Vic Crescit Blog: WORLD CUP/CITEH

Since England qualified for South Africa 2010 by belting Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday night the redtop tabloids have gone into nationalist overdrive as usual.
As a Welshman I confess to a tinge of envy. Russia’s 3-1 win at the Millennium Stadium puts them through and killed off any lingering mathematical chance of Wales getting a play-off spot. It has also cost us Andrey Arshavin for our visits to Citeh and Ličge. Wales actually played quite well including a decent performance from Aaron Ramsey, selected for the full side after a stunning performance for the Wales Under 21s against Italy in Swansea last Friday. The lad could really start to blossom this season I think.
Before we all start having a go at the Russian Football Federation and Guus Hiddink for playing Arshavin when not fully fit let’s all remember a) that he wanted to play despite his tweaked hamstring and made this quite clear and b) losing players to injury on international duty is the price we pay for having so many international players. It’s not as if we don’t know that they’re likely to be called up for international duty when we sign them. I know many Gooners don’t give a monkey’s about international football but we all know the rules of the game before we sign players.
That said, losing Arshavin for tomorrow is a considerable blow. Citeh has its own injury woes too however so that should even things up. One good bit of news from the internationals was Tomáš Rosický coming through his appearance in the Czech Republic’s 7-0 belting at home to San Marino. This result keeps the Czechs in the hunt for a play-off spot for South Africa. We can but hope that Rosický will be back in the red and white before too long.
Fingers crossed that we have no further injury worries when the rest of the players return from international duty. We really need an absolute minimum of a point tomorrow I think. A win would really put us on the right road again.
There was more speculation in today’s Guardian newspaper that the sale of flats at Highbury Square is going slowly during the recession. We’ll know the current financial situation of the club in more detail when the annual accounts are published soon ahead of the shareholders’ annual general meeting next month on 22 October 2009. There’s a lot of backstairs manoeuvring and public relations positioning going on at the moment ahead of this meeting. Don’t believe all that you read. I am becoming increasingly concerned however that the club will fall into the hands of Alisher Usmanov. If it does we’ll know who to blame – Danny Fiszman. There’ll be no getting off the hook for him if he does take the money and bail out. I just can’t see Stan Kroenke wanting to fight a long campaign of trench warfare by remote control from across the Atlantic. He has more than enough to occupy his time with his American business interests. We’ll see.
In the meanwhile, we need to focus on three points at the City of Manchester Stadium tomorrow.
Keep the faith!

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