Waking up this morning was quite a relief as I was in the middle of dreaming about writing the blog except somehow my index fingers on both hands had fallen off and I was struggling to type. I was also talking to some bloke from RedAction who had a massive trunk where his nose should be and he kept pausing to blow his trunk because he had the flu. Every time he did it he’d make a loud trumpet noise and three of four people around him would shout ‘Arsenal’ at the end like it was some kind of chant. Weird.
Also weird is Arsene Wenger’s belief that moving to the new stadium has been a factor is our slipping out of the title race. He says:
Away from home this year we have done well. But we have gone to a new ground. Manchester United or Chelsea would drop a few points at the start if they did that – and that’s what has happened to us. It is not completely illogical. We have just moved in, and we have slipped up, four times we have drawn 1-1.
That’s true enough in a way. It does take time to get used to new surroundings but I have to take issue with the belief we’ve done well away from home. We’re unbeaten at the new stadium but we’ve lost three times on our travels so it seems a bit strange for the boss to blame the Grove, or ‘Groundy’ as I affectionately call her, for our troubles. I agree we could have gained more points there but that’s down to giving away silly goals and poor defending rather than because it’s a sparkling, brand new stadium.
Vitalfootball (link removed because of their insistence on spamming the NewsNow Arsenal feed) and Goodplaya both mention the fact that the Arsenal players didn’t take time to give a clap to the fans who travelled so far to support them, very vocally, during the Bolton defeat. Goodplaya’s idea about making madatory is a good one, if you ask me. I’m sure it wasn’t a deliberate snub and I’m sure it was borne out of disappointment at losing to Bolton again but Arsenal has always been a club that sets standards and expects certain behaviour from its players on and off the pitch. This should be the same.
More than one fan has emailed about Emmanual Adebayor as well. At the final whistle he came off the pitch with his arms around El Hadji Diouf laughing and smiling. That didn’t go down well so somebody might want to have a word with him about that. Nobody is telling him who he can and can’t be friends with and talk to but a little awareness that Diouf is widely detested by Arsenal fans might mean he keeps his cosy chats to the sanctuary and privacy of the dressing room in the future. Not quite as bad as Wiltord swapping shirts up there at half time some seasons back but it upset a lot of people.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Fulham Gilberto says nobody will be giving up while we should have Thierry Henry back from injury although the boss says we can win without him if we need to. Just not on Saturday. We’ll definitely have Robin van Persie back from suspension and Arsene Wenger says we must get the best out of the potential of this team, saying:
The target is to get the best out of our potential, keep going and see where we finish at the end of the season but I am just sad that the players do not get rewarded for what they produce.
Some, including I, might say the best way to get the best out of our potential would be to augment the squad with some quality and experience. I love the concept of the young team and I think we’ve got some classy young players but I also think there are some who aren’t as good as we’d like to think they are. Still, the manager has said he won’t buy in January so now it’s all down to him and his ability to get the maximum from them.
Gerrard Houllier says it’s a ‘scanal’ that Thierry Henry didn’t win the Ballon d’Or which was won by Fabio Cannavaro. It’s a bit of a shame but hardly a ‘scandal’. There are worse things in life.
And that’s about it. Don’t forget the Kolo competition to win a t-shirt from my friends at Goalhanger.com. See yesterday’s blog for details and if you want to leave an audio message for this week’s arsecast just click here and do your thing.
Right then, I’m playing football tonight and after Saturday I’ve had this burning desire in me to play and kick someone about 8 feet up into the air. Watch out centre-forwards.