Owner Stan Kroenke’s son Josh has been appointed to the board as a non-executive director. Announcing the appointment, on www.arsenal.com , Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick said:
“We are delighted to welcome Josh Kroenke to the board of Arsenal. He has great experience in running sports organisations and brings extensive knowledge of what is required to succeed as we develop our Club for the future.”
Mr Kroenke, 33, a financial management graduate of the University of Missouri, said:
“It is an honour to join the board of Arsenal. This reaffirms our family’s long-term commitment to the Club.”
“Arsenal is in a strong position on and off the pitch. We are enjoying a period of growth for Arsenal and the Premier League. We look forward to an exciting future that includes winning trophies, increasing our already impressive support around the globe and extending our commercial opportunities.”
Some new blood in the boardroom, as opposed to dried blood on the boardroom floor, can only be a good thing for The Gunners.
Recently retired Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has been honoured for his contribution to the Club with the unveiling of a bust at Emirates Stadium.
Mr Hill-Wood served on the Arsenal board for 51 years from 1962, following in the footsteps of his father, Denis, and grandfather Samuel in a family legacy stretching over 86 years. Even some of the oldest AA contributors don’t go back that far
Peter Hill-Wood took some stick over the final few years of his stewardship, much of it, in my opinion, was decidedly not deserved. It was good to see that he was well enough to attend the ceremony after his severe illness.
Aaron Ramsey was voted Player of the Month for November, the fifth such award on the trot for our Welsh Wizard. Who’s going to knock him off his perch in December, Mesut? Santi? Olly G? or who knows a rejuvenated Nicklas Bendtner. Whisper it quietly, he may not be on his way out in January!!!
Despite rumours to the contrary the Flamster is fit for selection ahead of Sunday’s game against Everton. Arsene Wenger talking to www.arsenal.com :
“Apart from Podolski being back in training, everybody else is available from Wednesday night. We had no injuries and the players who were available then will be available for Everton.” “Bacary Sagna is short so he will not be in contention”.
Now I know Bacary isn’t exactly a tall as the BFG but he’s done OK so far and surely Santi Cazorla is shorter than Bac.
The news that mattered to Arsenal was all about the chavs dropping three points and the Oilers dropping two, not to mention the unmentionables dropping three.
The prospect of playing three vital games in seven days prompted Arsene Wenger to call for an “ethics committee” to look into fixture congestion due to television rights. He claimed that teams should be allowed to decide themselves when they play, perhaps to bring a game forward to a Friday evening or to play on a Sunday rather than on Saturday at lunch time purely to fit in with TV broadcasters’ rights. It would give players a bit more recovery time, it happens in other leagues, particularly The Bundeslige.
Woodwork saves Everton as Giroud’s injury time wonder volley smashes into crossbar.
That’s my headline for today and the only mention of Sunday’s game.
Looking forward to Napoli, Carl Jenkinson is in an up-beat mood. Asked if last month’s Dortmund result had given them the confidence to win anywhere, the right-back said:
“I think so. When we play to our peak, we can beat anyone so it is important that we go and do that on Wednesday”. “It is going to be a tough game — they are going to be battling because they want to qualify just as much as us. We will work hard and go out there with the confidence that we have from our recent results and, hopefully, come back with the result we want.”
The draw for the third round of the FA Cup took place and the Tie of the Round is undoubtedly that between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to be played at The Emirates in January.
Unusually for me, I have spelled out the full name of our opponents as they are a team that exist in the shadow of an illustrious neighbour and they may not have been instantly recognised if I had used the more common names for them.
Bacary Sagna did not travel to Naples, he’s still recovering from a hamstring injury. There were no reports of other injury worries, apart from long termers Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo and Diaby.
Lot’s of speculation about the starting line-up, but only Arsene could answer that but was keeping mum.
Arsenal were put on security alert, players and staff were advised not to leave the team hotel amid fears of violence by the Napoli “Ultras”. After threatening to have the game played “behind closed doors” following violence at the Napoli Marseille game, FIFA instead called for greater security in and around the ground. Well done Monsieur Platini, I bet that scared the life out of the hooligans.
Arsene was in an uncompromising mood:
“This match is the priority and there will be no weakening of the team ahead of back-to-back Premier League fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea”.
“The other two games are not definitely decisive,” said Wenger. “We are five points ahead in the Premier League. The championship is a marathon. We will be in the race no matter what happens but those games will show our strengths hopefully”.
“We can’t afford to rest players. I rotate a little bit sometimes, never more than two or three because stability is important. Overall, we have no major sign of fatigue medically”.
The odds for the match; Home win 6/4 against. Draw 23/10 against. Away win 7/4 against.
By the skin of our teeth, yes it was that close, but we made it into the draw for the first knock-out round of the Champions League, albeit as runners up in the group. The post mortems have been carried out and the entrails examined it’s over let it go.
There were reports of “heavy handed” policing outside the ground which meant that many of the travelling Arsenal fans didn’t make it into the stadium until sometime after the match kicked off.
On the prospects of the draw Wenger said:
“That is the frustration (of not winning the group), because you feel there was room to do better, but it could have been worse as well tonight.
“Of course, to finish second makes the potential draw more difficult. In the last four or five years we have had very difficult draws, so maybe this time we will be more lucky.
“But if you look at the teams who are potentially there, at least we know we will have a difficult draw.
“On the other hand, we have now qualified for a 14th consecutive year for the last 16 and maybe number 14 will bring us a bit of luck.”
Amen to that Arsene!
A great match in prospect tomorrow, they just keep coming!
Enjoy the weekend
That’s it for this week