Mixed news this morning regarding Julio Baptista. Yesterday Arsenal announced that his groin injury was ‘minor’ and that he’d be having a fitness test to see if he could play against Sp*rs tomorrow night.
However, this morning the Mirror reports that Baptista is out of the game and that Arsene Wenger failed in his attempts to make a last minute purchase because he didn’t have any money. Seems strange that he would even try and make a buy if he knew he didn’t have any money. Both the Sun and the Mirror say we failed with a loan bid for Spanish under 21 international Antonio Puerta who would provide cover for the left hand side. I had a look around the Spanish papers but I couldn’t find any mention of it so it’s hard to say where they’ve gotten that story from. As for Baptista we’ll just wait and see what the official word is rather than the Mirror’s speculation.
Gael Clichy is sure the team can cope with the injury problems and despite feeling tired after so many games he’s happy. This time last year he was sat on his arse doing nothing waiting for a broken foot to heal. He said:
In the last two years we have had a lot of injuries and always coped with it. We have the players to make the injured ones relax and recover well. We just hope that they come back and weâ€™ll try our best to stay in all the competitions.
We do seem to have been suffering a lot more injuries than normal over the last two seasons though. Incidents like Diaby’s apart there seems to be a never ending supply of thigh, groin and calf strains which keep players out for weeks at a time. Are these the sort of injuries players played through in the past? Is it a case that with the sophisticated equipment which can show muscle strain that the players themselves aren’t even aware of the club are being too overprotective of the lads? Have we just been lucky in seasons past?
As it stands when everyone is fit our squad looks very healthy. It’s just that it seems like an age since everybody has been fit.
Gilberto Silva, who looks set to return to the side for the Carling Cup game tomorrow night, says despite all the goals this hasn’t been his best season for Arsenal. Far be it for me to disagree with the man himself but I think the consistency of his performances has been excellent and the goals are like the cherry on top of the consistency pie that he’s been dishing out great slices of since August. Erm…
Transfer news. Apparently we’ve agreed a deal to sign a striker! Don’t get to excited though, he’s only 15. Gilles Sunu will sign for the club next month and then join in July. We keep getting them younger and younger. I expect to wake up one morning to see a headline “Arsenal sign French embryo” or “Sperm starlet set for Gunners”.
Finally for today the draw for the 5th round of the FA Cup was made yesterday. No surprise to see Chelsea draw top class oppostion while if we beat Bolton at the Reebok it’s another encounter with Blackburn at the Grove.
And that, my good old friends, is that.