Thursday, November 30, 2023

Campbell to start ahead of Senderos – I'm off to Paris!

Morning all. Not long now. Getting exciting. Nervous. Sentences shortening. Must stop before Ellroyism is complete.

Let’s start with some team news and the word I got yesterday is that it looks likely that Sol Campbell will start ahead of Philippe Senderos tomorrow night. It is unconfirmed as yet but that’s what it looks like. Whether AW feels Big Phil hasn’t recovered fully from what was a quite serious knock or he feels that Campbell is the man with the experience we don’t know but it is what it is. As I said yesterday if he plays he’ll get our full support for the duration of the game. What I will say though is that if he does play he owes us a performance and a half.

And by us I mean the fans, the manager and the teammates he walked out on. You could argue that he doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a Champions League final but if he’s there we’ve just got to hope that the games he has had have got him back to somewhere approaching full sharpness and on his day he can be an awesome defender. The worry is that day was months and months ago. Fingers crossed though. Of course AW might have a change of mind and decide to play Senderos but it seems that the few weeks out have scuppered the Swiss’s chance of playing. Had he not picked up that knock this wouldn’t even have been a talking point.
No word on the left back choice yet but I’d be surprised if Cole didn’t play.

In a round-up of the stories making the news this morning Thierry Henry talks about using his anger in a positive way. Sort of like the force, I’d imagine. Thierry is Luke to Arsene Wenger’s Yoda.

Cesc reveals not everyone who knows him in his home town of Arenys de Mar wants him to win the Champions League because they’re all Barcelona fans. And he also talks about why he wanted to leave Barcelona, saying:

I wasn’t happy winning 20-0 or 30-0 every week as we did. I don’t think you work hard for this. I wasn’t asking to train with the first team but everyone was saying nice things about me but they never pushed me up a year or two to help me mature. Now I only think about Arsenal.

It’s funny how a young man who apparently wouldn’t even get a game for Barcelona B can cement a place in an Arsenal midfield, something that a certain Arsenal reject of a Barcelona left back who isn’t Silvinho could never manage. He also reckons the boss should pick Campbell and Cole. Well, he can’t be perfect all the time.

Lee Dixon reckons Arsenal can win it because of the solid defence and the pace of Henry and Reyes. Arsene Wenger says he’s staying at Arsenal for life and it’s got a lot to do with the potential of this young squad of players. Emmanuel Eboue was at pains to point out he wasn’t afraid of Ronaldinho but he reveals today he’s a bit afraid of Jens Lehmann saying that on the pitch ‘he’s a little bit evil’. Goodplaya gives his match preview.

Do Arsenal have two goalkeepers in the German squad? Thanks to Suge for pointing out this interesting image from a German website. Calm down, Fats!

Ok, that’s about it in terms of the round-up. Now I have to get my shit together for travelling and I leave Barcelona at around 4.30pm and arrive in Paris, via Perpignan, at 7.30am tomorrow. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Tom will be dishing up your daily edition of the blog tomorrow and Thursday and fingers crossed I’ll have a jolly tale to tell when I get back.

To everyone travelling have a safe trip and I’ll see some of you on the day of the game where we might even have a beer. Have a look out for the Arseblog ‘Cescy football’ banner made by PabloQ and I’ll be in the 71 away shirt with a number 7 on the back. To everyone else enjoy the game and believe. It’s the Champions League final. A game most of us never really thought we’d ever take part in. It’s once in a lifetime stuff whether you’re in Paris or at home in front of the TV with some cold ones. Au revoir, Arsebloggers.

Somos el Arsenal. ¡Vámanos cañoneros! Allez les jaunes!

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