Arsenal Depot

A depository for musings on Arsenal FC

An Italian In France And A Goalkeeper

The past 24 hours have been a proud time to be a football enthusiast. While Fabrice Muamba still remains in critical condition, the footballing world has united as one in wishing him a speedy recovery.

Twitter continutes to be inundated with good wishes and prayers from clubs, players and fans. Gary Cahill dedicated his goal against Leicester to his former teammate. And Real Madrid showed real class in wearing T-shirts with get-well messages; not only for the Bolton player but also for Eric Abidal, who plays for their bitterest rival.

It’s good to know we can keep our differences and loyalties aside, albeit temporarily, to acknowledge that care and concern for another is much more important than football, especially someone as much in the public eye and as popular, by all accounts, as Fabrice Muamba.

We all realise this is temporary. In a weeks time, maybe even sooner, when Fabrice is well on the way to recovery, as we truly hope, this feeling of common concern will pass from our conscious.

This is the reality of life.

There’s news from France, where Roberto Mancini watched from the stands as Lille put four past Valenciennes, with Eden Hazard netting once and providing two assists in an impressive performance.

Well, if Manchester City decide to move for the Belgian, we have to believe that that’s the end of Arsenal’s pursuit of the midfielder. Assuming Arsene Wenger is/was interested in bringing him to the Emirates in the first place, of course.

Even if the board intend to spend money in the summer, City will comfortably best any figure we can come up with, both in terms of transfer fee and player salary. We have to accept this is going to be the case for another couple of years at least, financial fair-play or not.

So if a creative central midfielder is what we are after, elsewhere look, must we. But more on that in tomorrow’s post.

In other news, some sources suggest Arsenal are keen to bring young Birmingham shot-stopper Jack Butland to the Emirates. With Szczesny having cemented himself as first choice this season, and Almunia out of contract in the summer, it is suggested Fabianski will move on as well in order to get playing time.

This may not necessarily be the case though. In past seasons, Arsenal are usually competing on all four fronts until February or March, at least. This has allowed second and third choice goalkeepers a longer run in Cup competitions.

This year though, our Carling cup and FA cup campaigns ended much sooner. I believe if we can convince Lukasz to stay, it will keep up the pressure on his Polish compatriot, whilst good cup runs will keep Fabianski happy and sharp at the same time.

In that case, Arsenal’s move for Butland would be as a replacement for Almunia, not Fabianksi.

So until tomorrow, when we hope for some good news on Fabrice.

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