Spurs and shares.
by Phil Gregory
Well, well, well, if it isn’t North London Derby O’clock.
The derby at the Emirates was an absolute cracker, one of those where you remember what you were doing that day.
I, unfortunately missed some of the match, getting roped into playing for my team’s Saturday morning game despite my protestations. I was getting a lift back from the game and was just getting dropped off when news of the first goal came through the radio. I grabbed my kit bag out the boot and started jogging the last few hundred yards so I wouldn’t miss any more and my mate, who’d just dropped me off yelled “they’ve scored again!!” out of his window. I didn’t believe him at all “nice one mate! You didn’t even leave enough time for them to kick off again” I yelled back.
Well, I was nearly right.
It goes without saying how huge this game is, what with Chelsea at the top of Premier League and City setting the pace in the last Champions League spot, so I won’t dwell on it in this blog post.
Injuries and suspensions are the big talking point at the moment. Off the top of my head, we’re without Djourou,Ramsey Gibbs, Gallas, Fabregas and Arshavin and apparently Song, who wasn’t mentioned in the club injury briefing, but is listed absent by the BBC. Who knows?
The big loss for Spurs is Palacios. The Honduran international was a big player for them when we went to White Hart Lane last season, harrying well in midfield. I know the Spurs are low on options in the middle of the park (frankly, Redknapp’s fault that they went into the season with three genuine centre midfielders) but why did he play Palacios on the very DAY his yellow cards expired when he was on nine?
Absolute foolishness if you ask me. I may be speaking from hindsight, knowing he went on to pick up a yellow, but with the North London derby looming, you just don’t take these sort of chances.
Both Lennon and Jenas have been ruled out of the tie (surely the former’s hope of the World Cup are fading fast?) as well as Croatian international Kranjcar. Woodgate is a long-term absentee, though Ledley King has a chance of being involved.
Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
Denilson (Song if the BBC have got this call wrong)
Eboue Bendtner Rosicky
The back five is ever familiar now, with Sol once again going back to White Hart Lane. Nasri deputises for Fabregas and Diaby partners him. That’s a fairly strong midfield, even Nasri has a lot of a fight about him so I don’t see us being outfought in the middle, especially with Palacios’ absence.
Bendtner starts at centre forward with Rosicky out left. I settled on Eboue on the right, it’s between him and Theo for the berth and for this sort of game I see Theo coming off the bench. Robin too will most likely be on the bench. Wenger confirmed he’s physically fit and looked good in training and but added “we’ll see” in regards to the Dutchman starting, so you never know.
While by my count we’ve got three key players out and one most likely on the bench, I think we have enough to get past Spurs. It’ll be tough, they’ve performed well this season, indeed they are currently on a five game winning streak at home if you include FA Cup ties. That said, they’ve got their fair shares of injuries, and relatively few players that are better tan their Arsenal counterparts.
Modric has been key for them this season, and given their lack of options in the middle the little Croatian could well be played in a central role. After he shone at Euro 2008, Wenger was quizzed on if he was interested in signing the diminutive playmaker but said he wasn’t, believing him to lack in the physicality that is needed to prosper in the Premier League. Given players like Diaby and Song are likely to be in the middle for us, we’ll see first hand if Wenger was correct.
Apart from that, keep Crouch quiet and we should be fine. It’ll be close. 2-1 to the Arsenal, but more likely to be coming for Super Nicklas and Nasri.
The big news that popped up recently for Arsenal was all to do with shares and takeovers. As ever, the general media wants to whip up a story to sell their papers. At Untold, we have a look at the facts and then come back to you with a story.
And the facts are these: not much has changed. Lady Nina has been looking to sell her shares basically since she got the boot from the board in late 2008. The difference now, however is that she has got a private equity firm to lend her a hand in the selling of her holding. If she was going to sell to the two big players, Usmanov and Kroenke, she wouldn’t need this. Kroenke has a seat on the board, and Usmanov wouldn’t be too hard to reach given his appetite for Arsenal shares.
This leads me to believe that, for whatever reason, neither of the two parties were interested in her holding. Why would Kroenke not be interested, given how he has been steadily purchasing up to the 30% limit that would trigger a compulsory bid offer to all other parties? For me, it’s fairly simple: money. He has to bid for the rest of the shares at the highest price he paid over the last 12 months, £10,500 a share. According to Forbes, by the 1st of May, that drops to £8500 a share. Kroenke may make his bid then – although he is reputedly buying big in the US sports market at the moment.
Can he afford to wait, with Usmanov lurking in the wings? Apparently so, as Lady Nina is reluctant to sell to the Russian. Come May,will Lady Nina even accept the bid offer of £8500 if it did come from Kroenke? Unlikely, though I stress this is conjecture on my part.
Ever since she was free of the lock down agreement, she could’ve cashed in to Kroenke. She didn’t, therefore she surely feels the price of £8500 (that Kroenke paid for virtually every other share he purchased) was inadequate.
If Kroenke isn’t willing to buy at around £10500 now, and Lady Nina isn’t willing to sell at £8500 a third party may step in perhaps a speculator looking to make some money off the shares. This would throw another cog in the works for anybody looking to take sole control of our lovely club. The other option is, of course, nobody buys Lady Nina’s share, but the end result is the same, no change on the takeover front. We can but hope.
Enough about shares, enjoy the derby!
We’ve called this Tiny Totts Week, not just because of the game tonight but also because this Friday is the 100th anniversary of the first league game between the Tinies and Arsenal. You’ll be able to read about that game on the “Making the Arsenal” site this weekend, but here’s the run down on other stuff we’ve come up with for our very own Tiny Totts Week
The Tiny Totts secret weapon for beating Arsenal
We have history – it is 100 years almost to the day since the first Tottenham Arsenal league game.
Tottenham Hotspur: the dark history – the secret of their origins that they are desperate to hide
When a Tott wants to slag off Arsenal’s achievements he will turn to the story that Arsenal somehow fixed their way into the First Division in 1919 through bribery and corruption. Not only is the story untrue, but it is itself a clever deception put about by the clubs who really were guilty of match fixing. Read the full story.
Why did Arsenal move to Highbury and not somewhere else? Tottenham Hotspur led a who group of clubs in objecting to the move (even Birmingham clubs objected, which somehow lessened Tottenham’s case). But Arsenal claimed that neither the League nor the FA rules covered the location of the ground.
- Womens Champions League Arsenal Women v Juventus – the match preview
- It never rains but the journalists want Arsenal to drown in a mess of their own making
- Back to the football: Watford video and Arsenal v Lyon 8 December preview
- The 40 players coming to Arsenal and the 6 most predicted for this January
- Gabriel injury: why no replacement is needed