A bit of time I have found here, and a perfect day for a London derby. Well almost. It’s absolutely shiveringly cold down here in Bangalore, and for a person used to the temperate climes, this is something of a system shocker.
But, all that doesn’t really matter today. I will be getting to watch the game with a bunch of real hardcore Arsenal fans, and we will be chanting from start to finish. There will be a bunch of Chelsea fans as well, and so it’s about time we show who are the real kings of London.
First things first. Theo Walcott finally agreed a new deal at the club, reported to be around £100,000 a week, plus £3 million as a signing on bonus. The amount footballers get these days to make a fucking signature. Obscene.
Coming to the point, I think we can finally see the club is learning its lessons, and tying down players to contracts, even though this could really have gotten out of hands. It is beyond my understanding to fathom why the club took so long to keep Walcott at the club, and why they did not throw in the towel earlier and say to him “Sign or Fuck off.”
Modern day footballers you say. Rooney did the same with Manchester United, sulking his way to a shiny £250,000 p/w contract. Personally, I feel footballers have been given too much independence these days.
Walcott has often divided opinion. According to me, he is nothing more than an average player, with incredible speed. He has no maneuvering skills, if he is up against a robust defender like Kompany or Vidic. He cannot beat a single defender on the planet, with just his skill, unless that defender is Cygan, or Squillaci, or Stepanovs or even Jamie Carragher running on one leg.
The comparisons with Henry just crack me up. Like I have said before, Henry would have taken Southampton’s and Swansea’s defences to the cleaners, in his hay day. Walcott just doesn’t seem to have that kind of guile or ability in him, to be capable of doing that.
He does have age on his side. He is just 23, and has years of improvement ahead of him. Now, with the new contract signed, and the long saga done with, it’s about time Walcott repay us back with some goals, on a consistent basis, and also put up some overall performance.
Let me get this straight. I don’t have anything personal against Walcott, but I am more deeply concerned about the problems at Arsenal at the moment. So, Theo, congrats on your new deal, and your big bucks, get the shooting boots on, and do the stuff you are supposed to do.
The transfer season has thrown, er, very few surprises. Nigel Adkins getting the sack was a shocker. Demba Ba moving to Chelsea was not. There’s been so little activity. Just days earlier, Twitter was flooded with tweets that Arsenal had lodged a bid of £30 million, for an unknown secret player.
Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Cesc Fabregas, Peter Pan, William Shakespeare, Francis Jeffers, Johnny Depp, Ravindra Jadeja, Bill Clinton were among the few names linked with a move to the Emirates. Of course all the bullshit has now died down, and people have got on with their lives.
Arsene Wenger was again coy on the link.
I like him as a player,Will he cost a lot of money? That’s for sure. Nobody would deny that. Our banker lives just next to me at the moment and he is ready if we find the right player.We can spend the money that we have decided to spend if it is for a player we think gives us a plus. But I do not want to speak about Cavani because we have not made an inquiry for him.You speak about Cavani … Napoli are playing for the championship and the Champions League [places] in Italy. What is the interest of Napoli to sell Cavani? None. Unless you come there and say, ‘OK, we pay twice the price of what the player is worth’.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was however quick to dismiss that Napoli would sell their prize asset.
For Cavani I have already been offered 55 million euros, and I said no,I need him, not the money. I am confident in his ability, he knows that here he is the No. 1 in the city, and I do not think in other places or at other teams, most of us can identify with that city, jersey and fans.
So, that train has clearly passed. The manager however revealed an interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
In the week passed by, David Dein and Tony Adams have been doing some interesting talking. The interview with Adams in the Independent is particularly interesting, and definitely worth a read for any Arsenal fan.
In other news, legend Dennis Bergkamp has revealed he would love coming back to Arsenal in the role of a coach. Surely, Walcott and Co. could do with some coaching from God.
I would yes. We have started something good now at Ajax and I know a little bit in my role now, what I like and what I don’t like so if I could fulfil a similar role abroad, especially at Arsenal.That would be one of the things that I would like to achieve in the future. But not in the near future because we have just started here.
Right, team news then. John Terry is expected to return for the Blues, but not expected to be handed a start. Oriol Romeu is out, and Victor Moses and Jon Mikel Obi, are out representing Nigeria at the AFCON.
Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are ruled out, while Gervinho is a big miss, as he is away with Ivory Coast on AFCON duty. Just kidding. Laurent Koscielny is available for selection after completing his suspension.
Here is how I expect the teams to line up.
Chelsea haven’t had the best times at home, under Rafael Benitez. Draws against Manchester City and Fulham, was followed by a 8-0 thumping of Aston Villa, before a shocking 1-0 loss to QPR, and a 2-0 loss to Swansea in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals. They then drew Southampton 2-2, in their recent league game.
Chelsea fans have given much stick to Benitez, but I think he has done a decent job. The signing of Demba Ba has certainly helped, with the out of sorts Fernando Torres, barely a solution u front for the Blues these days.
Chelsea were efficient in their 2-1 win at the Emirates earlier in the season. They had limited chances on goal, and really held well to the two goals that were gifted to them. They shut out any threat that Arsenal tried to counter.
Hazard, Mata, Ramires and Lampard are tireless workers, and surely key players in today’s battle. Defensively, they are strong as well, and that’s why I feel Olivier Giroud should be given a start ahead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as he would provide more space and time for others in what will be a crowded defence.
Demba Ba is the man to lookout for, having scored twice, not too long back, whilst in Newcastle colors. Mertesacker has earned his place, and Vermaelen, too has shown considerable improvement recently. He also seems to be speaking out and rallying the players, something that has been missing for some time.
Jack Wilshere is special, and could be the real difference today. His level of skill and his whole heartedness have made him a fan favorite. I would personally like to see Abou Diaby have a good game. He has had a tough time with injuries, and can be a really useful player in midfield.
Concern will be how much Santi Cazorla has left in the tank. He has played many games, with most creative burden on his shoulders, but games seem to be coming thick and fast for the Spaniard.
All in all, it could be an exciting battle, between two sides that are yet to kick into full gear, but when they do, they can put on a real show.
Enjoy the game wherever you are!
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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