Happy Friday the 13th

Well, this is boring.

Ahead of the Cardiff match on Monday, Arsene Wenger gave his Friday press conference and completely failed to say anything provocative. Oh, he talked about Tony Adams (hire him please) and Phil Scolari and how William Gallas is a great professional (’tis true) but come on, give us something! Tell us that Cardiff are cheats or that Dudu is absolutely going to start or that Denilson is suddenly the best player on the planet, something.

I guess it’s not meant to be.

Here’s what we do know: Eduardo is not Eduardo, he’s someone else, someone who refers to himself in the third person. This confusion is giving Wenger pause over whether he can include him in the Cardiff match on Monday — the player is registered as “Eduardo” and no one is sure if “not quite Eduardo” is registered with the FA and thus allowed to play in the FA Cup rematch.

For me, “not quite Eduardo” is a lot better than “not at all Eduardo” so I’d play him, irregardless the rules. Watch, he’ll get “not quite a hat trick.”

Seriously though I’m not putting any expectations on the player and he’s asking us to be sure we don’t ask too much too soon. Fair enough, I hope he gets better and is able to come back. If not, he will always be fondly remembered. That said, I wish him Godspeed in the recovery, it’s an understatement to say we need him right now.

How’s that for the most ambivalent statement ever?

Something I’m not ambivalent about is being sick and tired of Diaby being in the recovery room, and just in time for Cardiff, he’s out with a thigh injury. Why can’t this player put together a string of, say, 15 games?  And what’s wrong with his thighs? Why is he constantly injuring his thighs? Maybe he should wear those American Football style thigh pads. Not that I think he’s great or anything but with all the other injuries to the midfield and after Rambo’s performance at the last match Diaby would have been a welcome pick in the midfield.

I can’t believe I just said that.

But seriously, we all know what’s going to happen. Wenger is going to pick Song and Rambo in the middle, Nasri wide left, and DENILSON WIDE RIGHT!!! Vela? No. Wilshere? No. It’s going to be Denilson. It’s not that I hate Denilson, I like the kid, hell he’s our best player (!) but he’s not a wide player. Maybe Arsene will suffer a blow to the head and play Vela or Wilshere wide right. I’m not going to hold my breath.

Now you see why I miss Diaby?

Ok, now that you’re thouroughly depressed, here’s a story about how Chelsea are still planning on being solvent by 2010 despite the fact that their annual losses are over £60m and their payroll is 70% of their turnover. I love the fact that they are still paying Jose Mourinho and that the figure above doesn’t inlcude the reported £15m they need to pay Scolari. Not long now, Goonahs, Chelsea will be in a major fiscal crisis and it will be 1 down, 3 to go.

That’s it, see you tomorrow.

Time to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.

Arsenal's new defensive midfielder

Good morning and thanks to everyone for the comments yesterday. I enjoyed reading all of your arguments for and memories of the beautiful game, no matter where it’s played. I’ll also admit that I watched a little of the USA – Mexico game and frankly there were some good moments so, maybe I was being a little harsh.

I’m still wary of what I see as the inherent nationalism of international football and I can guarantee you that I will never get up at 4am to watch an international game — well, maybe if France make it to the World Cup final and is rife with Arsenal players, maybe then I’ll get up and cheer them on. What is it the French cheer for their team? Allez?

I especially liked Craig’s description of me as a barbarian in tights. YES! That is pretty much how I play football, like a wild-eyed barbarian killing machine. Actually, some young kid who came to play with us called me a “caveman” because of my crazy hair so I’m torn between “caveman” and “barbarian.”

“Tim the Barbarian” hmmm….

Also, I do in fact have tights. They are called “long johns” here in America and it is customary to wear them when you’re playing football on frozen tundra. Enough about that, internationals are over and the last thing you want to hear about is some long haired caveman running around in tights — unless it’s a new defensive midfield signing for Arsenal.

Arsenal were kind enough to put together a list of all the international action that our squad faced and here’s my executive summary; none of the Arsenal players did anything outstanding except Eduardo. I can’t find anything that explains why Giovanni Dos Santos got a run out but Carlos Vela wasn’t even included in the Mexico team. From what I saw, Dos Santos showed why he can’t even make it into the starting lineup for a Championship bound club like Spurs. If you know why, please post in the comments.

Regardless, the big story was always going to be Eduardo. Even if he only played 10 minutes and just kind of trundled around on the pitch the story of Eduardo returning from Martin Taylor’s horror tackle was going to be headline news.  But Dudu did more than just make a cameo, he put in a half, in a tough game, and was able to set up the go ahead goal. Let’s not put too much pressure on the man but if he can do that on Monday against Cardiff I think all Arsenal supporters will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

After the match, Slaven Bilic warned us all not to get too excited:

It is extremely important that Dudu returned well and seemed to have no moments that caused him harm, he is good and healthy. It is clear that he is not yet in top form but with him we are far more dangerous.

With Adebayor’s slip in form last month (and now injury) Arsenal certainly need a little more danger. It’s the perfect time to get Dudu back even if he’s just playing at 80%.

Arsenal have Cardiff on Monday and a gang of us are going to be at Doyle’s since it’s President’s day. If you’re a local, come on down. After that, Arsenal face Sunderland and as most of you already know, I’ll be in London for the match. I’ve got to get cracking on the planning so if anyone has a suggestion of something to see/do let me know. I know this is crazy but I love pie (meat pie) so if you have a suggestion I’d love to hear it.

It’s a critical time of the season and after the Sunderland match Arsenal have Roma in the Champions League. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be in London for the Roma match next Tuesday — Arsenal could use a Barbarian to slay The Beast.

Oh, and one last thing, the Telegraph put together a list of the top 10 worst managers in EPL history and 50% of them have been Spurs. Suck it, Spuds!

Right, that’s it, see you all tomorrow — I’ve got to slay some snake people.

ZOMG ARSHAVIN TAKES FLIGHT

7amKickoff has obtained exclusive photos (from the official Arsenal dot com site) of Andrei Arshavin’s ability to defy the laws of gravity. I have o admit that any trepidations I had of this player have literally been lifted away… like a dove, or an eagle, or what’s that other bird he’s compared to?

arshavin-flies