Archive for May 17th, 2008

FA Cup Final: Former Arsenal vs. Future Arsenal (?)

Add comment May 17th, 2008

It’s FA Cup Final today, and it’s really rather refreshing that there’s not a big four team in sight. Of course, saying that, I wouldn’t exactly be irritated to see us involved. Nonetheless, there will almost certainly be a significant number of Arsenal-affiliated players on the pitch…

In recent years, Portsmouth has emerged as a retirement home for old Gooners, with Lauren, Sol Campbell, and Nwankwo Kanu all plying their trade on the South Coast. They’re joined by Richard Hughes, who left the club as a youngster, and Lassana Diarra, who left a bitter taste in the mouth after his five-month stay at the club. Despite Diarra’s presence, I hope the rest of the ex-Arsenal lot taste victory at Wembley once more.

Representing Cardiff will be teenage midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who is likely to start on the bench. Ramsey is currently the subject of a tug-of-war between Manchester United and Arsenal. Here’s hoping a good cameo today doesn’t drive his price up too high, eh?

I’ve been having two of the busiest days of my relatively short life, hence the degree of inactivity on the site. Thanks for your patience. Fortunately, not a vast amount of football stuff has happened.

Arsene has been talking up two young prospects at either end of the pitch. First of all, he’s declared his intention to bring Carlos Vela into the fold, and insists the Mexican is an ‘Eduardo-type’ striker rather than the winger he has masqueraded as in La Liga. Alongside Adebayor, Van Persie, a returning Eduardo, Bendtner, and Theo Walcott, the arrival of Vela means we now have striking options a-plenty.

The other subject of Arsene’s praise has been Cameroon international Alex Song:

“When I put a player somewhere, I know why I do. If I play Song at centre back it is because I believe he will be a great centre back for Arsenal Football Club.

In Song’s case, he can play in central midfield. But can he play 60 games there? I am not convinced.”

It’s certain Song has come on leaps and bounds, but I hope Arsene isn’t labouring under the misapprehension that he is the answer to our problems at centre-back – if anything, he’s simply too similar to Kolo and Gallas.

Finally, some contractual news – Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas seem certain to get new deals, whilst Mathieu Flamini insists Arsenal waited too long before making their offer.

The new deals for Clichy and Cesc seem like reactions to the new UEFA rules allowing players to buy our their contracts – Cesc is actually contracted until 2014 under his current deal, but could buy it out in little over a year.

As for Flamini, I actually think he comes across extremely well in that interview. There are no hard feelings from me. I understand his decision to move and I wish him the best of luck in Milan. If he applies the same remarkable work-ethic he did this season, he’ll have no problems.

Anyhow, I’m off: Play Up Pompey!

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