Friday, 25 February 2011
Disappointment all round
Well that was a let down wasn't it? I gave it the big build up in the belief that the Stoke fans would be falling over themselves to give me some abuse on this site last night, but they were nowhere to be seen. I'd keyed myself up for some decent keyboard wars of words with another deluded neanderthal, only to find that they called my bluff. Perhaps there are only so many times anyone can defend Ryan Shawcross before they finally realise they are quite wrong. Never mind, let's move on to something more important.
The news on Cesc Fabregas is another big disappointment for fans and player alike. There is some stuff in the news today that Cesc believes he is fit to play but that Arsenal say otherwise. In a situation like this, where the player is desperate to captain his side in a Wembley showpiece, then we have to accept the dispassionate call being made by Arsenal's medical team. Fabregas may well believe he is ready to play, but he is somewhat biased in his desperation to play in the big game. Arsene Wenger says that Cesc will miss "one or two" games with this latest setback. The timing is awful, of course, with the Carling Cup Final on Sunday, but it really shouldn't matter all that much, should it? Even without Fabregas and Walcott one would expect Arsenal to have enough to win on the day, even against seriously motivated opposition. The trouble is that Cup Final's are different from any other game - just ask Wimbledon's players from 1988, or Swindon Town's from 1969. If missing Sunday means that Fabregas is back for the game next weekend, and/or the second-leg with Barcelona, and he stays fit for the rest of the season, then missing Sunday may not be such a bad thing.
Theo Walcott, says Wenger, is unlikely to play in Barcelona. I think I'll take a wait and see stance on this one. There is no doubt that Barcelona fear the speed of Theo and, in the Nou Camp on its particularly wide pitch, he can find lots of space to use to his advantage. There is no talk of ligament damage or anything like that, merely an ankle sprain. Given that the players get the best treatment, round the clock if necessary, I will be surprised and disappointed if Walcott doesn't line up in Barcelona in eleven days from now.
That's it for today, nice and brief. I will be previewing the Carling Cup Final here tomorrow and the excitement is growing in my household...