09.15 – Sadly, Arsenal ladies lost the Community Shield yesterday after a penalty shoot-out. Let’s hope Arsenal’s men do better on Sunday against Liverpool. One man determined to kick off the season with bang is Thierry Henry. Unfortunately for France, he’s had a longer summer holiday than he might have planned, but it’s good news for Arsenal as he’s ready to start this season with a bang.
He’s had a mixed time at the Millenium Stadium. The 2000-2001 FA Cup final was not such a good day, and although last season’s cup final was a much more positive experience, he still has to find to the net at the Welsh Wembley. It seemed like an impossible task to try and replace Ian Wright up front for Arsenal. How do you find anyone to score goals at the rate WWW did? In 3 seasons Thierry has scored something close to 80 goals – that’s some good shooting. Long may it last.
Pascal Cygan is another Frenchman out to make his mark. Of the 3 summer signings, he’s going to be under the most pressure because he’s taking over where Tony Adams left off. He says he doesn’t mind if he plays with “Sol, Martin or Igors Stepanovs”. Well, I don’t think I’d be too happy at seeing just him and Stepanovs in the centre of defence to be honest, and Matty Upson might have something to say about it too. With Tavlaridis waiting in the wings, there’s plenty of competition for a centre-half place this season, which has to be good.
Championship Manager players will know all about Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He’s one of those players you can buy cheaply who generally goes on to score loads of goals. Arsenal were very close to signing him before he left for Ajax, with Arsene Wenger offering him the number 9 shirt before he bought Jeffers. Well, it looks like there are two English clubs after him again. Sunderland need a striker to replace 78 year old Niall Quinn, and Alex Ferguson is said to be sniffing around having realised that paying £7.5m for a striker you’ve never seen play might not have been the best piece of transfer business ever. Whoever gets him will have signed a potentially excellent player, but who is a bit…er….mad. This story of his arrest in Malmo while impersonating a police man in a red-light district is just class. Let him loose around Moss Side and see how long he lasts.
Lastly for now, spare a thought for Lee Dixon’s old mate David Ginola. He had ambitions of playing for the biggest clubs in Europe – “AC Milan, Barcelona, Man Utd” (his words) – but instead ended up at Tottenham. Ahhh…..