Hello everyone, hope you had a nice, peaceful and gluttonous day yesterday. I’m just up on the back of an 11 hour sleep, brought about due to the over-indulgence of food and drink over the last week or so.
Of course St Stephen’s day is the day you do it all (mostly) again. More turkey, more ham, more veg and probably more beers. It’s tradition, y’see. It’s also a day filled with football so that’s good. I assume there’s some kind of live game at lunchtime, probably an early evening one and we play Portsmouth at Fratton Park at 19.45. Hurrah. A veritable feast of football.
A win tonight would be a further step towards our first league title in 4 years and Cesc Fabregas says that Arsenal are hungry for the championship this season. He says:
The team is hungry and wants to achieve something to prove people wrong. We want to achieve a lot of things over the next 12 months. If we could win everything that would be perfect – but the Premier League is the competition it would be amazing to win.
Well, you can’t fault the young man’s ambitions, can you? I know there are those amongst you who would prefer to see us win the Champions League but for me I’d choose the league title. It’s a proper measure of your season against team whose fans you know and can therefore taunt if you do win. I don’t know too many AC Milan fans that I can send ‘hahaha’ texts to.
I think the only absentees from tonight’s game are Walcott and Van Persie who apparently has some kind of a thigh strain. Fingers crossed it’s not too serious. I suspect Nicklas Bendtner might have played his way into the first XI and I’d really like to see us return to the classic 4-4-2 as soon as possible. I know we’ve had some great results with the 4-4-1-1 (I can’t accept it as 4-5-1) I think we’re much more dangerous when we play our normal game. Although Portsmouth’s form isn’t great they are a decent side and it’ll take a good performance to get a result. Plus there may be 3 ex-Arsenal players there. Lauren (yay), Kanu (yay) and Sol Campbell (boo). Those people are always dangerous.
Speaking of Sol Cambpell – Arsene Wenger has backed his former centre-half about his claims that players get too much abuse. While I think Arsene has a very special position from which to speak out due to the chants aimed at him at some grounds, I still think Sol is a big, fucking Mary. Get your head down and get on with it.
Jens Lehmann talks about his possible departure from the club, saying:
Yes. I have been listening to some offers. But for the time being I can’t say anything concrete about it. Someone has apparently called the coach Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. My lawyer has also spoken to somebody but I can’t say which club. It’s an ongoing issue.
It seems that the wheels are definitely in motion for January and it would be a big surprise if something didn’t happen. With Fabianski set to step up to the number 2 position and young Italian Vito Mannone having just signed a new 5 year deal it seems that our goalkeeping future is more or less sorted.
There are loads of stories about Almunia for England again but I won’t be linking to them. I have to say I find the whole thing a bit annoying. The bloke was given a chance at Arsenal after waiting patiently and has done well enough to see off a hugely experienced rival in Jens Lehmann. His performances have been steady and consistent without being spectacular (penalty save against Keane apart) and the hype machine goes into overdrive suggesting he should play for a country he wasn’t even born in. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Manuel, I think he’s improving but this insistence on hailing somebody as the next Beckenbauer, Pele or Gordon Banks because they play a few good games gives me a pain in my tits. As far as I’m concerned Manuel should be concentrating 100% on Arsenal and if he continues to do well and improve then he may get a call up for Spain, his own country. End of story.
The worst thing is the minute he has a bad game the reverse-hype machine will kick in and he’ll be ‘shit’ and ‘a clown’ again. You just can’t fucking win, can you?
Anyway, that’s as much as I’ve got this morning. Here’s to three points tonight and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.