Well, I was going to do a post match blog but so much happened yesterday that I feel obligated to “report” the “news.”
Basically, the Boss gave his usual pre-match Friday press conference and said some very unusual things. Normally very reserved and tight lipped, Wenger rambled on about Theo, Gallas, Flamini, the pain of losing, Senderos, and David Villa. YIKES.
The fan’s favorite whipping boy, Senderos, received a boost from Wenger yesterday. Arsene explained why he rested him for the Man U match saying,
Senderos is a genuine and dedicated guy, of course he was extremely disappointed by his performance at Liverpool but only time will get him over that. He is very strong mentally but the first mistake he made at Liverpool played a big part in the second one. Everybody is a confidence player and the young even more so because they have less experience to rely on.
He has enough experience but it has been so intense. He has had a lot of critics. He had two outstanding games against Milan home and away and then on Sunday he was not good anymore for anything. That’s not right but it’s our job. If a guy makes a mistake because he doesn’t care you treat him differently. But he made a mistake and he cares a lot
Wenger is dead on here. Senderos is not the best defender I’ve ever seen at Arsenal, but there’s nothing wrong with the kid — and he is just a kid. But a lot of Arsenal “supporters” love to jump all over Senderos whenever Arsenal lose a match. He made a mistake, get over it, and get over yourself. Arsene Wenger is a tremendous judge of talent. I’ll take his opinion about our players over some guy on the internet any day.
In the exact opposite direction, a lot of stuff is being made of Wenger’s statement about Gallas’ captaincy.
I cannot answer that question at the moment. I want to analyse the season after it has finished. At the moment he will be my captain until the end of the season. I believe he has learned a lot this year and I can only say that his commitment and desire to do well was exceptional. For the rest, I wouldn’t like to go into any individual assessment at the moment.
It was a leading question and this has to be the most honest and diplomatic answer possible. I know that I have been pretty critical of Gallas in the past and I think I’m going to follow Wenger’s lead here and give it a rest. I will say this: the only way I can see Gallas accepting the captaincy going to another player is if that player is a world class player and widely recognized leader. Which is to say, Wenger would have to buy John Terry or the like OR Gallas will have to be traded. My money would be on the latter.
Speaking of signings, Flamini has refused to put pen to paper so far and Wenger is getting restless. In fact, he gave the midfielder until the end of April to sign the terms. That’s such a highly unusual thing to do, publicly set a deadline for a player to sign a contract, and really makes me feel like the curse of the shirt is in full effect and Flamini will be going elsewhere next season. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
Oh yeah, read my lips: Arsenal are not buying David Villa. Arsene figures that Walcott and Bendtner will do the job up front and besides… As many of us have been saying, it’s not a LACK of goals that’s the problem. What Arsenal don’t want to turn into is another Tottenham where 4-4 draws are the norm; and that’s when the team is on. The point here is two-fold: press speculation is almost always wrong and usually just used to boost the player’s transfer value and Wenger knows where the weakness is in the team.
Theo, like Wenger, figures he should play up front and he’s ready to do what it takes to get there. The linked article is long and rambling but the more I hear come out of Theo’s mouth the more I like the kid. Instead of whinging to the press about playing time or going down to Ladbrokes to have a wager with his pals and then wondering why he can’t break into the first team he goes to the boss and asks “what do I have to do to get some playing time?” That’s real maturity there. Kudos to the boy.
Lastly, Nike is doing some campaign with Cesc. UGH. It’s hideous. The “no more mr nice guy” video in the link actually made me cringe. Who comes up with this shit?
Well, that’s it! I have wasted an hour, brought you some “news” and now I can go watch the tape of the Arsenal game! WOO HOO!
Up the Arse!