Two blogs in one day? Guess I’m trying to make up for some of the days I’ve missed lately due to family commitments. There’ll be a third up later so check back for that.
I’m not quite sure how much truth there is in the rumour that Almunia will be allowed to leave in January and that someone is actually willing to pay £1.5m for him, but it’s a rumour I welcome with open ears.
Unlike Fabianski I’ve never rated Almunia and thought that at his best he was average with no room to improve. People point to the first 45 minutes against Barcelona to which I then point to the second half in which he sat down and undid all his other good work. For a player that has played 167 matches for us (plus one as a sub) to have only had a maximum of three superb performances (not all of which were even match-winning) is not even close to good enough. He’s just about good enough to be a number two, but not at Arsenal and I will not shed a single tear when he leaves.
If he leaves.
Still can’t get my head around the fact that someone would pay money for him.
In other ridiculousness it seems that Song’s new found attacking verve is at the behest of Wenger which just blows my mind. Apart from the fact that we need him in front of the defence, he is so far from being a creative player that when the ball falls to him it is often wasted. He is a superb defensive midfielder, that is where he should play.
I understand Wenger’s theory of pressing in the top half of the pitch, but when that leaves us wide open when we eventually lose the ball (as we are guaranteed to do as no team can maintain 100% possession for an entire match) the risk of Song being forward outweighs the benefit.
I don’t often disagree with Wenger, but I’m afraid I have to in this instance as well (twice in one post eh?).
In other transfer news we are being linked with Middlesbrough keeper Jason Steele. While I don’t doubt the England u-21′s ability, we have more than enough young keepers so can’t see us going for this guy.
You never know though.
As had been rumoured for some time on Twitter, Arsenal have confirmed that Vermaelen will be out until the new year. That isn’t as long as it sounds with it already being December, but there were worrying reports around that he could be out for the season. If this is the case we need to get a centreback in. Where he fits in when the Verm returns we can worry about later. We are Arsenal, we will never have a fully-fit compliment of centrebacks. I can’t see there being any problem giving the fit ones game time.
Talking of centrebacks, it seems Mark Hughes has been yammering on about ours saying that they will not be able to cope with the attack of a big team. While that may be true, it’s not really something Hughes needs to worry about as he won’t be managing a big team again any time in the near future.
So, next up for Arsenal is the Champions League match against Partizan and with our following match not until six days later there is little need for rotation. Put the first team out, get the win in the bag, then rest players as the match draws to a close. We don’t NEED a win, but we don’t want to NEED to rely on results elsewhere either. Win and we are through, albeit likely in second place, but when it comes to the knock-out stages you have to face the big guns sooner or later. No point having a few extra matches just to go out to Madrid or Barca in the quarters or semis, get it out of the way early is what I say, then we can concentrate on the league.
I jest, of course. Sort of. You know what I mean. Obviously if we can beat Barcelona that would be brilliant, but the thought of our defence trying to deal with Messi and co. does make me laugh nervously with the hilarity of the idea.
By this stage we had hoped that Chesney might be able to get a game or two as qualification was already assured, but as this isn’t the case it doesn’t seem he will get a run out in this year’s competition. Plenty of time for him yet.
Hot on the heels of talking some nonsense, Sagna has followed that up by talking some sense, saying how Sami is a dressing-room favourite.
“He is always crazy. He is a really good guy. He likes to spend time with the players and I think we can feel it on the pitch.
“He feels well with everyone and even with the team. He fits very well into Arsenal and it shows in his performances.
“I think he is one of our best players of the season and on Saturday he showed it again. Because of him we won the game. I’m not surprised to see him playing like this. He needed to settle a bit but now he is showing his best and he will show even more.”
Is it just natural progression that Sami is doing so well or the removal of his arch-nemesis Gallas from the club? Perhaps it’s the absence of Cesc, or a mixture of all three, but whatever it is, he’s a firm favourite with the fans now as well.
He is a player who is not only immensely talented but who matches that with a super work-rate. The thought that he will only get better shows you why he was labelled the new Zidane. Personally, I don’t see him as a new anything. He is Samir Nasri.
That’s good enough for me.
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