Good morning from a very sunny Dublin.
As expected the FA have charged Alex Hleb with violent conduct for his slap on Reading’s Graeme Murty. I don’t think Arsenal will appeal and on Thursday Hleb will be banned for 3 games, effectively ending his season. I suppose the man who has just one more league goal than Philippe Senderos and one less than William Gallas this season will have more time to decide what his favourite ice-cream flavour is.
As you might notice on the left hand side of the site now there’s the ‘Flamini Contract Countdown’. Arsene Wenger gave him until the end of the month to sign a new deal and the more time goes on the less and less confident I am that he’ll sign it. With reports of Juventus offering a Â£60,000 a week deal I don’t think I’d be putting too much money on Flamini staying at this stage. Juve’s reps are in London today, can someone take Matty to Alton Towers or something?
Personally I don’t think this is a money thing at all. Juventus claim Flamini was a fan of the Turin giants as a kid and that would obviously be a big draw. Imagine if you were a professional footballer playing elsewhere, coming to the end of your contract and Arsenal were moving to sign you. Some might suggest that Â£60,000 is too much for Flamini but that’s around Â£12m over 4 years. A decent signing is going to cost a transfer fee, a signing on fee and comparable wages so from an economic point of view Arsenal will be doing what they can to keep him. I just think he fancies a move – however, I would be very, very happy if he decided to stay.
Gunnerblog throws forward the name of Gareth Barry as a possible replacement. Decent shout but he’s a bit too English for us. And I mean that only in terms of his transfer fee. Villa would be looking for a lot more than you could get a similarly talented foreigner for.
Theo Walcott says he’s fallen short of his targets for this season. Perhaps it’s taken more time than he would have liked to push himself up the pecking order but there’s no question this has been a season of progress for the young man. He’s scored 5 goals this season but he announced himself in the Liverpool 1/4 final – producing the kind of football that tells the world to watch out. With Hleb likely to be absent and Diaby injured again during the reserves games he’s probably going to start the remaining games of the season, let’s hope he can make the most of those starts. You can see how much more confident and assured he is and I expect him to take that into next season and be even better again.
Palermo say we haven’t made a bit for Maurizio Zamparini, whose surname sounds like a zesty cocktail of some kind. ‘I’ll have a lime Zamparini, por favorrrrr!’. I’m trying very hard to care one way or the other but I just can’t.
Update: Andy in the arses points out Zamparini is the Palermo president. The player is Amauri. Still not caring too much. Although a lime Zamparini sure sounds good right about now.
More Champions League tonight. Can you believe Risse? What an utter vegetable he is. The reason the game is called ‘football’ is because we have feet to kick to the fucking ball with. Trying to head a cross that was barely two feet off the ground was just stupid. Tonight it’s Megacunts v Barcelona. I note they’ve been writing Thierry Henry’s obituary in nearly every paper you read – hopefully his pride (if he has any left) will be stung and his goals will knock United out.
Should be an interesting match though. I’m not sure United have faced a team with an attacking threat like Barcelona have. They may be in a mess at the moment but Messi, Bojan, Eto’o and Henry all have goals in them. If I were still living there I’d make sure Ronaldo got some dodgy tapas. Or a poison sandwich, just to be sure.
Right, till tomorrow.