Ok, lots of bits and bobs for you this morning. We’ll start with team news ahead of tonight’s Carling Cup quarter final with Liverpool and although the full squad hasn’t been announced yet the main news is that Abou Diaby is back in the squad after a long absence. He’s been out since last May and it’s very nice to see him back. He certainly adds something to the squad and hopefully he can come back and pick up where he left off.
Lauren is not in the squad because of a toe injury according to Arsene Wenger some reports say that’s because he’s about to move to West Ham. I can’t begin to tell you how pissed off I’d be if we sold Lauren now. Right back is a difficult area for us at the moment and we could use his experience and toughness.
And still with West Ham the Sun says they’ve made a Â£7.8m bid for Freddie Ljungberg after Shaun Wright-Phillips rejected a move. If it’s true the amount of money on offer would make it very difficult for the club to turn down. You just wonder if Freddie would move there or if he’d prefer to go abroad which might suit him better. The Mirror suggests the reason we’re willing to sell Freddie is to help finance a shock January move for Frank Ribery. That certainly would be a surprise as tomy mind Hleb is doing a good job this season and Theo Walcott is his obvious back up. Where would that leave him if Quasimodo came in?
Anthony Stokes signed for Sunderland in the end and that’s probably a good move for him. He rejected Charlton and Celtic and the club will receive something like Â£2m plus extras based on performances and achievements. Obviously it’s a good deal for an 18 year old who Arsene Wenger thought was never going to be quite good enough to get regular football at Arsenal. The Guardian has a piece on Stokes and our other young loanee strikers Bendtner and Lupoli.
The draw for the 4th round of the FA Cup was made and we got Bolton at home. Lovely. A chance for revenge and we have a good record against them in the cup.
Arsene Wenger has tipped Tomas Rosicky to repeat the goalscoring feats of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg (although not combined) while he also admits he’s guilty of pushing Thierry Henry too hard but blames France’s World Cup run on the injuries suffered by the captain and William Gallas.
Back to tonight’s game and Kolo Toure and Arsene Wenger talk about winning and the potential of the team and the young players. As I said yesterday with the FA Cup win under our belts there’s no real pressure tonight and while it’s never nice to lose you might look at the upcoming schedule and wonder if two blood and thunder derbies against Sp*rs would be more hindrance than anything else. That said silverware is silverware and the boss will be conscious of that.
Anyway, that’s your lot. Keep the comments and suggestions coming for this week’s arsecast and I’ll be back tomorrow.