I said after our game that Chelsea will drop points, do you remember my statement? And everybody looked at me ‘This guy has completely lost the plot’. One week later they lost at Manchester City, and it’s as simple as that. They have lost three games and they will lose more games, don’t worry.
Arsene Wenger, prescient, as Chelsea go 0-3-1 since the win over Arsenal with a 3-3 draw at Stamford bridge today to a determined Everton. Better news as City draw to Bolton and Tottenham lose to Wolves.
All we need now is Villa to take points off Man U and for Arsenal to win both games in hand and Chelsea’s lead is a mere 3 points.
Hardly “running away with the title” as the Cascarino’s of the world predicted just last week.
Howard Webb, England’s “top” referee, will be managing the match and getting himself some much needed face time ahead of the World Cup. This is good news and bad news for Arsenal: Webb’s record against Arsenal is very, very poor but mostly he had a real problem with Adebayor, seemingly never failing to send him off.
In fact, Adebayor has only ever been sent off twice in his EPL career and both times were at the hands of Howard Webb. The last time was in the Arsenal v. Liverpool match last year for two “fouls.” So, that’s the good news, we don’t have Adebayor for Webb to send off. The bad news is that Webb is the epitome of English referees’ anti-Arsenal bias. The first tackle that Traore puts in will be a yellow card. Song? Marked man, he better put no foot wrong since Howard Webb will be watching every move. While on the other side? Jaime Carragher, well, what’s a little shirt pulling, late tackling, and pinching? It’s a man’s game, innit? Mascerano? He’s just fiery, sure that tackle could have broken Cesc’s ankle but it was fair. Lucas? Well, Lucas is on a two warning minimum.
I have both barrels of the outrage cannon ready to let fly.
Rosicky and Eboue are both out, and as I have already posted Bendtner has suffered a “setback” and is expected to be Like A New Signing in January.
Evidently 14 matches is a good enough work rate to sign a new contract for Rosicky. Personally? I would have waited on giving him a new deal until he could show that he will play more that 1 complete match in a season. Didn’t Arsenal basically eschew Robert Pires when he was 29 years old and injury prone?
What’s truly incredible is that when Arsene was asked by a reporter about Dean Ashton’s retirement he waxes philosophical about how “efficient” Ashton was and then starts talking about how quality is important but that the most important quality for a footballer is good health. Right! Rosicky is a quality player, who, unfortunately doesn’t have good health. So why the hell are we signing him to an improved contract when he’s crocked?
Which is exactly the question that the Czech reporter asks and where Wenger then goes back on what he just said a moment ago and says, no shit, “I look first at the quality of the player, injuries can happen to anyone.” He makes the case that this is just a minor set back, that Rosicky is coming back after 18 moths off and that these little injuries will crop up from time to time but I remain unconvinced. I would want some assurances before committing to him. After all, you did just pay him for two years while he was injured and it’s not like he doesn’t have a long history of injuries.
It’s a strange world that Wenger lives in some times.
Look, I know what Rosicky brings to the club, when he’s healthy. When Arsenal signed him ahead of the World Cup everyone I knew said “Thomas who?” And then the Czechs played the USA and he scored this goal:
I remember thinking at the time that it was another genius Wenger signing. His first season was arguably his best, playing 32 matches scoring 7 and assisting 4. Since then , he’s had a 25 match season, and then an 18 month layoff and now a stuttering 14 match season. 4 years at Arsenal and I think we all we can collectively say that we wish he’d stay healthy.
Wishes don’t win trophies, sadly.
The one bright spot is that Diaby might be able to come back into the side and provide some height until he picks up another strain and sits out for 3 to 62 weeks — we’ll know for sure about Diaby after a late fitness test.
The rest of the squad is still the same, making selection pretty simple. Theo is talking a lot about wanting to play, Vela just signed a new contract, and of course Arshavin scores a hundredy goals against Liverpool last season.
No news on Eduardo.
It’s all the rage to show a bunch of video highlights from the previous encounters between Arsenal and Liverpool which paint this as some sort of fair contest. Pfff… screw that! Here’s my favorite Arsenal/Liverpool moments, you’ll probably be surprised to find out that they’re very Arsenal-centric.
#5 — Bergkamp 1-0 Liverpool, unfortunately I can’t find the video for this. If you have a link post it in the comments… I know, what a way to start a video section, eh?
#4 — Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal, part of a week where we famously put 9 goals past Liverpool at Anfield.
#3 — Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal, speaking of Thomas Rosicky
#2 — Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal, Arshavin announces himself to the EPL
I wanted to show that with breast cancer you don’t have to hide. You must live life. I wanted to be reassuring.
So she posed for FHM (tastefully) and showed the world that despite wearing a wig and having your body ravaged by cancer killing drugs, she’s still strong, and still sexy.
Given how strong she is it’s almost an insult to call her a WAG just because she’s married to Real Madrid midfielder (and some time Arsenal target) Rafael van der Vaart. Maybe instead we should call him a HAP — husband and player.