Wednesday, April 17, 2024

As we start to look towards Sunday …

Welcome to Thursday. The North London derby takes place on Sunday and much of the focus should now turn to that.

Of course there isn’t much in the way of news because after Milan and Sunderland we’ve gone into lock-down mode on the media side of things. The only snippet we got was poor old Bacary Sagna being rolled out to do the ‘We’ll keep fighting, do it for the fans’ line which was previously the domain of Johan Djourou. Every time we had a bad result, he was the guy who did it. I think it has broken his mind.

At this point I think they should simply replace that player interview with a video of an angry goose in an Arsenal shirt let loose on a high street, honking and hissing at passers-by. Subtitle it, by all means, but I would rather see the escapades of a wild animal than listen to another one of those interviews. The more obvious solution is for the team to, you know, win some games and shit, but maybe the goose thing would provide decent back up.

We don’t have any real team news ahead of Sunday yet but Marouane Chamakh has got a bad toe, apparently, which is what forced him off after half an hour of the reserve game. One can only assume he kicked something in frustration. Possibly a ball. It’s been so long his feet might have become a soft as lady’s hands after using mild green Fairy liquid whilst doing the dishes. And if his toe isn’t up to Norwich reserves I doubt it’s going to be ready for Sp*rs at home.

And while many first team players short of match sharpness played in midweek, there was no sign of one player who really could have done with the run out, Kieran Gibbs. He played an hour in Milan, missed the game against Sunderland while it might be a case they’re working on him behind the scenes to get him ready for Sunday you have to think that playing for the reserves would have been ideal if he’d been fit enough to do so. It’s not nice to see any young player’s career blighted by injury, especially a lad who has grown up with us and come through the ranks, but we need a left back who can play left back every week, not just now and again as a special treat.

No doubt we’ll get a clearer picture of the state of the squad over the next day or two. If Gibbs is out there’s no Coquelin to fill in, and there are doubts about Koscielny’s knee, so Vermaelen at left-back and a central pairing of Song and Djourou is not going to calm anybody’s nerves before a game we really have to win.

The Sun reports that Arsenal and Sp*rs are set to issue a joint statement about abuse directed towards Emmanuel Adebayor. No doubt the Sp*rs bit reads:

We were under the mistaken impression for many seasons that his father was a scrubber of large, grey, trunky mammals, and let him know this quite vociferously, but now that he plays for us we realise this is not the case and in fact we actually love him for his qualities as a player and a man and not simply because of the fickle nature of football fans.

Clearly, and obviously, any kind of chanting which references race is to be deplored. Racism has reared its ugly, buck-toothed, captain of England head too often this season, but as far as I know there’s no such thing as cuntism which means that people are quite entitled to let a cunt know he’s a cunt and Adebayor, let’s face it, is a cunt. Anyway, it’s all part of the pantomime, you can’t have heroes without villains and attempts to sanitise the game to that extent will, rightly, fall of deaf ears.

And at a time when so much anger is turned inwards, at our own players, at the manager, at the board, at anyone who peeps a head above the parapet, the return of Adebayor is a timely reminder that when it comes right down to it we’ve got to stand together against the opposition, not each other. Yes, there’s a place for debate and discussion, heated or otherwise, but come 1pm Sunday it Us against Them and the Them are the biggest bunch of Satan’s bastards that ever did live.

It’s worth bearing in mind – and if I see Alex Song hugging Adebayor at any stage that’s me and him finished. Go round his house and hug him if you want, just not on the pitch, in the tunnel or anywhere else on derby day. Unless we’ve won, then he can frenchie him in the centre-circle for all I care.

In other news Rangers FC, currently in administration, sold the 16 shares they’ve held in the club for decades to Alisher Usmanov’s Red and White Securities. Craig Whyte then apparently tried to pocket the cash himself. What is it they say about birds of a feather? Still, it continues the Uzbek’s drive to gobble up as many shares as he possibly can, the current state of play being:

No of shares percentage
STAN KROENKE 41,579 66.82%
RED and WHITE SECURITIES LTD* 18,437 29.63%

With just 3.55% of the shares held beyond our two billionaire friends the cold war over Arsenal’s ownership continues. Maybe when the Emirates sponsorship runs out we can rename the ground Gorky Park.

Beyond that not much going on. There’s some talk of Zenit St Petersburg wanting Andrei Arshavin on loan but I can’t see that happening. At a time when all you have to do is look sternly at an Arsenal player for him to go down injured and miss a few weeks, the last thing we need to do is weaken our squad further. I suspect this is just talk from their side and we have no intention of letting him go anywhere until the season is over.

Right, that’s that. More tomorrow with an Arsecast. Till then.

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