Can I just start the morning by saying that I have seen the Sp*rs ‘Krappa/Immodium’ shirt picture that’s going around and the Arsene Wenger as the chef one. Thank you to the 3,321 people who sent it to me yesterday. You know who you are!
On to matters Arsenal and the captain was speaking yesterday about us finishing in 4th place. Those of you that saw the Sky interview after the game will have seen him make the point, quite strongly, that when Sp*rs beat Bolton their fans were singing “Are you watching Arsenal?” to which he said “Yes, we were watching but you have to play to the end of the season and now we are 4th *pauses to make scornful grin at the camera* and we’re going to play in the Champions League final”.
Beautiful stuff. And does he have any sympathy for Sp*rs after their illness scare? He does not.
I heard they had people with food poisoning, but the only thing I can say is: did anyone bother when we had nine players out? No. They were saying ‘Arsenal are not playing well’, ‘Arsenal are not the team they used to be’. But that is how it is in the game – sometimes you do have people are ill, or turn up with a headache and are not on the team sheet. That is the way it is.
C’est la vie, in fact. I’m trying to get around to writing something about his future in the next couple of days. I don’t have any information that you don’t have, well not much anyway, so it’ll just be about what Arsenal has to offer and what Barcelona and Spain has to offer. It will be very exciting, I promise.
Cesc Fabregas is relishing the prospect of playing Barcelona next week and he’s enjoying the fact that we’re going to go into the game as underdogs. Nobody I speak to over here is even giving us half a chance and while the Barcelona staff will do their best to keep their players grounded there’s every chance that kind of overconfidence could spread to the players and do us a favour. We went to Madrid as serious underdogs, look what happened. We took on Juventus, runaway leaders of Serie A, and look what happened. I’m with Cesc, I’m quite happy for us to be underdogs and the more underdoggy we are the better.
Congratulations to Theo Walcott who has been named in England’s 23 man World Cup squad despite not playing single minute for Arsenal since his transfer and despite the fact Sven has not even seen him play except on video. Amazing when you consider he’s ignored Defoe, 18 goal Darren Bent and even someone like Robbie Fowler who is fit and scoring goals again. Quite what the Swede is thinking I don’t know but it’s a great opportunity for the young man and who knows what kind of impact he might have? It does mean that he won’t be taking any part in the Champions League final though. A World Cup surprise package not just to England fans but for Arsenal fans too. Also, no place for Shaun Wright-Phillips who was advised by people close to him to sign for Chelsea rather than another club with which he was strongly linked. No doubt the percentage of the transfer fee is ample consolation for lots of time on the bench and missing out on the World Cup.
That said I can understand Ian Wright when he says:
He has left out my son because he says he has not played enough games for Chelsea this season and then he has called up Theo Walcott, a 17-year-old boy who has never played a single Premiership game.
C’est la vie. eh? As an Irishman I’m not bothered who Sven picks and quite frankly this is hilarious stuff.
As a little goodbye to Highbury souvenier I made a wallpaper which you can download in three sizes.
Not a lot else going on right now. It’s too early for Champions League previews, way to early to get into the silly season of transfer speculation (although we were linked with Lilian Thuram by L’Equipe yesterday) so we’ll leave it there for today. For now. There may be another little update later on.