Good morning, Arsefans. A cold, wet, blustery day in Dublin and luckily for me the Arsenal are on the telly so it’ll be me, a bowl of mulligatawny soup and hopefully a thumping win.
The team news sees Baptista back but reports of Freddie’s return were premature. He’s not involved because he hasn’t played any football in the last 5 weeks. Jens is back though and Alex Song has been added to the squad. After the games against Villa, Everton and Boro the manager is aware that three points at home today are vital and he says the team want to put those poor results behind them.
I feel our blip at home is over now. We have not found a way to win some games we should have. That is a little bit down to a lack of maturity. But it has hurt us so much that I feel this team will not be caught again.
He also explains the reasons for the 4-5-1 formation, which if we didn’t know already, is to add physical presence to the smaller, technical players we have and Thierry Henry’s role within that formation. Personally I think Henry is a bit wasted in a 4-5-1 so from now on I’m going to call it a 4-4-1-1 because last Sunday was quite interesting. Robin van Persie, although nominally on the left hand side, came central quite regularly when we had the ball and moved back out when we didn’t so it seems to be a bit more fluid than other variations.
Speaking of Thierry the boss reacted to reports that Fabbio Cannavaro was set to be awarded the Ballon d’Or. He said:
Congratulations to Cannavaro if that’s the case but for me there’s only one candidate this year and that’s Thierry Henry. He just deserves it. When you look at what this guy has achieved in his career as a player, I can tell you there are some players in the Ballon d’Or who have a lot to answer for when you compare them to Thierry Henry.
I’m firmly of the opinion that they’ll give the award to blind, leprous, hunchbacked, Al-qaeda supporting dwarf before they’ll give it to Thierry. I wish I knew why. He certainly deserved it for the last two seasons ahead of Ronaldinho and although last season wasn’t exactly his best because of our league struggles he still played in the CL final, the World Cup final and scored 33 goals in all competitions (and I don’t know how many he created).
Don’t get me wrong, I think Cannavaro is a brilliant player and he put in some amazing performances during the World Cup. It’s also nice to see a defender get some recognition but I’m not sure what he did over the course of the season compares to what Thierry did.
The captain would be the first one to say he’s not interested in personal awards and that it’s the team that matters but it’s a shame he hasn’t been given the recognition I think most of us would agree he deserves.
In other news Nicklas Bendtner is set to stay on loan at Birmingham until the end of the season and remember, if you have any comments about today’s game or anything else ahead of next week’s arsecast, you can record your own messages by going to this page and I’ll include the best ones on next week’s ‘cast.
Finally a big mention to Tony Gibney who runs Gibney’s pub in Malahide here in Dublin. He bought the two Jumbotron screens from Highbury during the Highbury auction and, being a life long Gooner, is going to have them installed into the pub. The screens cost Arsenal something in the region of â‚¬4m. Gibney’s bought them for â‚¬10,300. Good work, Sir! I must get out there to have a look one of these days.
And that’s that. Here’s hoping for another good win at home, more from me tomorrow.