Stoke. Too much talk about Shawcross. It’s making me feel a little bit nauseous if I’m honest, not through fear of another ‘not that kind of player’ tackle, but simply because Shawcross and his pig face makes me feel like throwing up.

Not an unreasonable response really.

So, poor little Ryan will need extra-security when he arrives at Arsenal. That’s according to Cave Man Number 1 Tony Pulis who is feeding Shawcross portions of irrationality and persecution just to ensure that he is at the top of his game come the weekend.

Have we got the ambulance on stand-by?

That still the sympathy lies with Shawcross is a disgusting indictment of football in this country. Nowhere else on the planet could one player inflict so much damage on so many other players yet still claim (and be treated as if) he is the victim.

In today’s press conference Wenger was asked if he had forgiven Shawcross and he said it was not for him to do, only Aaron could do that. I think until that point the journalists had forgotten that an 18 year old almost had his career ended by a player with previous. As I’m sure you have, I’ve heard more questions and concerns over Shawcross’s well-being than I have over Rambo’s.

But we’ve been over and over this, and nothing has changed. To expect the Arsenal fans not to give him a hard time is ridiculous. No-one minded when Man City players and fans alike abused John Terry after he shagged Wayne Bridge’s missus, but we are supposed to ‘forgive and forget.’ I ‘eagerly’ await the Arsenal fans being made to look like monsters for upsetting Pulis’s bastard love-child at the weekend.

Boo fucking hoo.

When asked (repeatedly) about Almunia leaving in January Arsene said that we was always surprised that when a player has to fight for his position the media always tries to make up stories about him leaving. He reiterated that we needed three world-class keepers at the club. Will you listen to offers for him? “I will listen only to Manuel Almunia.” Let’s hope he asks to leave eh?

It seems it is no longer an elbow injury which is keeping Almunia out of the side, he now has an ankle injury which will be healed in around three weeks, or however long it is until the window opens in January.

I don’t expect him to stay and I can see Mannone being pulled back from his loan at Hull to become the number 3.

Suits me.

Fabianski has about an 80% chance to play on Saturday but I’m thinking we will probably see Chesney retain the number one spot as we know how Stoke will try to play their rugby when they come to the Emirates and Pole The Younger is far better equipped to deal with it. Can you imagine him allowing himself to be shoved in to the goal? Stand on his toes at your peril. At 6ft 5 he should be coming for every ball hurled in to our box by Rory ‘I have my own towel under my shirt’ Delap.

I’m still awaiting the day when the time he takes to dry the ball is actually added to the match. I timed it one match and in the first half alone, taking into consideration NO other stoppages, it amounted to over seven minutes. The time added on? Two.

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels:

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; take excess moisture off the surface of a football to improve your grip before taking long throw-ins while playing for Stoke; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

I still think it’s cheating, no matter what the great, late Douglas Adam’s said.

On that random note, I’ll see you tomorrow. I will be covering the Champions League Draw live tomorrow at mid-day, so if you find you can’t get access to the internet or a TV, follow me on Twitter @LadyArse.

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A blog about the Arsenal
  • Bala

    I think that picture of Almunia is a bit harsh on him.He never openly criticised anyone for his lack of playing time or about anything for that matter

    • Anonymous

      I thought it was a picture of Wagner !

  • ts gooner

    I have more confidence in Mannone than I do in Almunia.

  • Anonymous

    I said yesterday that the team owe us 3pts and I won’t accept anything less. This is the predicament the club finds itself in now I’m afraid after dropping so many points this season. There is no margin for error from now on. Drop points on Saturday and my guess is the boos will ring round the Emirates like never before.

    I don’t think the crowd will effect Shawcross. It would be different if we were still at Highbury as the crowd were right on top of the players but the players are too far away at the Emirates for it to have the desired effect IMO.

    Just heard on Talksport, Eboue to Roma and Denilson to Wolfsberg maybe not a bad shout as long AW doesn’t just pocket the money for the club !

  • Tristan

    What does a German classical composer have to do with Arsenal?

  • Goonerton

    Reminds me of that tosser Wenger. f-king clueless.

  • Weedonald

    Allmunia has done his best for the Arsenal but his time is over,after seeing Csesny perform last Monday. I do hope he plays on Saturday and against Cheatski as well… will add 50% more steel to our back 4.
    Shawcross and Pulis will come into the Emirates hoping to kick us off the park and that DeLap will cause us grief with his ultra-throw-ins. Csesny can handle DeLap’s stuff and after seeing the physicality and toughness we have been displaying of late, Stoke might be in for a surprise. It has to be a win as anything else will clearly indicate a growing rot at the heart of our precious club.
    I hope Wenger plays Djourou and Kos together and allows Nasri to play in a central role with Cesc. This might be the game to try and reintegrate Bendtner and to play Walcott from the start as RVP will likely start as well and he can create a load of opportunities for the other two.

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