There’s quite a bot going on today in the wonderful world of Arsenal. Not only do we have an important game – all games are important now – against Norwich, we also have our manager taking to the press to defend the seemingly indefensible.
Andrey Arshavin’s lacklustre approach to the winter years of his Arsenal career has angered a great proportion of Gooners. Not because he’s an inept footballer and not of the required standard for our Club. Not at all. We find ourselves feeling such disdain towards him because he’s clearly a gifted footballer with copious amounts of guile and finesse in his locker. For reasons unclear, he just hasn’t applied himself. Some blame the manager, some blame Arshavin himself. Whatever the reason, his career is ending on a whimper.
Yet, Arsene Wenger has moved to put a positive spin on the soon-to-be-over tenure of our diminutive Russian friend. Speaking about Arshavin, Arsene said:
“I must say that publicly I would like to give him credit, because he is working absolutely every session at 100% commitment.
“He has been questioned about his commitment many times. If you saw him every day you would respect him for what he is doing on a daily basis. It is absolutely fantastic”
Interesting stuff. None of us can be privy to the goings-on behind closed doors at London Colney. Perhaps Arshavin’s continued absence from the team is purely tactical and the manager’s choice. However, I find it difficult to believe that a player that talented would be consistently left out if he was in fact offering 100% on the training ground.
On to today’s game, and the team news sees the return of both Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Missing out will be Per Mertesacker through suspension, Tomas Rosicky with a minor hamstring niggle and Abou Diaby with a ruptured skeleton.
I can’t see there being too much in the way of change. If Jack is fully fit, it’s likely he’ll find his way into the starting 11. Theo could slot in on the right side of the attack with a resurgent Gervinho – I almost laughed writing that – switching to the left. Podolski may again be benched. Vermaelen will come in for Mertesacker, and I assume he’ll be taking back the captain’s armband too.,
My guess at the time up is:
That’s all for today, folks. The comments below await your views on the team and your hopes for the result. Got a ballsy prediction? Let me know.
Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards.