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Monday, 7 February 2011
Wenger takes a leaf out of Ferguson's book, Match-fixing?
Arsene Wenger finally appears to be taking the Ferguson approach to international football. Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie have both fallen ill ahead of this week's nonsense friendly matches. I think that, if Arsenal were playing in midweek, both men would be just fine. It's about time Arsenal started playing silly buggers with the national FA's. We have suffered far too much in recent years from seeing our players come back injured - Thomas Vermaelen, lest we forget, is still out from being injured in September. Johan Djourou is missing the Switzerland game due to the injury he sustained at Newcastle on Saturday, while Kieran Gibbs is also on the injured list (I can't believe he would have been in the England squad this time anyway). Fabregas and Van Persie's apparent ailments are off-set slightly though by Wojciech Szczesny's call-up to the Poland team. Get down on your knees and pray that he comes back okay. We will also have Koscielny, Sagna, Clichy and Diaby away with France.
As regular readers will know, I hate international football. I believe it is long overdue for the Club's to tell UEFA and FIFA that enough is enough and to start to dictate what is acceptable in an international fixture list, and friendlies in the middle of the season are clearly ridiculous. Being pulled out of these stupid games has certainly done no harm to Ryan Giggs so it should certainly be a policy adopted by Arsenal in order to protect out star players.
Last night there were stories emerging that Interpol were looking in to the events of Saturday's second-half. Some translations of the French language news report were suggesting that Tomas Rosicky could be in the frame, along with the referee. I don't doubt for one moment that match-fixing in some form is rife in this country but I sincerely hope it does not involve an Arsenal player. The fact that the story has pretty much disappeared overnight hopefully means that it was a rather nasty piece of mischief-making by some online reporter trying to make his name. One day, I have no doubt, somebody will be outed for corruption in English football - it happens in other countries and in other sports, so the Premier League is surely not immune. After all, there is too much money in it for football to not suffer from criminality.
The blog will be fairly sporadic this week, simply because of the international games. I won't be watching the England game as I'm at work, which is a blessed relief in many ways. Keep checking back here, or on NewsNow, Facebook or Twitter for any new post.