Friday, 20 May 2011
"Rocked" by Denilson, Fulham (a) preview
The Sun must be really struggling for Arsenal transfer news. I couldn't believe it today when they chose to run a major article about Denilson wanting to leave us. Apparently Arsenal have been "rocked" by this decision from our midfield maestro. I have to say I'm devastated...or maybe not. I don't believe Denilson is as bad a player as many would have you believe. I always felt he was a reasonable footballer when in possession, but one that certainly hadn't gone beyond his early promise. The thing that has come to annoy me with Denilson over the past two years has been his "work" when we don't have the ball. Numerous times we have seen him jogging gently after the marauding opposition forwards as we concede another goal - the most famous being against Manchester United at home a couple of years back (the worst for me, though, was in the FA Cup at Stoke last season). He has become known as "deckchair" by certain sections of the fans and this has been, perhaps, not an unfair moniker. Any idea that Denilson moving on is bad news for Arsenal is complete nonsense. I would suggest that there would be many more howls of derision had he announced he was going nowhere. Arsene Wenger spoke yesterday about the need to keep quality players - he has told Denilson he can go. Enough said.
The season will finally end on Sunday at Fulham. I don't really expect to see Nasri, Fabregas or Clichy making an appearance. The mysterious thigh injury that is always picked up by players who are leaving/failing to sign a new contract has afflicted all three and has ended their season, if not their Arsenal careers. There is talk of Rosicky having a fitness test, but there is always hope that he will fail it - he's another one I hope has played his last game and is joining Denilson at the exit door.
I can't see many changes being made from the side that lost to Villa. Arshavin might well be dropped which will mean an "opportunity" for Nicklas Bentner on the left, or maybe something really radical like two up front with Bendtner or Chamakh alongside Robin Van Persie. I can see Eboue possibly getting a run out in place of a tired Bacary Sagna (hopefully another farewell appearance, but I fear the comedic one will be haunting us again come August). Something tells me Squillaci will not get to say goodbye so a return for Djourou, or a step up for Miquel appear likely. Jack Wilshere has been named in the U21 party for the Summer, so a minor calf injury would do nicely for him on Sunday, thus giving him the necessary rest until pre-season begins - we can but hope.
Fulham have once again done pretty well this year. They possess good forward players - I think Clint Dempsey is particularly good. Andy Johnson will always finish given the chance, while Bobby Zamora is big and physical enough to do us serious damage. At the back they have the towering Hangeland, but Van Persie should have enough to destroy him with his footwork - Hangeland is pretty average against tricky strikers, though at set-pieces he could prove our undoing again.
All in all I'll be glad when 6pm comes around on Sunday as it will all be over. It's been a slow death since February and a few weeks away from it will do us all good, from the Manager and the players right down to the fans. Our season has been a failure on most levels, but if Birmingham City end up relegated come Sunday evening then we will know that there is a God, and he deals in a very fine form of natural justice - let's hope Blackpool can perform themselves a miracle at Old Trafford too.