Oh, now there’s a jaw-dropping surprise. It seems we have failed in an appeal against the red card shown to Thomas Vermaelen in Saturday’s match against West Ham.
This morning’s Daily Mail says an FA hearing upheld the decision yesterday afternoon, meaning the Belgium defender will now serve a one-match ban. The sanction rules Vermaelen out of the Barclays Premier League match at Birmingham on Saturday, when we will also be without William Gallas.
The FA said in a statement: ‘At a Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim for wrongful dismissal from Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen was dismissed. Vermaelen was shown a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity during Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Saturday 20 March.He will now serve a one match suspension with immediate effect.’
Next up is the Telegraph, which reports that AW is facing a major selection quandary over Sol Campbell and whether he should prioritise the match against Brum or next week’s Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.The paper says AW would be reluctant to play his 35 year-old centre-back in both matches over the space of just five days, but reiterates we will be without Gallas and Vermaelen for the trip to St Andrews.
The Mirror says Gallas is ready to sign a new contract following talks with his agent. The redtop says the Frenchman was running out of time at the Emirates and being strongly linked with a summer exit but now the parties are ‘finding a solution’ to the talks, according to paper.
We only offer one-year deals to players in their 30s, but a compromise is close that would see Gallas signing for a further season with an option of another campaign if he plays enough games. It adds that the 32-year-old is a free agent and clear to speak to clubs abroad if he wants to find a new home, but he now seems sure to stay and a deal could be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Andrey Arshavin gets his kickers in a twist in the Sun this morning, with the paper rounding up his comments to suggest that we can’t win the title. He said: “I am still of the opinion that to win trophies Arsenal needs more players.
“There is the simple fact that last summer we sold two players and bought only one. So there is an obvious deficit of at least one. Then we lost Van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey for a long time. So for me it is natural we need new players. Without the variety of players we have less diversity in attack. That allows our opponents to read our combinations more easily. Finally, it results in less ball possession for us and our defence comes under more pressure.
“The Premier League is very interesting, at least as long as we continue fighting to win it. But without new experienced players, real stars, it will be difficult to achieve success. Ideally we need three or four such experienced players and then among our youths there should be guys who are not only good at playing football but have real character.”
Last word as ever goes to the Bugle’s correspondent Henry Norris. “The imbeciles who failed to let TV5 off should hang their heads in shame or at least their carers in the old folks’ home in which they live should. Total disgrace!”

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