This morning’s post is brought to you with a good old fashioned *boilk* and a mouth dryer than a camel’s arse in a sandstorm. Come on coffee and Ibupfroen, work your magicy magic.
Taking a look ahead to tomorrow’s game with Wigan we’ve got Julio Baptista and Abou Diaby back from their injuries. With Philippe Senderos suspended Johann Djourou will come back into the defence and you can probably guess the rest yourself. Alexander Hleb and Freddie Ljungberg are both very close to returning, Hleb closer because he hasn’t been out the same length of time as Freddie, but there’s no sign of William Gallas or Emmanuel Eboue who are still crocked.
Wigan are in dreadful form at the moment, something which always worries me, but we should have too much for them. Three points are absolutely vital and the manager is looking for nothing less than 100% from his team.
Arsenal yesterday announced a partnership with MLS side the Colorado Rapids which is designed to increase awareness of the ‘Arsenal brand’ and is similar to the kind of deal we currently have with Celta Vigo. Arsene Wenger was keen to make it clear that this was not a takeover or even a precursor to one, saying:
We are trying to extend our technical co-operation as well because the Americans might produce some players at some stage. That’s why we have done it. It is not for a takeover. There are enough Americans in the league now.
The boss was on form yesterday, also responding to criticisms from Little Englander and Boro Chairman Steve Gibson about the lack of English players Arsenal have which hinders the national side. I loved this quote:
If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from.
Quite right too. Then, in what is the harshest criticism of the international game I think I’ve heard from any club manager, he left nobody under any illusions what he thought, saying:
I think the game has moved on and towards the club. It’s more exciting to watch club football and that is the same in other countries.
National football is boring, you have to accept that. Club football has moved forward and international football has moved backwards, because of the multiplicity of countries. Games are boring because of that.
It’s something I’ve been saying for years. While it used to the pinnacle of the game it’s now a case that the best football is played at club level and everybody knows it. It just hasn’t been said by anyone with the stature of Arsene Wenger before. What you see now with FIFA and UEFA talking about quotas of ‘home grown’ players is nothing whatsoever to do with maintaining the integrity of domestic league. It is designed to weaken club teams, to make the football less attractive, less skillful and less interesting thus increasing the quality of the international game.
I doff my cap to Arsene. It’s about time somebody said it. No doubt Blatter or his UEFA crony Platini will respond but it is a damning indictment of the international game from one of the most respected managers in world football. No amount of PR friendly crap they come out with can sweep this under the carpet. Instead of looking at the facts and trying to improve the international game their focus is on nobbling club football and that’s why they’ll fail. The World Cup is a great spectacle that nearly everyone enjoys every four years but your average football fan enjoys 38 league games every season and even a game against the bottom club can bring excitement.
Don’t ask me to give a shit about a team full of Sp*rs and Liverpool and Wolves players playing San Marino though.
Congratulations to Cesc Fabregas who was named Barclay’s player of the month for January. No less than he deserved after some awesome performances in the middle of the park. Ray Parlour has joined Hull City, good luck to him up there. Good fish and chips and mushy peas.
Finally, Thierry Henry exposes himself a ignorant racist by saying white men can’t dance. Appalling. Strip him of the captaincy and sell him to Fenerbache, I say.
And that is about that. Breakfast awaits. Till tomorrow, Arsemates.