I have to start by paying tribute to that image of sheer Arsenal beauty pictured above. The new Arsenal home shirt - an Arsenal shirt, rather than a Charlton one. On one of the messageboards I saw it decribed as "instantly recognisable as an Arsenal shirt, from whatever angle" and I have to agree. Herbert Chapman will be smiling happily in Heaven at the sight of those glorious white sleeves and crimson body. I can not wait to get my hands on this shirt - pretty much perfection. Apparently it's made from recycled plastic bottles - so Arsenal have also returned to having a "green" strip for the first time since the early 80s (younger readers will have to ask their Dad about Arsenal's green kit or, alternatively, google "Arsenal green kit").
Cesc Fabregas made his first public comments for a couple of weeks yesterday. He is now sarting to say that he could play for Arsenal next season, after all. This comes on the back of the new Barcelona President revealing their problems with "stratospheric debts". Could it be that Cesc is now realising he has made a prat of himself and needs to start ingratiating himself with the Gooner masses again? I rather think it might be. I will be happy if he stays, and happy if Arsenal sell him for seriously big money. Whatever happens, Arsenal need a new Captain for next season, as someone who has been publicly stating they want to play for someone else, can not be the main man in the dressing room anymore. For me it would have to be Thomas Vermaelen, though Robin Van Persie would see that as a personal sleight I'm sure - perhaps if he stayed fit for more than 6 weeks at a time he could be considered, until then it's the vice-captaincy for RVP. With Yaya Toure bringing Barcelona some serious money it will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.
Arsenal announced yesterday that there will be no participation from the Club in this year's Premier Reserve League. Good. This was the most inaccurately named competition in football, given that hardly any of the teams involved used reserve players. Take Carlos Vela for example - it would be fair to consider him an Arsenal Reserve, yet how many times did he play for the Arsenal Reserves last season? None is the answer. Armand Traore? Two. Is it any wonder people like Eduardo looked so out of touch after Christmas? I just do not see the point in Arsenal entering this farce. Instead the "reserves" will play friendlies on an ad hoc basis. Perhaps the genuine reserves, rather than the youths, will play in these games, and be a bit more match-sharp when they actually get called in to the first-team.
Holland are through to the semi-final of the World Cup. Robin Van Persie had little impact on the ball, but his work-rate as the lone striker pulled Lucio and Juan all over the place. Holland were well worth the 2-1 win as Brazil lost their discipline - well, Felipe Melo did. I hope to God that Arsenal never sign this thug. His disciplinary record in Italy is a disgrace - he wouldn't complete a match in the Premier League - sent-off today for an outrageous stamp, I hope his ban is a lengthy one. Talking of thugs, Marc Van Bommel has been kicking people off the pitch for over ten years now, and getting away with it. He was at it again today and, once more, he escaped a caution. We've suffered his nasty little ways at Arsenal - I remember one game at PSV where we lost Vieira and Lauren to red cards, while he was finally booked in injury-time despite regstering double figures on the foul count. I would have no sympathy were he to be red-carded in the semi-final.
Half-time in Ghana v Uruguay and Muntari has just hit one of the goals of the tournament to give Ghana the lead. I have been particularly impressed throughout the World Cup, and throughout last season, by Kevin Prince-Boateng. When he was at Tottenham I thought he was awful, but he really shone in a poor Pompey line-up, and has been one of THE players at the World Cup. Available on the cheap? Almost certainly. Better than Denilson? Of course.
Don't forget to order your new home kit - did I mention that it has white sleeves and looks like a proper Arsenal shirt?