Following on from the 4 – 0 hammering on Charlton, Thierry Henry is having a bit of a lover-in with RvP albeit in a backhanded way,
“If Robin wants and if his head is right, like it is at the moment, he can be, in years to come, one of the best ever in the Premiership”
He is not wrong in the respect of RvP has to be mentally attuned to become a great player but given that he has youth on his side, he should be able to recover from any lapses along the way. He has already shown strength of character to come back following his incarceration over rape allegations in 2005 without any visible impediment to his game. In the absence of Henry, RvP was one of the players to blossom out of the shadows of Le Captain – long may the improvements continue.
“Oh ye of little faith” could well be motto of the FA Disciplinary Committee when talking to Arsenal fans as it emerged that Chris Morgan is up before the beaks for his punch off of the ball to Robin van Persie’s midriff. Unbelievably Sheffield United and Morgan are appealing against the decision. Perhaps someone should show them the Sky Sports footage of the incident? Even more unbelievable is Charlton’s appeal against Sankofi’s sending off on the basis that he was not the last player and that van Persie was offside. Small point for Mr Pardew to consider: LEARN THE RULES OF THE GAME. A player is not offside until he touches the ball or is the intended recipient of a pass. van Persie did not get to the ball and it was not a pass. Which brings us to the initial reason for the appeal. Correct, Sankofi was not the last player but he made no attempt to play the ball – had he done so, he would probably have got a yellow card. Two players who will probably win their appeals then.
I had almost forgotten that the transfer window was open again such has been the paucity of media speculation about Arsenal signing players. However, as mentioned yesterday, the silly season kicked into action with the Henry to Liverpool rumour and went into overdrive with West Ham’s apparent attempt to sign Theo Walcott on loan for the rest of the season.
It seems that Arsenal were one of three Premiership clubs who bid £5m yesterday for Ashley Young of Watford. Aidy Boothroyd has confirmed that all of the bids were rejected. The Sun Says that the other two are believed to be Aston Villa and Looneypool.
Of the Arsenal squad, the main candidate for a January departure is Jeremie Aliadiere. He has failed to deliver on the promise shown a couple of years ago and may well have to leave to fulfill his potential. There are numerous players who have left “big” clubs in the past to improve on their game, some people unable to cope with the demands placed upon them at the peak of the game flourishing by being a bigger fish in a small pond.
Of the bigger reputations at the club, there is one prime candidate to be moved on in 2007: Freddie Ljungberg. Having been injured for a substantial part of the past season and a half, the Swede has been unable to contribute much in the games he has been picked for, mentally out of tune with the rest of the squad and the speed at which they play now. The past seems to have caught up with Freddie and whilst he contributed some tremendously important goals and assists in his heyday, I would hope that he moves to pastures new with fond memories rather than descending into the realms of a player who receives groans when picked for first team duties. Unless of course, he rediscovers his form in which case the argument is stay as long as you want. Sadly, I do not think that will happen especially with Theo Walcott becoming more prepared for a regular first team spot. I am not sure that he will leave in January but the summer may well be his curtain call. I guess much will depend on any offers received but I would have thought somewhere in the region of £5m would be an acceptable bid.
Meanwhile a bit more of William Gallas’ disillusionment with Chelsea has come to the surface, Sky Sports reporting that Gallas felt he had been treated disrespectfully by Chelsea giving the Number 13 shirt to Michael Ballack. Big Billy said,
“Even if it seems surreal, the business of the shirt shook me“
He is absolutely right there; completely surreal not least for the fact that most footballers are supposedly superstitious and it seems that it would be hard to get someone to willingly take Number 13, Unlucky For Some and then get in a tizz when they cannot get it. Perhaps someone can enlighten me over the French take on this? Maybe 13 is their equivalent of Lucky Number 7.
Just remains for me to be a dutiful son and wish my Mum a happy birthday. Oh, done that, see you all tomorrow.