A break from the league tonight as we play Blackburn Rovers in the Carling Cup quarter-final. I’m not sure too many of the lads that played against Chelsea will be involved and the manager will be unwilling to take too many risks ahead of a crucial league game at the weekend too.
So, we should see Fabianski, Hoyte, Senderos, Song, Traore, Gilberto, Diarra (if he’s managed to stop throwing his toys out of the pram), Eduardo, Diaby and Bendtner and I reckon we’ll have a fairly young bench too with perhaps Merida, Randall and Lansbury all getting a look in. Blackburn might make a few changes but I suspect they’ll be reasonably close to full strength. Obviously the league has to take priority from our point of view so it’ll be a good test for the boys that do play.
I think it’s likely to be a physical game too with Mark Hughes referencing that in his pre-game talk and some resentment over comments made after our 1-1 draw there earlier in the season. To be honest if we lose it’s hardly the end of the world, this is the most expendable of all the competitions we’re in so let’s take this game for what it is. We’ve seen before that the youngsters are capable of beating almost anyone on their day and Blackburn aren’t in the greatest of form at the minute so it could be a fairly decent match. Eduardo and Bendtner up front will both have something to prove to the manager and if they can get any kind of supply from midfield they’re capable of scoring goals. It could be fun.
Away fromt that Mathieu Flamini has been talking about the spirit at the club and his future, saying:
I am happy here, but I am a free agent in January. We have so many games in December, so it is very difficult to be concentrated on this kind of thing as we are playing every three days. I am just focused on every game and for the contract, we will see a bit later.
I have to say the ‘but’ worries me slightly. I think the Flamster is a guy we should be fighting tooth and nail to keep, his best years are certainly ahead of him and I would like him to spend them at Arsenal. The Times, in a different article, says his future is in doubt after he rejected an initial deal but then goes on to say our ‘rigid wage structure’ cost us Cuntley Cunt and Edu. This is the same ‘rigid’ wage structure that saw Vieira on Â£90,000 and Henry earning more than any other player in the Premier League. Come on Arsene, sort it out. NDP, NDP, NDP.
The Mirror says we’ll be offering him a 5 year deal, which we’ve heard before, but also speculates on the future of Abou Diaby. They make the very good point that Diaby and Lassana Diarra are good friends and we’ve already had some murmers from Diaby about his lack of playing time. The manager has definitely got some managing to do here.
Emmanuel Eboue apparently apologised for not killing John Terry. No, wait. He apologised for injuring John Terry. To be honest I can’t quite understand all the criticism his challenge has provoked. He went to block the ball, left his foot in a bit like every player does now and again and Terry got injured. C’est la vie, that’s football. It was far from the worst tackle you’ll ever see and you’d wonder if it wasn’t precious JT the England captain if half as much would have been made of it. As is stands the bloke who tried to cream Cesc out of it not long before he got injured himself faces anywhere between 6 weeks and 3 months out. Colour me fucking gutted.
William Gallas says he wants to drink booze, lots of delicious, painful booze, but only from the Premier League trophy. I can’t imagine it’s the most hygenic thing in the world but I wouldn’t be too upset to see him quaff some champagne from it in May.Â He also says winning against Chelsea was not about revenge but I’d say it felt good to score the winning goal. His celebration was relatively muted given the circumstances – I’m sure Ashley Cole would have done a shit in the centre-circle if he’d done similar.
Arsene Wenger’s touchline ban from UEFA could be extended after they increased Frank Rijkaard’s for something similar. The Barcelona got a further one match ban and it wouldn’t be unusual to see Arsene suffer the same fate. Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen though.
Don’t forget you’ve got until tonight to win one of the prize packs featuring 4 great Arsenal books from Octopus Publishing. Please note that you only need to enter once unlike the bloke from Gambia who sent an entry every 20 minutes for the entire day yesterday. Not only that he called it ‘Areblog’. He, as you might imagine, will not be winning the prize. Yesterday’s blog has all the details you need and the winner will be announced tomorrow.