Good morning, apologies for the slight lateness of this blog but I’m having some spinning colouredy-wheel issues with my computer this morning. And it turns out punching it does nothing. Who knew?
Anyway, a quick round-up of the news for you, starting, of course, with the return of Thierry Henry. It was officially announced yesterday, just in time for him to be available for Monday evening’s game against Leeds, and there are many quotable quotes. From him talking about not wanting to disturb the existing players, to how much it means to him to be back, but the one that stood out for me was when he said he’d be a little bit more Dennis than he used to be.
I remember Dennis and he used to be the main front guy. Suddenly he was playing behind the striker and if you have the awareness to see things before other players, you can get away with not having your legs.
And who could argue with Thierry being a bit Dennis? Not I, that’s for sure. For his part, Arsene says:
We will not put pressure on him to score goals. We want him to perform. He will do that himself, of course. I want him to help the team and do well. I don’t even have to say a word because he will want to do that himself.
However, let’s not look past the fact there’s only one reason that Thierry is back. It’s not because of sentiment, it’s not because it’s nice, or that either party is doing the other a favour, it’s because Arsenal need someone who can score goals. Expecting him to be his previous, swashbuckling self will only result in disappointment but he’s got enough quality and intelligence to add something to this team.
And even if we do look at this as logically as all that, there’s no escaping that there is a measure of sentiment to it. Not in the decision, or why we made it, but simply to see him in an Arsenal shirt again. It’s unlikely he’ll start against Leeds but it’d be surprising if he didn’t get some playing time to try and get him more up to speed. Welcome back, Thierry.
Meanwhile, in relation to other signings, the boss says he’s looking for a left back on loan:
I do not want to go for a permanent solution because we have to pay all these people as well. But if I can, yes I will get a loan player until the end of the season.
Vermaelen should be back, not for Swansea, but after that.
I’m pretty sure there was talk of Vermaelen being back for Swansea but if he’s had another game added on, while Kieran Gibbs’ balsa wood frame continues to leave him vulnerable to kicks, tackles and leaves falling gently on his torso, then it’s easy to see why he’s on the lookout. As for who that player might be, I’m as in the dark as you are, but if we have the need let’s try and do it as quickly as we can.
It’s also interesting to hear the manager talk about how he’s worried about players coming back from the ACN ‘dead’, because of the heat, the pressure, the whole lot. Obviously he’s referring to Gervinho because if Chamakh comes back any worse the Moroccan FA will simply send us a cardboard cut-out of Kaba Diawara. Maybe they’ll be invigorated.
Ryo Miyaichi has been out injured for a couple of months but made his comeback in the reserves the other day. As well look for some speed and inventiveness on the flanks he could well be an option but throwing in a kid with no real top level football under his belt is a something of a risk, and Arsene is hinting at a loan deal.
He looks sharp, but what I will do with him I do not know yet. Will I get him to play somewhere or will he play for us? I have to make my mind up in the next three weeks.
If I had to put any money on it I’d say spending the rest of the season at another club is most likely. Ideally it’d be another English club, it might not even be Premier League, but I’m sure Feyenoord would like to have him back after a successful spell there last season. We shall see.
Finally for today we’re being linked with a striker called Suarez. Let’s hope he’s the good kind and not the handballing, bitey racist kind. Turns out he’s called Matias Suarez, he’s Argentine, plays for Anderlecht and is the top scorer in the Europa League this season. Normally you’d take this kind of story with a large pinch of salt but we have had a bit of South American focus in recent times.
Remember we tried to sign Ricardo Alvarez. We then spent an eternity in Costa Rica (yes, more central, I know) wrapping up the signing of Joel Campbell who, it emerged, wasn’t even qualified for a work permit, and now this fella. To be honest, I’d never heard of him until yesterday so let’s see how much truth there is in this one. The rest of January should tell us.
Right, that’s yer lot. Have a good Saturday, back tomorrow.