Striker troubles ahead of Mugsmashers II – The Middling. After picking up his 74th injury of his Arsenal career Robin van Persie is rated at just 20% to play.
It’s bad news for us, we really needed Robin to stay fit between now and the end of the season. It’s not something I want to spend too much time on now but the constant run of injuries and niggles really does require the manager to think closely about his needs for next season.
With Emmanuel Adebayor also a minor doubt with an ankle knock we could find ourselves stretched very thin for this game. Should they both not make it then you’re looking at Theo and Bendtner (who still has a lot to prove at this level). That would mean Ebuseless would keep his place in midfield and frankly we’d be better off playing a cardboard cutout of Glenn Helder than him.
Speaking of Theo he’s happy for Liverpool to be dubbed favourites for the Anfield leg of the Champions League. He says:
That is a good thing really. We can just concentrate on ourselves and they can have all the pressure. There is plenty of belief, the lads have been buzzing in training. Weâ€™ll turn to Saturday now and then back to the Champions League. We will take the positives out of this game, look at Liverpoolâ€™s negatives and see where it takes us.
Sentiments shared by Emmanuel Adebayor. As I said on yesterday’s blog I’m not downhearted at all. I really think we can go there and get the result we need. William Gallas has called for a repeat of our San Siro antics and I have to say I could deal with that kind of performance again. Still, let’s worry about tomorrow first though.
Close family friend of Dirk Kuyt and Godson to his children and his step-Dad and lover and confidante, the ref from the other night, says he wasn’t influenced by his relationship with man who makes Ian Dowie look like Johnny Depp. In seriousness though, while I think it was a shit decision, that’s all it was.
Two Spaniards signed new deals at the club yesterday. Firstly Manuel Almunia declared himself the happiest man around after securing a new long-term deal at the club. That pretty much cements his place as the number one for next season with Fabianski likely to get the cup games. Hopefully the Pole will kick on and put some pressure on Almunia, it’s always good to have something to keep a keeper on his toes.
Secondly young Fran Merida, described by Arsene Wenger as ‘an absolutely amazing player’ also signed a long term deal. He’s currently on loan at Real Sociedad and given AW’s comments and the fact he’s been sent on loan to get some experience you have to think he’s going to be included in first team action next season.
That’s really about it for today. We should get more team news later on from AW but it’s not like we have a lot to choose from. All hands on deck at this stage. You’ll have noticed there’s no Arsecast this week, normal service will resume next. As I’m leaving America at about 4pm this afternoon Tom will be along with tomorrow’s blog before he zips down to the London for the game.
Saturday is Ray Kennedy day – he was a fine player who served both Arsenal and Liverpool with great distinction. Now suffering from Parkinsons Disease all the money raised will go directly to him so do get involved if you can.
Here’s hoping we can get the result we need tomorrow. Talk to you all on Sunday.