No Fabregas, Adebayor or Clichy scream the headlines. Arsene Wenger said that he would feel guilty if he lost top spot in our Champions league group. We only need a point, so surely playing a weakened side against a team that we beat 4-nil in September is a good idea no? I mean resting Cesc Fabregas, and Adebayor before the fixture against Middlesborough must be the most sensible option? Well closer scrutiny reveals that the squad is not likely to lose this match even if Porto believe the media headlines and decide that we are not taking them seriously.
At least the 18 man squad to face Porto includes William Gallas, Johan Djourou, Mikael Silvestre and Almunia. The likely wing back option of Keiran Gibbs and yes Emmanuel Ebooue as he is now affectionately known, is strong enough to withstand the Porto spearhead of Lucha Gonzalez and Lisandro Lopez. But in midfield, we are reliant upon the youth. Aaron Ramsey, may be placed alongside Alex Song and Denilson with Arsene having to choose between Mark Randall and Fran Merida, I would choose Fran Merida who is maturing in every game that he plays. Up front, we have the likely Abou Diaby and Niklas Bendtner pairing. However I would still hope that Carlos Vela would be given some role. Perhaps Vela will be saved for the left midfield position on Saturday at the Riverside Stadium in the North East, who knows.
But the squad is not very attacking in terms of strikers. But then, due to the injuries affecting Eduardo, and Theo Walcott, our striking options are limited in any case. I trust Arsene Wenger, and so I expect Arsenal to enter the draw for the knockout stages next Friday in Nyon, as group winners, so being left with the choice of Sporting Lisbon, Athletico Madrid, a misfiring Inter Milan, a down on their knees Real Madrid, and not forgetting the likes of Villa Real and Bayern Munich. This had got to be better than facing the likes of Roma, Barcelona, Panathiniakos, Juventus or Lyon surely? I wonder if Arsene is playing mind games and second spot is what he really wants. I would only fear Barcelona out of the group winners, knowing that we cannot face Manchester United or Liverpool. What do you think?
In the news, Artur Boruc has been dropped as Poland’s number one according to the assistant coach. Which means Lukansz Fabianski will be elevated to his rightful position. I reckon that Fabianski will soon become Arsenal’s number one as Almunia remains one big error away from being dropped in my opinion. Which is why we need a goal keeper in the January transfer window please Arsene. Sir Alex Fungusface, is upset at the four game ban imposed on Patrice Evra, following last season’s post match fracas with the Chelsea ground staff. SAF is calling this the most severe action upon the club by the FA, and wonders who is in charge at the FA. Perhaps he has forgotten the 12 month ban on Eric Cantona for his Kung Fu kick on a rival fan, or Rio Ferdinand’s eight month ban for missing a drug test?
Finally the news that Real Madrid have ditched Bernie Schuster and put Tottenham reject Juande Ramos in charge until the end of the season made me giggle. Where else would a protest by the fans result in the manager being summarily dismissed and replaced all in the space of 24 hours, in the week that saw Real Madrid slip out of the Champions League places in La Liga at fifth spot, and just before the big derby away against league leaders Barcelona. At least it makes the prospect of facing Real Madrid in the Champions League easier, as Ramos will be having kittens at the thought of having to face The Arsenal. (I hope…lol) Having watched the way that Inter Milan and Chelsea also changed their managers for having the audacity to come second, supporters of Arsene Wenger can relax and realise that Arsene Wenger will not be going anywhere anytime soon, as upon his current form, he would have been sacked two seasons ago had he been at either of those clubs. We are the only top flight club to tolerate relative failure, and now I am beginning to understand, not agree with, the frustration of the Arsenal Boo boys. (n.b. Heavy Sarcasm!)
Fabregas the King.
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