20.45 – Peace
08.55 – Arsene Wenger says in today’s Sun that there is no danger of this Arsenal squad becoming complacent or lacking hunger to win the title. Despite winning the double last season, he feels there’s room for improvement this time around.
We’ve lost Adams, Dixon, Grimandi, Richard Wright and …Junichi Inamoto (snigger), and been relatively quiet in the transfer market signing only Gilberto and Cygan and maybe Carini (though that looks doubtful). However, AW thinks it might be time to see the products of the Arsenal youth system he has rebuilt since his arrival. He names Jermaine Pennant, Jeremie Aliadiere, Sebastian Svard, Moritz Volz and David Noble as youngsters who could make the step up.
Matt Dickinson (the bloke who did the infamous Hoddle “all cripples are paying for their past sins” interview) makes his Premiership predictions here and he puts Arsenal at number 1. Dead Kenny, over on the claret and blue side of blogland, makes his predictions as well, and he has Man Utd top of the table come next May – which is fantastic, coz last season he tipped them for the title as well, and we all know what happened. I have asked him to tip United for the Champions League too, which should jinx them sufficiently so they win bugger all again.
Freddie Ljungberg is recovering well from his hip operation and he hopes to be back in mid-September, while Bob is looking at mid-October for his comeback. There’s a decent article in today’s Guardian about Sol Campbell’s impact on the Arsenal team since his arrival last season. Everyone talked about Ljungberg’s goals, Pires and Bergkamp’s creativity, Henry’s golden boot and Vieira’s all round excellence, but the highest compliment I can pay to Sol is that he ensured we didn’t miss Tony Adams too much during his long spell on the sidelines last season. Let’s hope he picks up where he left off on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson face a difficult time with the news that Alfie Haaland is to sue Keane and Man Utd for that tackle. I’m not sure I like the idea of footballers sueing each other to be honest, although Haaland might want to read back over his icons.com diary and take a look at this (may require registration).
Anyway, all the talking is over, the new season kicks off today. Hurrah. At last….proper football again. Here’s to a season of success in all areas for Arsenal, and a heartbreaking last day relegation for Sp*rs.