You know how much I love internationals and my deep affection for an increasingly tedious side to the game is never helped when our players go away and get injured.
Last night cost us Robin van Persie for an as yet unknown period of time but this picture suggests he might have done some real damage to his knee. With Philippe Senderos also a doubt due to a back injury it means we’re losing players going into a period of the season when we need everyone fit and well. We’ve got Liverpool away at the end of the month, followed by the Carling Cup in midweek, then Man United at home. If we win the Carling Cup game it means we’ve got 9 games in December so to lose players because they’re away with their countries could hurt us.
Let’s hope van Persie’s isn’t as bad as it looks and I’m told Senderos withdrew from the Swiss friendly against the US in order to give him time to recover for this weekend. William Gallas played for France last night so that does give us some cover. No doubt we’ll get updates throughout the day.
Leaving the pesky internationals behind us we can now concentrate on the real football again. It’s Bolton on Saturday and we’ll be facing a team who have just sacked their manager. Sammy Lee was simply too tiny to be taken seriously in the dressing room. Having to stand on an orange crate to talk to your players can’t be much fun. There have obviously been problems there, he’s changed the style of play and it hasn’t worked. To be fair to him he tried to get them to play some football instead lumping it up to a shit-kicker like Kevin Davies but bar one or two they don’t have the players to do that. Hopefully this will throw them further into turmoil and not galvanise them ahead of Saturday’s game.
Jens Lehmann has been speaking. Again. He says:
The positive for me is I am an all-around talent. I have no weakness. This, in combination with experience and my understanding of the game, is my main advantage over young keepers.
However, their advantage over you Jens, is that they can kick the ball and don’t have jelly wrists at this moment in time. I don’t see him coming back into the side for the Bolton game and you can hear Amy Lawrence’s thoughts on the goalkeeping situation in tomorrow’s Arsecast.
The Mirror reports Arsene Wenger is set to bring Carlos Vela to London in January when he qualifies for a Spanish passport. Not sure about this, I have to say. I think his loan deal is for the entire season so we’ll have to see. He’s currently at Osasuna and has just started to make appearances so it might be beneficial to all if he stays there. We’ll keep an eye on his progress and update you here on Arseblog, of course.
Another youngster out on loan is full back Kerrea Gilbert. He looked like he might have had a chance with us after some decent first team performances but he’s had troubles in recent times. His loan spell at Cardiff last season started very well and he was a regular in the team for months until an incident saw him dropped from the side and he didn’t play for them again. Now on loan with Southend he was substituted just 22 minutes into a reserve match after a bust-up with their reserve team coach. It’s hard to know if he’s just been unfortunate or if he’s got some attitude problems but he’s in real danger of letting a promising career slip away from him.
Later today Arsenal’s AGM takes place and it couldn’t come at a better time for the board. On the back of extremely good financial results the team is playing great football, sits on top of the league and has captured the imagination of everyone because of the football we’re playing. From that point of view there won’t be too many tough questions from shareholders. As well as that the distaste many fans have for Alisher Usmanov and David Dein’s Fat & Orange investment group should mean a swell of support for the board as they fight off what is the beginning of a hostile takeover bid.
Will F&O have a representative there? Will it be David Dein? What sort of reaction will Dein get from shareholders and fans unhappy that he’s brought the hulking mass of Usmanov into our club? What plans do the board have to fight them off? Will the lockdown be extended? Is Stan Kroenke now our friend?
The answers to some of these questions will be clearer later this afternoon and as soon as our roving reporter gets back from the AGM, via a local hostelry no doubt, Arseblog will let you know.
Until then take it easy.