by Tony Attwood
Sometimes it is hard to recognise all this stuff as football. There’s so much off the pitch, that there hardly seems any room for the old ball kicking thing.
Just consider some of the stuff doing the rounds…
Arsenal: injuries, injuries, but a few returnees. A tunnel with light in it for once (unless the light at the end of the tunnel is the express train travelling in the opposite direction. With our luck you never know.)
Liverpool: law suits, law suits, a buyer who has just walked away, another law suit, a buyer who says he probably won’t build a new ground after all, a bank who want their money NOW. I liked the Guardian’s comment about RBS being certain to pick up a load of dosh, plus interest, and so not caring who owns the wretched club. They are, said the Guardian, laughing all the way to the b…. Quite so.
Man U: the unheard of. A player, and not just any old player, but clearly your best player, is having a row with the manager. And not playing too well. Poor Rooney. Messes up with his wife. Messes up with Sir F Word. You have to feel for the poor lamb.
Chelsea: Benayoun has criticised the medical team at Chelsea after they went out on a booze up and “missed” detecting the seriousness of an achilles injury. Actually I made the booze up bit up. But well, this is a blog. So making things up is ok.
Uefa/Fifa: They are left looking at Serbian violence and wondering how it came to this after they have repeatedly fined Serbia and other countries £3000 a time for naughty behaviour, and warned them to be good people too. Surely everyone expected them to take notice by now? What more could Uefa have done? Well…
Dundee. OK not the biggest of the big time, but they are seemingly about to vanish from the face, owing £365,000 to our old pals HMRC.
Thugs United – the new grouping of managers who send out players to “get at them”, and who protest when their names are spelled out. They “can’t understand it” and claim that “everyone watching football knows they are fair.” A new phrase emerges – “he’s not that kind of a manager.” You have to feel sorry for them.
So back to our lads. Here’s what our Billy predicted a couple of days back
Eboue, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy (Djourou, Nordveit, Eastmond)
Song (Denilson / Diaby)
Fabregas, Nasri (Rosicky, Vela, Lansbury)
Arshavin, Chamakh, Walcott (Bendtner, Jay Em Tho)
Cesc Fábregas will not be in the team against Birmingham – so one down. But Gibbs will be, so I guess he’s a possible sub. And Wilshere, who was left out of the calculations because he appeared to be playing for both England’s full team of no-hopers and the under 21s, and quite possibly the under 16s at the same time, in the end didn’t play for England Nil, so could well play for Arsenal and score a few.
Theo’s chance of playing is apparently small, so he could be bench material too. That makes it one down, one and a half up. Almunia is still out with an elbow injury and Vermaelen is out – we got that right. Mr W’s prognostics were, “Sagna is 10 days, Vermaelen is 10 days, Almunia is a question of days but Van Persie looks to be a bit longer.”
On Bendtner he said, “He is the closest he has been to his best for a while. He was really, really handicapped by groin problems but they have gone now.”
So, yes we are up all round. Jack didn’t play for England, Bendtner is back, Theo is semi-back, Gibbs is back. Not bad.
Funny old game though.
- How much have Arsenal’s rivals spent on transfers in recent years?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?