Archive for September 20th, 2008

Kiev write-up, Bolton preview, & Kroenke news

2 comments September 20th, 2008

Dynamo Kiev 1 -1 Arsenal (Bangoura 64 pen, Gallas 88)

Our Champions League campaign is underway with a draw in Kiev.  It could easily have been a win, with Adebayor, Fabregas and Van Persie all missing presentable opportunities in the first half.  When we eventually fell behind, it was entirely against the run of play, and probably against justice to boot.

Bacary Sagna was penalised for apparently tugging a player down as a cross looped into our area.  I was immediately suspicious, primarily because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sagna commit a silly or unneccessary foul in his entire Arsenal career.  Replays proved it was an incorrect decision, and if anything it was Sagna who was the victim of the foul.

However, luck evened itself out later on when William Gallas toe-poked home a Theo Walcott cross when he appeared to be offside – Adebayor had reached the ball just before him leaving Gallas a yard out and able to smash home. With three goals in three European games this season, Gallas’ striking instinct could be important this season.

I would have taken a point at the top of the evening, so it’s not a bad result at all.  It will look a far better result if we can win at Bolton today and make it seven points from nine in the space of seven days.  The french trio of Diaby, Nasri and Silvestre are still out.  Nicklas Bendtner is in line to come in, whilst it remains to be seen whether or not Theo Walcott’s run in the side continues.  Arsene is demanding more protection for the teenager, but both his performance in Kiev and his words of wisdom suggests he’ll be able to handle the most aggressive of defenders.

The financial results are in, and they’re good.  I can’t pretend to understand them hugely, but Peter Hill-Wood explains their significance in this interview.

The big news is that Stanley Kroenke has joined the Board of Directors.  He adds his 12.4% to the boards stronghold of shares, and closes the door ever further on Alisher Usmanov’s takeover aspirations.  The change in attitude towards Kroenke has been swift, but I think, as arseblogger suggests, Kroenke was led to believe his investment was more welcome than it turned out to be.  With the threat of Usmanov on the horizon, it makes sense for Kroenke and the board to jump into one big proverbial bed.  I’m sure the American will now look to increase his stake, and it seems that we may have an indication to the indentity of our future owner.

If it does happen, at least now it’ll be an inside job.  Hopefully in the coming years Kroenke can learn to appreciate the way the current board operates, and as his shareholding gradually increases the traditions of the club can be upheld.  We bring our players through slowly, and it seems we may implement a similar policy with our future owner.

Still, that’s all in the long-term.  Nothing will change in the immediate future.  And that’s just the way I like it.

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