Archive for May 19th, 2009

Hill-Wood hits out as Real rumours persist

Add comment May 19th, 2009

Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood has hit out at some of the shareholders present at the Q&A with Arsene last week, labelling certain questions “disgraceful”:

“Frankly, some of the questions were quite disgraceful. Here you have the most successful manager in our history and two or three of the shareholders made the most negative and somewhat hostile and sarcastic comments, which I think were completely out of order.

I was very upset by the questions, I have to say. Arsene was very diplomatic and honest in his answers and deserves great credit for that but I wouldn’t have been anything like as polite if they had asked me.”

I think we pretty much covered this last week. The whole incident was somewhat unfortunate, but the fall-out from it seems to be what’s fuelling the speculative fires suggesting Arsene is mulling over a switch to Real Madrid.

I remain absolutely certain he won’t go (as do Samir Nasri and Manuel Almunia), but it’s telling that he hasn’t issued a statement affirming his commitment to the club.  Perhaps it suits Arsene for there to be an element of doubt, and perhaps some of his detractors, being faced with the chaos that his departure at this stage would inevitably cause, might soften in their stance towards our greatest ever manager.

Armand Traore netted his first league goal last night in Portsmouth’s 3-1 victory over Sunderland. Arsene confirmed last week that Traore will return to Arsenal at the end of the season (Philippe Senderos’ future remains uncertain), but the emergence of Kieran Gibbs means that competition for the left-back spot is going to be pretty intense.  Traore has played much of his football for Portsmouth on the left of midfield, and it’s possibly more likely he’ll get a game there, what with Abou Diaby having been shunted wide on several occasions.

There’s not a whole lot of news to report today, so I want to seize the opportunity to congratulate a couple of Arsenal teams who did manage to lift a trophy or two this season.

First of all the women’s side, whose success in recent years has yielded retiring manager Vic Akers an incredible 32 trophies.  In scenes reminiscent of Anfield ’89, they travelled to Merseyside (unbeaten Everton, on this occasion) needing a win to clinch the league title and a domestic treble – needless to say, they succeeded.  Congratulations to the girls, and especially to Vic on a fantasic career.  He will continue in his role with the men’s team as kit man.

Secondly, the U-18s wrapped up the Academy title by beating Spurs in a play-off, with Rhys Murphy grabbing the crucial goal.  They now have one particularly big fish left to fry in the form of Liverpool, who stand between the Young Guns and lifting the FA Youth Cup.  The first leg of that takes place at the Emirates on Friday evening, and dirty cheap tickets are available from the Arsenal Box Office.  Get down there and cheer the kids on.

Till tomorrow.

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