Another year over + Arsecast 182

Good morning to you from waterless Dublin.

It’s New Year’s Eve, of course, and for many it’s a time to look back and take stock of their year. From an Arsenal point of view I’ll be quite happy to see the back of it. There have been some fun times but far too many not-much-fun-at-all times. You can all remember them I’m sure but here’s my list of the worst days of 2010, in no particular order.

1 – Sp*rs at home (3-2, having been 2-0 up)

2 – Wigan away (3-2, having been 2-0 up – worst. performance. ever)

3 – Sp*rs away (2-1, some twat nobody’s heard of since scoring a wonder goal)

4 – Ramsey’s leg being Shawcrossed into little pieces

5 – The fact that nobody has set John Terry on fire

Yet so as not to dwell entirely on the negative, the good times.

1 – Arsebloggers 5-0 Pepito (forget that Messi tore us a new one)

2 – The departures of Sylvester and Gallas, pair of wankers

3 – The reaction to Ramsey’s leg break at Stoke.

4 – The Chelsea game just because it’s recent and it was good and I smiled a lot

5 – Eduardo’s consolation for Shaktar in the CL – just a nice moment free from the general cuntery of football

I’m sure you have your own picks. And I’m sure if I sat down and thought about them long enough I might pick different ones but sitting down and thinking? Pfff, that’s for boffins and people who design water systems which leave an entire city waterless, the useless twats.

Anyway, feel free to chime in with your best and worst in the arses should you so desire. A new year brings new resolutions – mine is to eat fewer grapes – and a sort of psychological clean sheet, as opposed to the actual football ones which we continue to fail miserably at.

Tomorrow we play Birmingham away and we’ve got to get ourselves back on track after the Wigan disappointment. The only injury news is that Abou Diaby will spend some weeks out with a calf problem and while I feel terribly sorry for him I think it really is time to question his value to the squad. A couple of days ago Arsene was talking about how Diaby could make a vital contribution to the season – and now he’s out again for a few weeks.

He has never recovered properly from the Dan Smith atrocity. The constant, niggling injuries have blighted his career, and continue to do so. You cannot build proper match fitness, sharpness, stamina and form when you’re out every few weeks with another strain or muscle pull. Unless he can get fit and put in a few injury free months until the end of the season the harsh reality is that we must consider a replacement.

I expect the majority of the team that played against Chelsea to start at Birmingham, a place where we need to vanquish some ghosts. The spectre of Eduardo’s injury injury still hangs over us while last season’s last minute equaliser was just about the beginning of the end for us. Arsene’s press conference is taking place right now so we can do a fuller preview of the game in tomorrow’s blog – which will most likely be accompanied by an enormous *boilk*.

Via John Cross on Twitter there are snippets out already. It looks as if Nottingham Forest’s attempts to keep Aaron Ramsey will fail and he’s due back on Jan 2nd while the boss has said we’re willing to let Carlos Vela go out on loan to get him some games. From what I’m told we’re more than open to letting Vela go on a permanent basis should anyone come up with the required funds. The odd chipped goal aside it’s not as if we’d really miss him. The Sun links him with Italian side Chievo.

What I’m keeping my eye on this January is whether or not JET gets a loan move. He’s just turned 20, which is hardly young in the modern game, yet he’s still to make the step-up from the reserves. The manager has hinted more than once that it’s got more to do with his attitude than his talent. Could Vela’s departure give him a chance at Arsenal or will he be sent out to see how he fares on loan? He’s been long touted as a massive talent, and it’s clear he’s got exceptional ability, but you just wonder if things are passing him by a bit. It’s nothing to do with age, as the 18 year old Jack Wilshere has shown this season. A situation to watch anyway.

Also, as Fabianski and Wojscez┬ę┬« battle it for the position of Pole in Goal, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Manuel Almunia play his football elsewhere. Barring injury I think I’d put a few quid on him moving on in January. Whether Hull are allowed to keep Vito Mannone for a bit longer will be a good hint as to what’s happening there.

As for players coming in, I wouldn’t put tuppence ha’apenny on it even if I had twice that. That doesn’t mean I don’t think a signing or two would help but I’m simply not going to get caught up in the transfer window frenzy. Que sera, sera. And I think we all know what sera.

Right then, time for the final Arsecast of 2010 and I’m delighted to be joined by Amy Lawrence to discuss the week that was, the state of the team and the squad at the halfway point of the season and the rest of what’s been going on. Also in there Internet Joe, some vintage news and Arshavin.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too. To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (23mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.

[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode182.mp3]

And that’s about that. It remains only for me to thank you all for what has been another fun year on the Arseblog. Ups and downs, footballistically and websiteistically, but that’s life, I suppose. We’ve got some interesting things planned for 2011 as well so more details on those in the weeks/months ahead.

Thank you all for your visits, emails, comments, Twitterings (and I should point out I do try and respond to as many people as possible, please don’t take it personally if I don’t. Sometimes there’s just too many messages), and everything else.

I’d like to wish you and yours a very happy, peaceful and prosperous 2011.

Up the Arse!

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