International friendlies, as we all know, are a great load of pox-filled bollocks. Our players go away, play for their countries and generally come back on life-support machines and in full body plaster casts.
This week France have decided to have a real international and a sort of B team international. The reason for this is so that Raymond Domenech can call up as many Arsenal players as possible, then send them back to Arsene Wenger in various states of disrepair. The bad news from yesterday’s game is that Mathieu Flamini only lasted 15 minutes before being taken off with what’s suspected to be an ankle injury. Abou Diaby didn’t even start the game because he was carrying a knock which Domenech only found out about afterwards. Had he known he was injured he’d have made him play the full 90.
Fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious with the Flamster and that the rest of our players get through the games tonight without any injuries. Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna also played for France last night and seem to have come through unscathed.
We spoke about Theo yesterday and he scored last night for England U21s against Ireland and afterwards says he doesn’t listen to critics. Good for him. And Mrs Woo tells me that for all the bleating and bluster from the press about English players Theo was the only one currently playing for a ‘top 4′ club. So there.
Rumours in recent weeks have linked Alexander Hleb with Barcelona but his agent has scotched those, saying:
I can understand why Barcelona would be interested in Alex. But Alex loves life at Arsenal. He feels he is at the best club in the world. He has the ideal manager, he loves his team-mates and loves London. Why would he want to leave?
Weather? More money? To learn Catalan? To go on the big merry-go-round up at Tibidabo? For the shopping on Passeig de Gracia? To have a constant supply of those awesome shawarmas they sell from that little shop on C/Escudellers? Lots of topless babes on the beach in summer? To play with his good friend Thierry again …erm…
Just some of the reasons he might want to leave but I don’t see it happening. I suppose it tells you a lot about how much progress he’s made this season that Barcelona are even interested at all.
Philippe Senderos is hoping to give Arsene Wenger a selection problem when Kolo returns from the ACN. The big Swiss says:
It is great to be getting a run in the team, and the results are coming as well. Every time I come into a game, I always try to give my best and try to keep in the team. Hopefully I will give good problems to the manager. I always try to fight for my place.
Can’t fault the attitude and himself and Gallas do work well together.
Gilberto admits he doesn’t see a future for himself at Arsenal. Depending on what’s happened to Flamini he might well have a big role to play between now and the end of the season but the Brazilian can see the writing on the wall. Which is much better than seeing Marlene on the wall.
While not wishing to revel in the misfortune of others, well not someone like Kaka who seems a decent chap, the Brazilian could miss the Champions League games against Arsenal with knee problems. Had it been John Terry, for example, I’d be laughing my head off. The new wonderkid Alexader Pato is doubtful as well. With Gattuso likely to be missing as well it’s good news for us.
Finally for today, if you’re a Virgin Media or NTL customer and you’ve subscribed to the Setanta Sports pack in the hope of getting Arsenal TV you’ll know there have been some problems. Goonerholic is our Arsenal blog watchdog type dude so check out his site for more.
Right, off we go. Fingers crossed for tonight. More tomorrow.