Back to playing football

*Originally posted 10th April 2011

Yesterday morning whilst we were all discussing & dissecting the tabloids transcript of their press conference with Arsesene Wenger on Friday afternoon it came to light that long serving chairman Peter Hill-Wood had appeared to make an angry criticism of Arsenal fans and the AST. Later in the day the club issued a statement in order to attempt to defuse the situation and put us all back on a purely footballing course from now until the end of the season.

“Emotions can run high in football many times throughout a season. It’s because we all care about our club. Our fans are at the heart of what we do, and that will always be the case.”

I was pleased that the club chose to highlight the part that the fans play, hopefully it will give further enthusiasm to our already wonderful away supporters up at Bloomfield Road today as well as all fans at all games from now until the end of the season. That can only buoy on the players.

Regardless of any ones view of players, manager, transfer activity, fans or just the club as a whole we all need to get behind those who will represent the club on the pitch between now until the seasons end.
So with that in mind lets talk football…
Unsurprisingly Manchester United picked up another three points yesterday and as we stand they currently have a ten point lead at the top of the table, however we of course now have two games in hand and have to play United. So from our perspective nothing at all has changed, we need three points today.
Of course we would all love to see the team come out onto the park and really turn it on today, bag half a dozen goals and go some way to making up for last weekends disappointment as well as putting the in-fighting of the last few days well and truly behind us. That said three points are all that really matter, anything on top of that is a bonus as far as I’m concerned.
Cesc, we’re told is fit and ready to come back into the starting line-up but these are question marks over Theo Walcott & Bacary Sagna whilst Alex Song is out.
I’m long past attempting to second guess Wenger but I would maybe expect to see a line-up something like this: Almunia. Eboue (Sagna). Squillaci. Koscielny. Clichy. Wilshere. Diaby. Fabregas. Nasri. Arshavin (Walcott). van Persie.

We have, or could have I should say, a few players who do really need to step up, playing today and in particular I’m looking at Diaby.

I know he has had alot of bad luck with injuries over the last few years but I can not remember the last time I watched him play and felt he was anywhere near the player he looked he could be when he first arrived at the club.

I think it could be a big game for Arshavin, he has been improving gradually in the last few weeks when it had looked like we would never see that flash of genius from the little fella again. He was clearly disappointed to be subbed against Blackburn last week when he was arguably our best player. Those 70th minute substitutions are becoming a real regularity for him and I would like to see him bring that re-discovered guile along with his considerable talent and cause Blackpool big problems this afternoon and maybe just complete 90 minutes.

I seem to tip him every week but I do fancy Jack Wilshere to grab a goal today. Apparently Manchester City are preparing to make a £40m bid for the youngster. I think that deal is as likely to happen as George Graham coming back to manage the Gunners.

It would also make the last few days look like pure serenity if the club were to even entertain any bid for a player that the fans see as truly one of their own.

Gael Clichy has said he wants to stay at the club but I have my suspicions that he’ll be off in the summer and as some of you may know, he is a player who frustrates me – That said we don’t have a ready made replacement, sadly Kieran Gibbs injury situation has restricted what looked likely to be a natural progression.

Niklas Bendtner has been linked again with a move to the Bundasliga, apparently Hamburg are prepared to pay £8m for the big Dane. I have to say that I still believe that Bendtner will come good at Arsenal, but not as a winger, and would be disappointed to see him leave.

I think that pretty much wraps up all the news, unless Hill-Wood has kicked off again whilst I’ve been writing this, so all there is to do now is wait for kick off and hope that three points are added to our tally and we still retain a chance of winning the league.

One final note, thanks to all of you who have been taking the time to read this blog, it really is much appreciated. It would be great to hear some feedback or even just to get a bit of discussion going via the comments section of the blog. Thanks.

Up The Arsenal!



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