He's still around
Today has seen the annual Members Day at the stadium, with the open training session being the main attraction. I watched a large part of the training on Arsenal Player and one or two things (people) stood out.
Cesc Fabregas was involved in the session as any sane and normal person would have expected. Sky Sports News were positively salivating over the prospect that he might not turn up, and that he had been "ordered" to attend. What a load of old crap. Of course Fabregas was "ordered" to attend - is it not part of his employment that he has to turn up to training? Why would the fact that training was not at London Colney affect whether or not Cesc would be in attendance? It came as no surprise to anybody when he ran out to train with the rest of the squad. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but Wenger really should refuse to speak to certain parts of the media (just like Ferguson) as they don't ever have anything good to say about us. The Sun and Sky Sports seem to go out of their way to say and write unsettling things about Arsenal.
Elsewhere there was the notable absence of Emmanuel Eboue (who is reported to have agreed terms with Galatassaray last night), Manuel Almunia (who I doubt is even in the Country) and Kyle Bartley. You would have to question why Bartley was given a new four-year deal yesterday, but is not involved in first-team training today. Samir Nasri also took no part, but he was certainly at the ground - you can read in to that what you want, but it does seem a little odd as we've heard nothing of an injury.
As well as those absentees there was at least one surprise attendee - Nicklas Bendtner was involved in the whole session and looked pretty sharp in fairness to him. This would seem at odds somewhat with Arsene's comments on Saturday when he said that Nick was on the verge of a move elsewhere. Henri Lansbury, Benik Afobe and Vito Mannone, who all played in the Reserves last night, were there too. I spoke briefly to Lansbury after yesterday's game and he confirmed that he would be there today, but he doesn't know if he will be staying at Arsenal - he capped a fine performance with a super goal against Dover, as did Afobe. Theo Walcott took part in some running drills alongside fitness coach Tony Colbert, but he didn't do any ball-work in the bits I saw. Ryo Miyaichi was also in training as he awaits news on his work permit.
So what have we learned? I would say that we know Bartley is NOT part of Arsene Wenger's squad and I expect him to be sent away again and then sold before the middle part of his new deal is finished. I expect Fabregas to play some part on Saturday evening against Benfica in Lisbon, and similarly Bendtner should get some action. Manuel Almunia will not be at Arsenal this season, regardless of whether he gets a transfer (Arsenal might just have to pay up his contract to get him off the books). Apart from that we've learned nothing at all. We still have the same group of players, and we still haven't made any signings. What a crap day.