Today’s latest blog instalment comes chocked full of mystery, intrigue and plot twists. Well, not really, I just give some views on Arsenal. And if you didn’t know that and want something a little more Ruth Rendell, I’d suggest you head over to the nearest Waterstones.
We’ll start with the news that Manuel Almunia has decided that those awesome heated sports bucket seats are not for him. Nor is the circa £50k per week he’s been collecting for his services to Arsenal for the last couple of years. And as if in an ultimate example of some of the deadwood mentality at Arsenal of recent seasons, Almunia has said he’ll probably stay in London because he’s too ‘lazy’ to go back to Spain. Good luck picking up £2.5m a year at Millwall Manuel. Just one of many that need to be shown the exit doors at London Colney I’m afraid.
Someone who doesn’t need to worry about that is Kieran Gibbs, who pulled out the worlds first (I’m sure) footballing cliche and told the official site that we now have three cup finals and must be focused enough to win them all. Good stuff to hear and we’d want to see things like that on the official site rather than “well the seasons over, so I’m looking forward to two weeks in Sardinia”, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as they say. The team needs to show those away fans that have travelled north to the cave people’s dwellings that they are up for this and take all three points back down south. It will be far from easy, as Chelski and recently Man City have found out, but the team knows what it has to do.
One person that the team will have to cope without this weekend (and for the remainder of the season) is Mikel Arteta, and yesterday I received a text message from Oaf12 informing me that we haven’t won a game all season without Arteta in the side. It’s information like that you just hate to receive and, aside from the text wobbly smile that I sent back (you know, the one with the ‘s’ as the mouth), it fills you with a bit of anxiety for the next few games. So if you are like me, let me try and pour a little bit of water on that stat: 1) Arteta didn’t sign for the team until 31st August and so our bad run had already started before he was at the club, and 2) He was also missing in January when we had no full backs as well which ultimately cost us games because we had to rely on those defensive stalwarts of Squillaci and Djourou at right back. I would suggest that our poor January form had more to do with our defensive frailties than the little Spaniard. That’s not to say we don’t miss him; his form all season has been good and he’s scored some vital goals as well as kept the heart of our team beating and ticking over each week. He will be a big miss, but with our defensive unit performing better all the time, the onus will be on the attacking players to step up and show their stuff.
We may not be able to draw on the abilities of Lukas Podolski for our run in over the next few games, but it looks like the formalities are all completed now, as reports emanating from Germany suggest that most of the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed. More on our potential new signing at the end of the season when/if it happens, but the first of many one hopes.
And finally for today, it appears that David Dein has desided he hasn’t seen his name in the papers recently, so has raised his head above the parapet to inform a select few journalists that Robin has had offers to leave Arsenal in the past. I don’t know what level of ‘non-news’ this qualifies as to be honest. Of course he has had offers, and with his contract only a year to go before expiry, I’m sure David’s son is taking calls from clubs across the globe. I’m sure Arsenal do the same with players too, but it doesn’t mean they will sign, just look at the interest being generated by Junior Hoillett. So talking about offers from the past is as useful as me talking to you about the choice I made on Friday to go for a Chicken Korai. Sure, they offered me extra poppadoms, but I just couldn’t accept.
Anyway, that’s enough jibber-jabber for one day. You have a good one.