I extend to you the fairest of morning greetings, splendid peruser of my bloggedy blog.
Yesterday, there was a barrage of news. Today, that information overload has been replaced by a steady, slightly dreary, dribble; a dribble of nothing in-particular; much like the career of Alex Hleb.
After Frimpong’s sad cruciate ligament injury was reported yesterday, Mick McCarthy has had some good words to say about our unfortunate Ghanian youngster:
“It’s obviously very disappointing for us but even more so for Manny who faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“He’d made a good impression in the first month of his loan and we were looking forward to having him with us for the rest of the season.
“He’s a very good player, and we were grateful to Arsenal for allowing us to have him as he continues his development.”
Certainly, many of you will be inclined to wildly disagree with this statement; I like Mick McCarthy. He’s always struck me as an all-round decent man, and he’s damn amusing to boot – the interview during his tenure as the Rep. Ireland manager involving Roy Keane’s petulant departure being a particular favourite; “he called me everything from a F-in W, to a F-in C”. It was a nice gesture from him, and not doubt much appreciated by Frimpong himself.
Other than that, there was a rather misleading story about Arsenal needing to make £15-20m profit at the beginning of every season, which some of the misery-guts’ out there immediately took to signify the club has become a ‘seller’. Not the case, in my opinion. Wenger was merely stating his need to remain prudent and avoid wayward and thoughtless investing. The funds stated are the profit levels the club aims toward, and at no point was it specified out-going players were needed to meet them. That said, it’s hardly something a man paid to concentrate of football matters should be coming out with. I’d far rather he was putting his efforts into securing investment in the playing squad, but within the realms of common sense and without unnecessary parsimony. His job should focus primarily on results, performances and accolades; preferably those that come in the shape of big shiny trophies. Let someone else worry about the finances and all that jazz…
And that leads me nicely onto the battle for 4th place; a battle I’m no longer resigned to losing. Given the enormous financial rewards for the eventual incumbent, I’d expect someone to be stamping their authority over the position by putting a string of results together. However, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and ourselves have all flattered to deceive and left the race wide open. With greatly important fixtures to come against all of the aforementioned, as well as Spurs, we have the opportunity to reach that goal. It isn’t beyond us, and with the injury list looking like it could be steadily decreasing now would be the ideal time to cast aside the recent poor run, and replace it with some consistency.
We have a striker who’s truly worthy of the description ‘world-class’, a defence that will be further solidified by the return of a natural left full-back and a exciting new prospect in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. If the players can work to eradicate the calamitous blunders and moments where they lack concentration, we have a real shot. We have the players capable of competing, just as long as their heads are focused and in the right place.
Reading around various outlets, a great many people regularly pose the question “Would you rather finish 4th or win the FA Cup?”. My answer to that is simple; why not both? If you can’t be a little optimistic after your team has thumped someone 7-1, when can you be? Let’s hope the players share my faith and belief and go pick up 3 points at Sunderland.
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