- Arsenal star surprisingly named in squad for Reading clash
- Preview: Arsenal v Reading, team news, 18yr old starts + prediction
- 4-2-3-1 v Reading: Perez & Jeff start – My Arsenal starting XI
- [Photos] Several youngsters join Ramsey & Giroud in Arsenal training
- Team News: Arsenal duo ruled out but star to return against Reading
- Arsenal boss confirms these 9 players will feature against Reading
- Wenger to hand attacker first start of the season against Reading
- Arsenal boss offers injury update on Cazorla & Giroud
- Ratings: Cech shines but Ozil fails to spark as Arsenal held
- Video: Arsenal 0-0 Boro: Lackluster Gunners drop valuable points
A Catalonian and A Montenegrin Walk Into A Bar…
Arsenal Station would liked to have taken a full week off following the disappointment of Sunday, but, in the interests of regularity, I shall spew some opinion at thee.
Life as an Arsenal supporter is a tough one to lead. Nevermind our horrendous record against Chelsea and United in the last two years. But after every one of these crushing defeats and during every interlull, Barca never fails to take advantage and drive already despairing Gooners to madness.
This morning we are treated to quotes from Barca vice-president Alfons Godall:
Sooner or later Cesc will end up coming back. We are a club that can sign players because we are respected and solvent.
Is this not blatant tapping-up? I mean, we’ve been over this a dozen times before and Peter Hill-Wood even lashed out at the club last month for their incessant efforts at trying to unsettle the player. Have we ever seen a more disgraceful media campaign launched by a club in the hopes of unsettling a player and that persists despite clear statements of intent from the player?
I should also mention Gunnerblog’s piece on Theo Walcott. He concedes the absolutely frustrating nature of the career of a player who seems to promise so much, yet deliver so little. He concludes that the upside is to great to give up n Theo just yet. And I agree with him. Many of us expected him to be much further alone in his development by now. After all, he has been at the club for four years. Yet his injuries in the last two seasons have dealt his progress a real blow.
Despite the many frustrating moments he has given us, the raw talent is there. One only needs to think back to that night in Anfield in 2008 to consider what Theo Walcott is capable of. Besides the injuries, we also have a player who has been forced to play wide despite constantly asserting that his future lies as a striker. This has not helped his development either.
It appears that Arsenal have agreed a deal for Stefan Savic, a young defender from BSK Borca in Montenegro. The source: the player. If it is true, it may mean we have another Andrei Arshavin on our hands. Not in playing (he is a defender, after all), but in talking. He has been quoted as saying:
There were offers from Tottenham and Birmingham, but once a call came from Arsenal, I had no more doubts. Wenger made sure my papers were arranged for me and my work permit extended so I can be at more training sessions.
He is the man. He has incredible authority at the club, everyone listens to him, assistants lead training sessions and he just supervises. Nothing can escape him.
A pre-contract will be signed on Thursday and then I will return to Belgrade and join BSK for their preparations. I will be staying with BSK until May.
I can’t believe that the Boss or the club would be especially happy with the 19 year-old being so “media-friendly” at this point. But, such is the player, it seems…
Anyway, following Chelsea’s draw to Hull yesterday, we find ourselves six points off the pace. Considering it is the 3rd of February, there is no reason to think that we are out of the title race, despite the United result. A win at Stamford Bridge would bring us to within three points with only the Liverpool and Man City fixtures looking especially hard until the end of the season. Even a draw keeps us in the thick of it.
Wenger needs to get Denilson off the pitch. The young Brazilian has struggled since his collapse and just doesn’t seem able to physically give 100%. Also, he needs to start Bendtner. Without an aerial threat in the box, opposition defenses are not driven to give any attention whatsoever to our wing play. This only congests the middle even more making our usual route to goal even harder. With Arshavin and Eduardo up-top, and more than likely not even in the box, seeing the ball go wide to the full-backs finds me just shaking my head.
Of course, should we go 9 points behind, it would still be mathematically possible to win the league but one would have to think the damage to our confidence should we suffer back-to-back defeats to the two teams above us would be too much to recover from. Then again, this team has bounced back before and Chelsea have suffered poor form as well. The moral of the story: Anything can happen between now and May. So, until Sunday, keep the faith, Gooners!