Sorry I haven’t been with you this past week my fellow Gooners. Normally service is now resumed chez Crescit!
Last Sunday against Chelsea was a RUSH! Those of the faithful who took the bookies’ odds of 4-1 for an Arsenal win must be feeling VERY good. If we’re being fair, as we always should be, our first goal was clearly offside. Big Phil had legitimate grounds for complaint, although he did go well OTT.
I still doubt we’ll win the League this season but it was good that they boys came out with the right attitude in the second half. We hardly saw the ball in the first period. Then on Tuesday it was the turn of the yoof, this time reinforced, despite Arsčne’s pronouncements earlier in the season about continuing with the kids, by Niklas Bendtner and Mikael Silvestre.
On an Arctic night in east Lancashire at Turf Moor, the boys went down 2-0 so no semi-final or Wembley for us this season in the Carling Cup. The performance was far from catastrophic but it should help put the progress of the kids in perspective. Some VERY promising talent, but far from the finished article at the moment. Media speculation suggests that Jay Simpson (about to be offered a new contract according to Sky Sports) and Mark Randall may well go out on loan in the window. I think this would do both some good. Simpson certainly benefited from his period at Millwall as did Mark Randall at, ironically, Burnley. Jack Wilshere was a marginal figure in the game after two great performances at home in the Carling against the Blades and Pie-Eaters. This lad has so, so much talent I really hope he’s given the chance to ease himself in gradually. The lad isn’t 17 until New Year’s Day after all. I think he could be a REAL star, but let’s treat him gently at the moment.
Saturday sees us home to the Pie-Eaters in the League. A must-win if we’re to re-build a credible challenge. Big Bad Bill Gallas is out but Kolo Touré is fit again as is Emmanuel Eboue. We should also be seeing Eduardo in action again soon. The reserves are due to play at home against Pompey on 16 December. I’d guess he’ll definitely play in that game and maybe on the bench for the first team before that.
After Wigan in the League we’re off on our European travels again next week against Porto in northern Portugal. Those nice people at the Football Supporters’ Federation (if you haven’t come across them before, it does what it says on the tin) have a guide to the city and the club with all the details you’d want for those going out for the game.
One tip the FSF has had recently is that the club and bar area down by the river has recently been hit with a “steaming” crime wave, so mind how you go if you’re out and about in that area. The normal precautions should see you right, but a splashing out for a cab back to your digs might be a plan, especially in the early hours. Oporto generally is a safe and welcoming place. I had a blinding time when I was last out there. Treat them right and you’ll generally get the response you’re looking for. Like everywhere though it has its share of scroats.
On the transfer rumours front, the media has latched on to Cesc Fàbregas’s warm words about Milan, saying if he ever went to Italy that would be his club of choice. One rag has his agent in discussions with i rossinieri. We’ll see. Hope not. There’s also some talk that Arsčne may be about to show Niklas Bendtner the door in January. That I would have thought will depend on whether Eduardo has a) returned to fitness and b) looks to have got over the psychological effects of such an injury. I must confess that his Bertie Big Balls antics get on my wires at times. The time to start having it large is when you’ve achieved something in the game, not before. Anyway, one rumour has him linked with a move to CSKA Moscow in January. Somehow I doubt it. If Bendtner does go I suspect it’ll be in the summer.
One player who it appears won’t be coming to Arsenal is Xavi. He’s about to sign a new and VERY lucrative contract tying him to Barca until 2012 according the Spanish sports newspaper As. Neither will Dutch international Klaas Jan Huntelaar who is about to sign for Real Madrid.
That’s it for now, my fellow Gooners. Keep the faith!