Archive for May 10th, 2009

Arshavin destined to never face Chelsea?

2 comments May 10th, 2009

Hello.  Some of you may have noticed yesterday that the blog was completely bolloxed.  Well, thanks to a couple of people who know who they are (at least I hope they do – otherwise they’re almost certainly suffering from some kind of memory loss or psizophrenia, which’d be unfortunate), the site lives once again – and it’s actually healthier than ever.

I have to say, what intrigued me most about this weekend’s tie with Chelsea was the prospect of seeing what Andrey Arshavin could do against the side he was bizzarrely denied the chance to face in the FA Cup semi-final.  After his stunning display in his only previous outing against a fellow member of the top four (the quadruple up at Anfield), I’m sure Chelsea would have been worried about facing the fleet-footed Russian.

Sadly, it seems that flu may have ruled him out.  He was unable to train on Friday, and whilst there may have been a big improvement over the past day or two it seems somewhat unlikely.  In better news for Arshavin, he has been named the Premier League’s Player of the Month – and rightly so.

One man who will play today is Kieran Gibbs, with Arsene keen for the youngster to get over his slip against United by being thrust straight back into action:

“The best thing to do in that situation sometimes is to give them straight away the chance again to play. He has suffered a lot because you feel, your job, when you defend, is not to make mistakes. I tried to talk to him to get him up again, but it takes time to recover from a blow like that, unfortunately, when you are a young player and you make a mistake like that.”

I’d be surprised if Nicklas Bendtner were handed an opportunity to start after his midweek misdemeanour.  Whilst Arsene admits to being “angry”, he also posits a conspiracy theory to rival with UEFA kicking Chelsea out of the Champions League:

“He has been set up. People make the story that he was drunk. He was not drunk. He did not put his trousers down, somebody did it for him and somebody was posted there with a camera. “

I’m sure someone put his trousers down for him, but whether it was a member of the paparazzi or not is another matter entirely.  Perhaps this is the natural evolution of the ‘upskirt’ photo – the ‘trouser-down’ snap?

Alisher Usmanov says Arsenal require more spending, without being in any sort of position to improve the likelihood of that happening.  That makes Usmanov just like any other pundit, say Jamie Redknapp.  I rest my case.

Theo Walcott’s new contract was announced on Friday, though by all accounts it was tied up a good few weeks ago.  It’s great to have it set and stone, and whilst we’re all a little tired of hearing it, keeping our current players has to be the priority.  We all saw how damaging it was when just two, Hleb and Flamini, departed in the Summer.  However much indifference there may be among the fans about certain individuals in our squad, the majority must be retained and improved upon.

Arsene is determined to not put too many new-signing-shaped obstacles in front of his young squad, saying:

“We are always in a trap.  You work with these young players and when they come out and emerge after a few years you get someone in front of them.

For example bring another player in for who, for Walcott? That’s crazy he’s in the England team. Fabregas is in the Spanish national team he’s 22, Diaby is in the French national team he’s 22, Nasri is in the French national team he’s 22, Bendtner is in the Danish national team at 21, Walcott is 20. Kick a player out who is already in his national team?”

If it is indeed a “trap”, it’s one that is largely of Arsene’s own making.  As for his list of talented youngsters, it’s hard to argue with, though I would contest that “Diaby is in the French national team”.  He has a couple of caps to his name, but is behind plenty of players in the pecking order – including both Flamini and Lassana Diarra: two men Arsene let go, preferring to persist with Diaby instead.  Note aswell that Denilson is some way off International recognition with Brazil, and the area of our squad with the greatest weakness becomes apparent.

There is some promise of future movement when Arsene says:

“We will try of course to bring in one or two players to strengthen the squad … And if we buy, it certainly won’t be players who lack experience. We have enough of those.”

However, he says something very similar every transfer window, most famously in January 2006 when he then bought a sixteen-year old Walcott, nineteen-year old Diaby, and twenty-one year old Adebayor.

All three of those could start today, and all three have undoubtedly progressed, though potentially not as far as we or Arsene may have hoped.  A win would put pressure on third place, as well as preserving our unbeaten run in the league, and maintaining the fact that Chelsea have not yet won at the Emirates.  Those are reasons enough to coax a performance from the side, but more than that: after Tuesday’s debacle, they owe the fans.

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


May 2009
« Apr   Jun »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker