Advantage Arsenal – Again!
What a difference 24 hours make! The life of an Arsenal fan encapsulated – terrible lows and exuberant highs experienced in the average amount of the time it takes the earth to complete one rotation on its axis.
The irony of having to rely on an Alex McLeish team and Samir Nasri’s colleagues to provide the latter is surely not lost on Gooners. Once again, results elsewhere have put us in charge of our own destiny; although I am beginning to dread that expectation, the team displaying a marked aversion to influencing our own kismet. Hopefully, all that will change at West Brom when we’ll stop tempting fate and get the job done.
I was rather despondent on Saturday evening. So much so that I considered not writing a match review on Sunday morning – something I have religiously tried to do in this blog’s still young life – win, draw or lose. Thanks to BlogWhenHeWant2 for a funny, quirky article which lightened the mood and motivated me to post the review after all.
I know many readers prefer to stay away from the Arsenal blogosphere after disappointing results so if you didn’t catch it yesterday, do go and read the Arsenal v Norwich tactical analysis here – it’s got pictures and graphics too!
Arsenal FC have unveiled the new home kit for 2012-13. Leaked pictures have floated on Twitter for weeks but now that it’s official, I have to say I am not very taken by it yet. Maybe it’ll grow on me, as kits tend to do – familiarity breeding acceptance breeding appreciation. If Arsenal win honours next season, the distinctive stripes may yet find a glorious place in Arsenal history.
My favorite though remains the redcurrant kit from our last season at Highbury. Thierry Henry’s hat-trick in the final game against Wigan while the scum were vomiting lasagna at Upton Park will be forever etched in memory.
In other news, Bacary Sagna has been scathing in his criticism of Bradley Johnson for what he believes was an intentional stamp. It happened so fast and even after looking at the replays, it’s difficult to judge if Johnson meant harm. Bac would know though, and he’s not the kind given to exaggeration so I suspect there’s some substance to his claims.
It must be so frustrating for him to miss out on the Euros after having another great season with us, even with the injury interruptions. He’s already displayed his formidable mental toughness though, stating how he’s battled past it once and will come back stronger from this one. We’ll need this sort of grit all over the pitch next season as we aim to end our trophy drought.
In transfer tattle, Arsenal are set to steal Dempsey from Liverpool and Tottenham will steal Vertonghen from the Gunners.
Clint Dempsey would be very much an Arteta-type signing – proven quality, proven record in the league, loads of experience and not very pricey. Chamakh put in a very decent showing against Norwich so he may yet have a future at Arsenal. A strike force of Van Persie, Podolski, Dempsey and Chamakh would provide adequate depth and flexibility in attack.
Jan Vertonghen has been named Dutch footballer of the year. Ajax will try to demand a better price for the versatile defender although it’s not so much in their hands anymore, Vertonghen having made it clear he’s leaving in the summer regardless. The rumours of Tottenham’s interest are a bit disquieting though, indicating that maybe Arsenal haven’t pursued talks to sign him after all. Arsene Wenger is famous for looking one way while walking another, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we announced the £5m capture of a defender from the Estonian league while all this Vertonghen talk was going on.
That’s all for today. The loanee series continues tomorrow, Kyle Bartley under the microscope this time.