midway through the week and it’d be a lie to say spirits weren’t slightly lifted by last night’s European action. Sp*rs took a 4-0 hammering at the Bernebeu. Normally this would be just classified under general amusement but given the week we’ve had you take any little lift where you can get it.
It is little though and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that. The quietness from the club continues, as the official site can only manage an interview with Conor Henderson about how he’d like to follow in Jack Wilshere’s footsteps. It reminds me of the last general election here in Ireland when everyone was dying to be canvassed by the government party. Instead of sending the politicians and their ilk, they sent around soft targets, like old ladies, and slightly handicapped people, so you couldn’t have a go at them. Or if you did you’d feel bad.
I wish Conor Henderson all the best for his career but at this moment in time, with all due respect, I’m just not that interested in it. Nor do I care that much about the reserves win over Sunderland. A team containing Jeremie Aliadiere, well, it’s all a bit Middlesboro, isn’t it? Emmanuel Frimpong made his comeback after a serious injury, and well done to him, but the reality is he’s a player who needs to spend a season out on loan before he can really be considered first team material. He was never the answer to any of our needs this season.
An interesting litle story in the Mirror this morning regarding a left back from Charlton called Carl Jenkinson. He’s joining us in the summer, apparently, although he’s only just 18. I suspect this is a position that many players will be linked with after the news that Gael Clichy withdrew from transfer talks last week. Already we’ve heard Leighton Baines being linked and as long as Kieran Gibbs remains one of those players you just can’t build around, because of his injury issues, then we’re going to have to look for cover.
The Clichy situation is curious enough though. He seems to have hit a wall, in terms of his development, and whether it’s a case of the club wanting to move him on or him wanting to go I don’t quite know. I do know that a deal with Real Madrid was not far away last summer. My gut feeling is that it didn’t happen because a deal for a replacement didn’t go through. I think it would have been too much of a gamble for the manager to sell Clichy and then use Gibbs as the main left back all season. Still, it shows that something has been brewing for some time.
Meanwhile, Samir Nasri’s agent has been talking about his future, not ruling out a move but not exactly saying he’s on the verge of signing a new deal with us:
AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan are all great clubs, but now Samir is really happy at Arsenal and I don’t think he will move from London.
Nasri’s contract is certainly an issue and perhaps one that will be influenced by the way this season ends up. The same goes for a couple of players you can think of quite readily. From everything I’ve been told there’s no real concern but if things go even more pear shaped and he decides, for whatever reason, not to renew, then a big decision has got to be made this summer. Do you spend 12 months trying to convince him and watch him go like a common Flamini, or do you get what you can for him on the transfer market?
At the moment it’s difficult to look at anything and not consider the worst-case scenario so let’s not worry too much about it. The most important thing right now is the run-in, the final eight games, and how we perform in them. Pretty much everything else can wait until the end of the season. Quite how soon the ‘end’ of the season is remains to be seen but let’s hope we can extend it right to the final game. The Nasri contract situation does have an air of familiarity about it though and you do wonder, as the club handed out new deals to players who barely play, why this wasn’t sorted out sooner.
Those of you who like a good stat and a spiffy chart will enjoy this piece over at 7am KickOff. The shots on goal/goals conceded part is oh-too-painful, especially this season.
All that aside there’s not a great deal else going on. We’ll await some injury updates this week. There are concerns over Alex Song, after he spent the last 35 minutes of the Blackburn game clearly injured, while there may well be some good news regarding Djourou and Wojscez©®. The former has already said he could be back for the Liverpool game while the latter was due to have a scan on his banjaxed finger this week. It would be quite timely to get some kind of pre-Blackpool boost.
The Gooner Podcast this week features a panel with Amy Lawrence, Philippe Auclair, Tim Payton and an annoyingly constant clicking sound, but it’s worth a listen as they discuss the current state of things at the club.
Finally for today, if you want to win yourself a 1971 keeper’s jersey, signed by Bob Wilson himself, check out the competition here. You’ve got until Thursday midnight to get your answers in, the winner will be announced on Friday morning.