More of this please
It's been a glorious Saturday here in South-East Kent. We've had lovely warm sunshine all day which couldn't be much more of a contrast with the weather of two and three weeks ago. This morning I went out with the wife and children for a walk/bike-ride around the village and thought just how nice our Country is when we have decent weather. Frankly there is nothing better than a lovely day in this part of England.
I was really surprised with the departure of Andrey Arshavin last night. Following Wenger's comments at the press conference he seemed set to be here for the rest of this season. You begin to wonder if things are being done at Arsenal without the say-so of our all-powerful Manager. In January I was very much in favour of the likes of Arshavin being shipped out. Back then, of course, there was the chance to bring in a replacement or two. Letting him go in February just seems absolutely bizarre. We are a team lacking in creativity and goalscorers, yet we have weakened our squad by allowing that type of player to leave. Of course the counter argument is that Arshavin has been anonymous all season so we're not likely to miss him, and there can be little argument with that. However, the one thing Arshavin has consistently proven is that he is a big-game player. That being the case I would have had him in the side tomorrow, playing behind Van Persie.
I have mixed emotions regarding Arshavin. His quality as a footballer can not be questioned. Arshavin is one of the very best football players I've seen in an Arsenal shirt. The first year after he arrived he was consistently brilliant, and he was a the sort of experienced leader we needed on the pitch (he even captained the team in a Premier League match at Portsmouth just a couple of months after his arrival, such was the impact of his influence on the team). The little Russian should have gone on to become an Arsenal legend. We will never be able to understand why that hasn't happened. My belief is that he was simply lazy, and didn't want to put in the hard work necessary to stay fit enough for the Premier League. He started to coast badly, and that's the only reason that a player like Theo Walcott (a whole-hearted trier, but a more than limited footballer) was able to oust him from the team. I nearly choked last night, however, when I heard Charlie Nicholas criticising Arshavin for displaying all the failings that could easily be thrown at himself. There was no hint of irony from Charlie and he really went down in my estimation.
Overall I am just deeply disappointed that it didn't work out for Arsenal and Andrey Arshavin. Whatever may have happened these past eighteen months we can't deny he was a fine footballer and a great character. The way some people reacted to him after the Manchester United game the other week was out of order, but that is the way of many modern Arsenal fans. I will remember the man with some affection as we will always have the four goals at Anfield and, even more joyously, the winning goal against the best team I have ever seen when we beat Barcelona this time last year. Thanks Andrey, all the best.
Tomorrow we have to "welcome" the knuckle-draggers to our place for the North London Derby. I can honestly say we have no chance whatsoever in this game. After all they have the single greatest Manager in the history of the game and Gareth Bale is far and away the best player in the whole World (Lionel Messi? Nowhere). You have to admit that this is the most formidable team we have played in about forty years. Their dominance of the Premier League and European Cup this season is the sort of thing that Arsenal supporters can only dream of. Let's be honest here Gooners, when did we ever have a squad to match this current Tottenham side? I, for one, will feel privileged to get to watch the football version of the Harlem Globetrotters tomorrow.
Frankly, I can't be bothered to write a proper preview of a game against the swamp-dwelling neanderthals today. We know it's going to be very tough to beat them as they are having a decent season, and we're having a poor one. For once we are not the favourites. On current form we should lose but, as I was reminded by a Tottenham supporter the other day, this is the North London Derby, and form is irrelevant. I hope Arsene pulls a master-stroke and gets some of the old boys in the dressing room before the game to tell the players exactly what it means.
Whatever the outcome tomorrow we must remember simply this: We are better than them, because we are ARSENAL. They are inferior to us because they are Scum.
COME ON YOU GUNNERS