Archive for December 16th, 2009

Arshavin & Arsenal ready for another test

Add comment December 16th, 2009

I write today’s blog from a stronghold in the North of England.  I’m currently in York, but have spent the best part of two days in Manchester, sharing a hotel with the West Ham United squad – and, bizarrely, briefly sharing a public toilet with ex-Real Madrid full-back Julien Faubert.  (Nothing happened.  Honest.)

That’s behind me now, and I’ll soon be returning to N1.  Somewhat irritatingly, however, I’ll be swapping location with an Arsenal team who head up to Burnley in search of three points to keep the heat on their rivals.

Some quick team news: Armand Traore and Denilson both picked up knocks at Anfield and will miss out.  I’d expect their replacements to be Abou Diaby and Mikael Silvestre.  Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey are also close to attaining starting berths, though the former may have to continue on the bench due to the form of Andrey Arshavin, whose brief stint as a striker has brought him two goals in two games.  The Russian looked set to miss tonight’s game with a foot injury, but has recovered:

“On Monday, he was out of the game, the next day he is in. It’s as miraculous as that, I don’t know if he has a miraculous healing process at home. He is a tough boy, always wants to play and that says a lot about his spirit and determination. I’ve not met many with his pain threshold. I’ve had a few – the Nigel Winterburns, Bouldy, Dixon, Keown – tough boys. Andrey is a hard boy, especially for a forward.”

Whilst Arshavin can sometimes appear to be a little economical with his effort, his professionalism cannot be questioned.  Also, having not seen a video clip of that quote, I find it both impossible and hilarious to imagine Arsene saying “Bouldy”.  But there you go.

In yesterday’s press conference Arsene addressed stories that he is seeking £20m compensation from the Dutch FA for the injury to Robin van Persie.  If we can get anything like that sum it’ll go some way towards funding a replacement – which Arsene seems more than open to.

Tonight won’t be easy.  Let’s not forget that an admittedly weakened side conspired to lose here last season – and the likes of United have already fallen at Turf Moor this year.

We’ll need to be somewhere near our best to come away with a victory. Come On You Reds.

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