September 14, 2012
Shocking news about Kate Middleton, eh? Although I must confess, when I heard that controversial photos were doing the round of a pair of royal tits I just assumed Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce had gone out on a big beery night out.
Thank you very much. I’m here all week.
Southampton up tomorrow and I have to say it’s a fixture I’ve missed. Possibly because back when they were in the top flight I can barely remember a time when they gave us much of a game. Southampton at home always seemed like as close to a banker as you could get. Mind you Arsene Wenger doesn’t think that will be the case this time around:
They were impressive in the two games I’ve seen. The one against Man City and the one against Man United.
In the end you wondered how they lost both games, so we are on alert because we know it is a team who plays with a positive attitude and can score goals.
Le Boss made the point that promoted teams in recent years have shown much more of a tendency to come out and play football rather than stacking men behind the ball – and that’s been a successful ploy. Last season all three promoted teams stayed up. It’s certainly a benefit to the league as a whole as we limit the number of deathly dull stalemates as one side attempts unsuccessfully to pick its way around eleven men who barely leave their own penalty box.
Team news is fairly positive. Wojciech Szczesny makes his return from injury and presumably slots back in in place of Vito Mannone. Don Vito will have to be disappointed having not conceded during his brief stint between the sticks but personally I’ll be glad to get the Woj back. He offers us a bit more stability particularly when it comes to dominating his area. I know some people were disappointed with his displays towards the back end of last season but for me the only way he’s going to improve is by playing matches and we’re going to need a fit and on form Wojciech Szczesny coming into the City and Chelsea games.
Theo Walcott has to be a doubt as he only returned to the fold yesterday following his virus but hopefully he makes the squad. Abou Diaby has a ‘very minor’ muscular complaint according to the boss and is rated as 50-50 to play but I’d definitely be inclined to leave him out of this one. With Montpellier on Tuesday and Manchester City next weekend now is not the time to take any sort of risk on a player with Diaby’s injury record. We keep hearing about the strength in depth in midfield, let’s see it get some games.
While it won’t affect tomorrow’s game there was positive news too surrounding our longer term absentees who are all apparently now shorter term. Jack Wilshere’s doing well and should return to normal training ‘soon’. Emmanuel Frimpong is ‘very close’ and joins in with the squad next week. Rosicky is two to three weeks away and Sagna two weeks away. Assuming we don’t get any of the usual ‘setbacks’ (of course we will get the usual setbacks) we face the possibility of having our quietest treatment room in some time and that would mean…ahhh I can’t even go down this road. It’s so clear I’m going to jinx things it’s barely worth the key strokes.
On the subject of Bacary Sagna, yesterday was the first chance the press pack had had to question Arsene Wenger over that interview which he gave to L’Equipe back at the start of the international break. Presumably AW had been hoping the journos might have forgotten by now. But when it comes to potentially damaging squad unrest the media have surprisingly good memories.
In the event Le Boss had some fairly harsh words for Bacary who had expressed his shock and disappointment at the loss of Van Persie and Song over the summer:
I believe any player or any employee always has to defend the company he works for. And if he is not completely happy with it, then he has to go somewhere else. That is basically what I think. That is what I say to everybody.
Blimey. No messing about there then. If you’re not happy here then you know where the door is. You could only admire the strength of that leadership if it wasn’t for the fact that you were slightly bricking it that knowing our luck his words might be followed by a stampede for the exit.
In fairness he did go on to defend Sagna and hinted that his words had been taken slightly out of context. He said that he chatted with the player and that he believes Sagna loves the club and wants to stay and he expects him to stay. In fact a new contract could well be in the works:
It will be discussed. I expect him to stay and I want him to stay. The interview does not really reflect at all the love he has for this club because he has always shown total commitment on the football pitch – for the team and the club.
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