When it was announced midweek that Cesc, Denilson, Song, and Arshavin would miss out on the trip to Shakhtar with a collective bag of injuries, some conspiracy-minded people suggested that they weren’t injured at all and that Wenger was simply resting them. That theory has received a bit of a boost with the news that every one of them is fit to play this weekend.
In ‘actual’ injury news there was some concerning information regarding Diaby with Wenger looking very disturbed as he recounted how worried they are over Diaby’s ankle, this injury the result of ‘that’ challenge. How much can one ankle take? It seems Diaby’s has been tested to the very limit and we can only hope that the ramifications of ‘that’ tackle, after his break and dislocation, followed by another horrendous tackle on it by a Chelsea player are not as serious as they could be.
Fingers crossed eh?
Vermaelen is supposed to be returning to training in a ‘matter of days’ which I am not getting too excited about. He was, after all, only supposed to be out for one match, then he would be back ‘next week’ then in ‘ten days’. To date he has missed 13 matches.
Coming next to perma-crock Van Persie, who returned to full training today, and all I can say is some people really are thick as shit aren’t they? From what I’ve seen Arsene has labelled Van Persie’s call up to the national side as something along the lines of ‘crazy’ – he has not been moaning on about as would be his right given that we’ve managed to get around five minutes of football out of our ‘star’ player in the past 12 months. But understanding is not something you get these days from national managers, especially not when it comes to the all-important friendlies. First up, the Dutch coach had a little go at Wenger by saying about Wenger’s comments that ‘They don’t mean anything.’ Then Advocaat weighed in to the argument with one of the most hypocritical statements you are likely to hear this year:
“He is always moaning about something. Mr Wenger wants to become the champion of England; I want my team to qualify from the Euro 2012 group. We need to respect the interests of each other.”
First, Van Mariwijk – Wenger’s comments should mean EVERYTHING! It is his team who has to do without Van Persie when he returns in six pieces. It is his club who have to pay the wages of a player unable to walk for most of the year. It is his club who has to fund the medical care for a player crocked in meaningless games time after time. Yes indeedy, his comments should mean everything.
Then, Advoacaat. What has it got to do with him anyway? As Wenger said, what has he said about Arshavin? Nothing, then why is Dick getting involved? And how can you insult someone at the start of your statement and then demand mutual respect? From what I know of Arsene Wenger he affords 99% of people the respect they probably don’t deserve whereas on the flip side receives respect from around 1% of people involved in football (see Pulis’s comments about loving all foreign managers except Wenger – would Wenger have been allowed to say he loved all English managers except Pulis without a massive backlash?)
Pah. How often do we find ourselves talking about the way people think it’s ok to treat Wenger like a piece of shit when all he ever does is treat people with far more respect.
There was an interesting dig by Wenger at the press pulling them on how, when he gives answers, they twist things and when he doesn’t say anything they still manage to have a go. This isn’t the first time he has mentioned that this season in press conferences, so it something that he is obviously aware of. The fact that he is courteous and responsive when some managers are downright ignorant pigs when it comes to press conferences seems totally lost on a lot of today’s mainstream media, and as has been noted before, it seems that the worse you treat the press the better they will treat you.
It’s totally dysfunctional and you can hope that Wenger is starting to play the game a little bit more. Can’t expect wholesale changes, but a little bit of bite would be nice. Then again, it does demonstrate his class above all others. Have you ever heard him threaten to ‘never talk to the press ever again’ a la ‘Arry when he has been more harshly treated on a good day than Redknapp’s worst ever experience in the papers?
Balerama is still ongoing with his performance obviously being the most important footballing issue of the week as journo’s asked Wenger what he thought of him. Given that Wenger replied by saying he liked him but had enough left-backs at the time I am eagerly awaiting the ‘Bale not good enough for Arsenal screams Wenger’ headlines.
While we’re on Bale, if you are one of the people currently subscribing to the view that he is the best player in the world you need to get to your doctor and get your meds adjusted. Of the top of my head, on current form, these players are better – Messi, Nani, Nasri, Hernandez, Wilshere, Nolan, van der Vaart (see, it isn’t a Spuds issue). I could go on, but a list that contains Nani and Nolan proves that the hype regarding Bale is simply insane. This is a player that has not one single assist in the Premier League this year. A player who has less assists than 102 other players in the league. World’s best my arse. Do yourself a favour, next time you hear someone utter that ‘best in the world’ sentence, slap them. If that’s you, slap yourself or ask someone to do it for you, I’m sure you won’t be short of volunteers.
And on that happy-slapping note I’m going to take myself off. As we don’t play until Sunday I’ll have a look at how we’re likely to line up tomorrow.
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