providing a dangerous attacking outlet. However, we have missed Lauren’s tenacity, experience, and defensive know-how. For me, prior to his injury he was the best right-back in the Premiership, evolving from an effervescent winger into a solid defender. With Eboue’s concentration lapses at an all-time high, we will welcome back Lauren with open arms.

Today’s game against Portsmouth also marks the return of Adebayor’s twin, Kanu, Kolo’s old buddy, Sol Campbell, and of course, Tony Adams. We won’t, however, see the return from injury of either William Gallas or Tomas Rosicky.

Will Jens Lehmann return with us next season? After The Times suggested he might seek a longer contract elsewhere in the manner of Robert Pires, Wenger has spoken out, and he’s understandably relaxed about the situation: he knows that Lehmann will have to be replaced either this summer or next.

After saving the Wigan game from a) a draw, and b) being unspeakably boring, Cesc Fabregas is certain to start tomorrow. I’d imagine that might be in a 4-4-2, alongside Gilberto, with Hleb and Ljungberg or Walcott on the flanks. With the Carling Cup coming up midweek, I wouldn’t expect anyone to get a rest: although Emmanuel Adebayor has played plenty of minutes recently, his good form means it’s almost certain that he’ll be included.

Win Number Two of our Six Game Sequence awaits.

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