Quit your horsing around, Oleg

The one place I refuse to go back to is Moscow. The city is fascinating but the people are very hostile and after two visits to watch the Arsenal at Spartak and Locomotive I vowed never to return. So at least I can save some dosh for the away leg of our Champions League clash with CSKA when we are drawn together later on this morning.
That’s my long-range forecast anyway, and we’ll see a little later on when the names come out of the hat in the poncy affair in Nyon, Switzerland.
The first-leg ties are scheduled for March 30 or 31 with the return legs a week later on April 6 or 7 and today’s draw will also determine the semi-final ties en route to the final at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium on May 22. The semis are scheduled for April 20 or 21 with the second legs on April 28 and 27. Keep an eye on arsenalinsider.com later for the first news of the draw and all the reaction thereafter.
And, merrily, we head to this morning’s papers and news in the Mirror of the Horse — no, no Cheltenham coverage — Oleg Luznhy, who has his say on the CL draw. He said: “I think Arsenal would do better not to draw an English team. I think they do better against the continental teams because Manchester United are so strong right now.”
Luznhy adds that he admires AW for signing Sol Campbell, but believes he is no longer good enough at the very highest level.
“Sol was a good signing by Arsene because young players need an experienced player like him alongside to help them. But if I had to choose between a fit William Gallas and Sol, I’d have to go for Gallas because he’s quicker and younger.
“This Arsenal side is completely different to the one I played in; we were stronger and faster than they are now.  We had Overmars, Ljungberg, Pires and Petit. Now Arsenal are more technical and more controlled but I think they aren’t quite strong enough for English football.
“I’d like to see Arsenal with stronger players in the middle like Vieira and Gilberto. I think my old Arsenal team would beat the current Arsenal side.”
Meanwhile, King of Spain Cesc Fabregas and our Czech mate Tomas Rosicky are fit to boost our title challenge but AW admits he is concerned by the  ‘endless calf strain’ which is keeping Bill Gallas out.
Bill has been out for five weeks with the injury, which he fears could be connected to a niggling back problem and AW Wenger said in the Mail: ‘It is going on and on. It is a concern. It is an endless calf strain and so we need Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre to help us out.’
Heartwarming stuff in the Sun, which tells us that Ryan Shawcross says Aaron Ramsey will not return his calls to accept his apology.
Ramsey did not mention Shawcross in his statement on his injury and has still not spoken to him.
Shawcross said: “I’ve left him messages and a text. Will I see him? I might do in the future but it’s totally up to Aaron. I haven’t spoken to him. It’s up to him whether he gets back to me. There is a lot of emotion going on and he’s probably trying to concentrate on his rehab.”
Reacting to that news, Henry Norris has his say in the Bugle: “Let’s hope Ramsey never accepts any hollow apology from the imbecilic, mealy-mouthed Shawcross. And answer me this: Why does Tony Pulis find the need to shower with his players after games?” Hmm, don’t know that one, Henry…

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