Good Friday to you all and I’d best get cracking with the blog as it’s a busy day today. Sorry for the late blog but NTL here has been down since about 1am last night and I’ve been hanging on like Blondie on a telephone.
We’ll start with the news that we’re unlikely to have any of the injured players back for the Boro game on Sunday, which is a bit of a pain you have to say. We’ve spoken about how much we miss them but we have no choice but to get our heads down and get on with things. We still have some options. Bendtner and Walcott will be itching to show they can make a difference to our attacking play and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one of them start.
Better news is that Robin van Persie (caught having a crafty fag at Amsterdam airport apparently) will, along with Abou Diaby, be back in full training next week. Arsene Wenger says the Steaua Bucharest game in midweek is probably a bit ‘early’ but I suspect he’ll be ready to play some part against Chelsea, probably from the bench.
Kolo Toure speaks about the team spirit at Arsenal and echoes Gilberto’s sentiments that the point at Newcastle was one gained rather than two dropped. He credits William Gallas for his captaincy and talks about the spirit in the side, saying:
The main thing is that we are all working really hard as a team. We all try to help each other. You can always lose your focus for one minute in a game and thatâ€™s when you need your friends to be there for you, to shout at you, â€˜Come back to the gameâ€™. To know that is there gives you the focus you need and the strength to get back in the right frame of mind. At the moment, weâ€™re doing that all together, from the â€™keeper through to the strikers and it is making a difference.
Although Boro are struggling it would be unwise to underestimate any team in this league and in the absence of so many key players that team spirit might just make the difference on Sunday. There’s also the added danger of facing an ex-Arsenal player in Jeremie Aliadiere, a man who scored a grand total of 1 league goal for us in all his time at the club, and who will probably manage to scuff one in against us as that would be just typical. Futher previewing of this game to come.
Oliver Khan has told Jens Lehmann he needs to leave Arsenal if he wants to play in Euro2008. Given the relationship between them this has probably made up Jens’ mind to now stay and fight for his place. The Gorilla Albino is probably right though. Gah, internet hassles – no more stories, on with the Arsecast.
In this week’s hastily assembled Arsecast, sponsored as always by OleOle.com, I chat with the Observer’s Amy Lawrence about the Newcastle game, the upcoming Boro game and more. Arsene Wenger Hawkins is around, the Man in the Bar has a player history and I take part in a laugh a minute Irish TV show. Really.
To subscribe to the arsecast in iTunes – click here. To download this week’s arsecast directly – click here (12mb MP3). You can find the arsecast archives here. And you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode55.mp3]
And that’s it. I have to go to work then I’m off to Barcelona for a few days for some mojitos and other delicious rum based cocktails. Normal blogging will continue though.