Arsène Wenger at his pre-match press conference on the team news for Cardiff…speaking towww.arsenal.com
“No, nothing is different from Marseille really. We have no injuries. Of course we have some little concerns. People were a little bit rested like Arteta, but they are all available now. Kieran Gibbs was sick but he has already recovered yesterday. He is now back in the squad.”
On Podolski’s progress…“It will be three weeks until we could see him in the team”.
On Oxlade-Chamberlain…“It will be the New Year for him.”
The prawn sandwich brigade is under attack,
“Arsenal FC sues sponsor in packed lunches row”.
The club is suing one of it’s sponsors for £375,000 in a row over packed lunches. Capstone Management, it is alleged, ceased making contractual payments after guests in their private box were not allowed to eat sandwiches that they had brought in. Capstone denies the claim stating “the hospitality was deliberately compromised”. Oh dear! All is not well in the upper tier!
George Graham celebrated his 69th birthday today.
Here’s a question for all knowledgeable AAers, who is this member of Arsene Wenger’s staff? A former captain of Yugoslavia, a centre half fluent in nine languages and a whistle blower in the Marseille match fixing scandal of 1993/95. A dark period in French football history that caused our manager, then in charge at Monaco, much pain.
The odds for today’s game:- home win 9/2 against, draw 3/1 against and away win 13/8 on.
Two goals from Aaron Ramsey another from sleeves rolled up Flamini, two super assists from Mesut Ozil, a couple of excellent saves from TPIG, a clean sheet and three more points. What more could any true Gunner want?
One incident in the game was worth a mention, Ollie’s “offside” moment, our striker stopped his run on goal when he wrongly assumed that a pass he was chasing had clipped Ozil on the way, only Mesut really knows, but the linesman thought not and the chance had gone. The lesson to be learned? Always play to the whistle!
Other results went our way to some extent, of our main rivals both ‘Pool and Man U dropped points, as did the also-rans from the wrong end of Seven Sisters Road. Chelsea won while not looking all that good and City kept up the pressure with a routine home win over Swansea.
Happy birthday to
Emiliano Viviano 28 today.
Proof today of the growing influence and popularity of our French No.12, Britain’s top baby name for 2013 is Oliver, the anglicized version of Giroud’s moniker Olivier. How’s that for fame?
On this day
2nd December 2003 at the tender age of just 16 years and 212 days Cesc Fabregas became Arsenal’s youngest ever goal scorer when he tapped in the fifth goal in a 5 – 1 rout of Wolverhampton Wanderers to dump them out of the League Cup. Prophetically his shirt number that day was 57, which just happened to be the number of goals he would score before his £35 million departure to Barcelona eight years later.
A Congolese midfielder, 26 year old Youssouf Mulumbu of West Brom claimed that he had been approached by Arsenal and could ask for a transfer in January. He’s currently suspended after amassing five yellow cards. I can’t see us buying another African player, they seem to disappear all too quickly to the African Cup of Nations and then either get injured, lose their form or their passports.
Not much in the way of proper Arsenal news, but one item in The Daily Express seemed pretty definite; “Arsenal sign Spain starlet Alvaro Morata on six-month loan deal” was the headline. The 21 year old striker is currently bench warming at Real Madrid, he has come off the bench nine times this season, scoring two goals, and is considered one of the hottest prospects in Spanish football having scored 11 goals in 12 games for the Under-21 side. Anything in it? We’ll just have to wait and see.
A couple of snippets from the Manager’s news conference: Sagna ruled out of the Hull game with a slight hamstring problem, Jenkinson the likely replacement. Podolski to resume normal training after the Hull game and will need a another week before being considered for selection.
Speaking ahead of the Hull game Arsène Wenger said
“During this busy period when you are in a position we are in, every game decides our future a little bit,” he went on “What is at stake is how can we bring the quality of our concentration and focus into every game. The more you play the more that is difficult”. “That is why I try to rotate a little bit and keep that freshness in the team”.
Arsène also took a swipe at BBC pundits Hansen and Shearer,
“Sometimes I watch it (Match of the Day), sometimes not,” Wenger said. “I have enough experience to analyse what we do and how well we play. I don’t need someone else to tell me. I’m not upset by that at all”. “Sometimes it’s just someone saying their opinion without an argument on something that makes sense” “Often he doesn’t sustain his opinion by some work he has done to support that argument”. “When I arrived here people explained I couldn’t win the title as I’m foreign. Everybody has their own logic. I just think you win the title through your quality”.
Betting odds on the game; Home win 5/1 on, draw 11/2 against, away win 14/1 against.
All doom and gloom this morning, North Easterly gales, exceptionally high tides and warnings of coastal flooding for the North Norfolk coast. But who cares? Two goals, a clean sheet and three more lovely points. Add to that, the rarest of rare events, a goal by Nicklas Bendtner!!
On http://www.arsenal.com Arsène Wenger was asked about the Dane; On whether playing Bendtner was a gamble…
“Look, [it is a gamble] if a guy has not played for a long time, and his last performance was not convincing against Chelsea, but he has worked hard in training and deserved a chance.” On Bendtner proving people wrong…
“We know that when he has the mind of the game, he has the qualities. I believe tonight he had a good game.”
On Bendtner’s future…
“At the moment we are not as far as that. He has the stature, he has good technical quality, he has quite good pace. Look, we had him as a boy of 15 or 16 and I made him sign a long contract twice so that means I always believed in his qualities.”
Oh! I forgot to mention;
Gunners maintain four point lead at the top!!
That’s all for now folks.