Bit of a brief post today due to some Broadband problems. Yesterday was a busy day for the club’s PR department and one in which to bury the bad news with all of the positive press abounding after Tuesday’s win over Hamburg. Positives first: the physios bench appears to be getting lighter, the medical room more sparsely populated. Tomas Rosicky is expected to be fit for the Fulham trip whilst William Gallas is expected to return for the inaugural North London derby at The Emirates. Which is not in the least bit surprising as it is the Premiership match before the visit to Chelsea, one that he would declare himself fit for even if he were on a portable life support machine. William continues to tell the world how happy he is at Arsenal, and evoked a rare moment of humility from Mourinho who recently admitted that they really miss Gallas’ quality. On the subject of players with a positive attitude, Julio Baptista has proven so far to have the perfect attitude for Arsene, acknowledging that “I know I have to play well but that does not guarantee my first team place. No-one is guaranteed a first team place“. When there are so many malcontents heading for the press at the first opportunity, it is good to see that Baptista has settled into the Arsenal way, refusing to act like a Big Time Charlie.
Meanwhile Lauren and Abhou Diaby are both on the mend, on target for returns in the New Year. Where they will fit into the team is unknown but hells bells, both of them deserve some first team action simply through being out for so long. That Diaby in particular is likely to be back in action within eight months of a serious break is testament to the medical care he has received and his own recuperative powers. For Lauren a return to full fitness is likely to be a bittersweet moment. In his absence, both Eboue and Hoyte have come in and performed well at right back. This puts the Cameroonian at third in the list and unlikely to see much first team action. Having been rumoured to have been on the verge of a move to Sevilla before his injury, it would not surprise me if we have seen the last of Lauren in an Arsenal shirt. Freddie Ljungberg meanwhile has been explaining that his recent migraines have been caused by a childhood allergy to dairy produce which makes his choice of eating Cheese Mash a little curious to say the least.
Arsene meanwhile has admitted all charges, pleading guilty before the FA beaks and is currently awaiting sentencing, something that will no doubt involve a hefty fine by yours or my standards, probably a couple of well earned weeks wages for Le Boss. Also likely is a touchline ban, given his previous earlier in the year with Tony Soprano which probably means that the Prawn Sandwich order will need to be increased in the Club seats whilst he serves his sentence. Pardew has taken the opposite viewpoint, pleading, “Not Guilty, M’Lud“, believing that it is completely acceptable to jump up and down like a loon in the face of your opposite number, quite literally. The hearing will no doubt be interesting in that whatever he said to provoke Wenger will come out either in the Committee Room or via the media. Mr Pardew ought to ensure he gives a full and frank account to avoid the media running around shouting, “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!“. God, I’ve spent too much time with the kids recently.
On which subject, it appears that young Anton Ferdinand has more to fear from sentencing than Arsene. Ferdinand has been so impressed by Carlos Tevez that he decided to emulate him by getting into a brawl with the public, and will be up before the beaks after a contretemps outside a nightclub. No doubt Anton was waiting for Rio to jump out with a camera crew, shouting “You’ve been merked!” but alas not, for the long arm of the law was not joking when they spoke the words, “You’re nicked“. He has not commented but is understood to be less than impressed by <SNIP! Name removed by Lawyers>, who was holding Ugandan Discussions in the toilet whilst the fracas took place, obviously agreeing with Hoyt Axton, “I’d rather be a lover than a fighter“.
Back tomorrow with a preview of the annual bloodbath with the visit to The Reebok, Big Sam already gloating that they showed the rest of the Premiership how to beat Arsenal. He obviously left out the word, “up” out of the statement. That kind of arrogance deserves to be on the wrong end of a five goal thrashing so I off to pray to the Gods of Football.