So The Big Kick-Off has, oh, erm, been put off until tomorrow which is a bit of a disappointment but there you go.
Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Fulham, Eduardo is the only new doubt, apparently having picked up a minor ankle injury. Arsene believes he has a decent chance of making the match, seemingly inclined to start him if he is fit,
Certainly I would not be scared to play him. Maybe he will need a little bit of time but he is a fighter. He has the ability to score goals, he is quick and a team player so you are never scared to put in these players
Which is exactly how it should be. Lack of confidence in your charges abilities has never been one of Arsene’s shortcomings, trusting them from the outset to make the grade. By the time you read this, the fitness test on Saturday may well have been concluded so we will know if he is ready to play. His arrival on the pitch will no doubt garner a lot of the attention and also be ready for unwelcome comparisons to Henry, brickbats if he does not score a hattrick, over – the – top praise if he does. During pre-season, his link-up play with the midfield and forward line partners was good which augers well for the coming season.
Or as Terry Venables put it in this morning’s Sun,
I like the look of Eduardo da Silva. I’m surprised he hasn’t been picked up before because he’s a clever player who will get goals.
For the record, he thinks we will finish third because
ARSENAL will improve and I see them contesting the title for much longer than last term. They have immense talent and just need more consistency
Arsene will have agreed with that assessment, although not the third place,
This team has got into the Final of the Champions League without losing one game in the whole season and maybe we learned our trade a little bit last year. That’s why I feel we are ready to blossom.
The experience that the team has is often overlooked. Of a typical starting line-up, there will be maybe one (Bendtner / Walcott) who does not have more than one hundred games under their belt. When this is pointed out, those who decry the squad for lack of experience, flip-flop and say, “Aah, but it’s not Premiership experience“. Sorry, but that does not wash. A full first team game is exactly that; each match gives it’s own knowledge to a player and to be brutally honest, six games in the Champions League provides a microcosm of a Premiership season – weak oppositon, strong opposition, mass defences, teams that retain possession, those that surrender ground easily until you reach the last third of the pitch. It’s all experience and despite what some say, it counts.
At his press conference he said there is no need for any more signings. Wrong answer. One more would suffice, his own on a new contract. That will come sooner than the end of the season one hopes, perhaps even before Christmas. To do so would kill speculation about his future, irrespective of results. I can understand why some are edgy about him signing, about how another season of underachievement in their eyes should not be rewarded. It is easy to criticise a manager when things are not as you have been used to but every ‘business’ goes through cycles of success and poor results. Just be appreciative of what you have. Remember where we have come from, where we have been and ask why you cannot see that we are on the way there again. You want it now? Tough. No-one has the divine right to win, to believe so is foolish. As Arsene said yesterday,
You win when you are good enough
And this team might be just that. ’til Tomorrow.